Jacob Max Bezzant is a former political candidate for the New Zealand National Party and a former CEO of Parking Sense.
Bezzant was appointed USA and Europe CEO of Parking Sense at age 26 and global CEO at age 28. He stood for election to New Zealand’s parliament in the Upper Harbour electorate, which was a National Party stronghold prior to the 2020 election, but lost to Labour’s Vanushi Walters. Bezzant resigned from the National Party and from his roles as chair and director of the startup company Invisible Urban Charging in mid-2021 over allegations that he used images of his former partner on the internet to impersonate her.
Bezzant was born in Cambridge in 1987 or 1988. He attended Cambridge High School and the University of Waikato. According to a National Party profile, he studied law and politics/international relations, worked for Smart Parking Limited as a commercial manager and legal officer, and later became the chief executive officer of Parking Sense, a New Zealand technology company that provided parking solutions for cities, hospitals and airports.
Bezzant stated that he was co-founder of the company Parking Sense and told a magazine that the company “grew from the lounge of my university flat”, but company records for its incorporation do not list him as a founding director or shareholder, and Paul Collins, another person associated with the company, said that Bezzant joined the company six months after it was found and was not involved while he was at university. A BusinessDesk article said that Bezzant had to leave his job as CEO at Parking Sense “after disagreements over multi-million dollar contracts and ‘fantasy’ projects, including a Texas development now mired in bankruptcy and fraud allegations” but the article was clear Bezzant was not involved these issues; Bezzant and Parking Sense both denied that he was removed from his role.” An article in The Spinoff commenting on the BusinessDesk report said, “There’s a lot of he said, he said about whether or not Bezzant has been entirely accurate. National Party president Peter Goodfellow said the party “accepts Jake’s position about his time at Parking Sense.”