“Meaningful change requires courage” – Murray Crane

An open letter from Crane Brothers founder Murray Crane to the new NZ government

In the lead-up to New Zealand’s general election on October 14, 2023, we asked leaders within our fashion community to write open letters to the next government.

The letters were to be submitted before voting day and published after, ensuring those we approached could speak their minds, without needing to openly pledge their political support to a particular party or PM.

The brief was simple: what do you, as a business owner and a leader in the fashion community, feel is the most pressing issue for the government to address over the next three years? Is it economic support for NZ retail and manufacturing? Is it practical solutions around fashion and climate change? Is it investing in fashion and the arts? Is it creating more space and opportunities for indigenous fashion to thrive?

The below communication was penned by Murray Crane, founder at Crane Brothers, and is published here verbatim.


For the past 40 years, I’ve had the privilege of working in an industry I’m passionate about. My journey has transitioned from being an employee to becoming an employer. Over 13 election cycles, I’ve accumulated invaluable business lessons, predominantly from my own mistakes, with minimal influence from the governing party.

I’m convinced that merely changing the government won’t address the multifaceted challenges plaguing numerous industries, including ours. The issue isn’t primarily about which political faction is at the helm; it’s more about the collective commitment we make as responsible citizens. Genuine transformation begins when we relinquish the notion that change is someone else’s responsibility. Moreover, merely fixing an issue doesn’t always lead to improvement.

Meaningful change requires courage. Regrettably, acts of courage often stem from an innate instinct that bypasses contemplation. This makes them less cultivated in our society. Our inherent human apprehension towards change and disruption doesn’t help either so if I were to convey a message to our politicians, leaders, and educators, it would be this: Advocate for risk-taking and foster resilience by equipping individuals with the unconventional skills they need to thrive.

It’s imperative to nurture the outliers, champion the change-makers, and seek out the latent potential. While our tertiary education institutions adeptly prepare the next wave of problem solvers, it’s high time we also champion and support the change-makers, for they are the architects of transformative progress.

Murray Crane

Founder, Crane Brothers