Rob Stockley. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE
From serving his country, to serving his community, Rob Stockley has announced his intentions to stand as a councillor for the Carterton district.
Stockley spent 18 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a helicopter pilot, retiring as Flight Commander in the rank of Squadron Leader before retraining as an electrician.
He moved from Hawke’s Bay to Carterton mid-way through 2017 with his wife and two daughters.
“Carterton is a wonderful community full of vibrant characters who look out for each other and care for the future of our town,” he said.
“In two years of electrical contracting in Carterton, I haven’t met a customer that I wouldn’t be happy to sit down and chat with over a cuppa.”
It’s continuing to foster this special character of the district and represent the views of its people that has him looking to run for council.
“It’s an important role that needs to be done well. It’s a service duty really.
“Good governance is crucial to ensuring that our community develops as we would like it to.”
Stockley is also involved with community groups as the Carterton Rotary secretary and as a volunteer driver for the Cancer Society.
He said it was humbling to see how much residents cared about their district, citing high voter turnout for the referendum, and debates around the colour scheme for the clock tower and rates increases.
“Carterton is uniquely disadvantaged among rural districts in that we have a lot of infrastructure and only a small population base to fund its maintenance and improvement. This is reflected in recent rates rises,” he said.
Stockley raised concerns that the issue had become a stump to campaign for change in the lead up to the election.
“No one likes paying rates. So, a campaign against rates is guaranteed attract a crowd.”
He said he was looking forward to hearing what residents had to say at a public meeting scheduled for August 20.
Former staffer eyes council
The former corporate services manager at the Carterton District Council has announced his intention to stand for a position on the council.
Marty Sebire worked for the council for eight years before leaving earlier in May to start a small business in the rural sector.
With several councillors not seeking re-election, he said there was an opportunity to introduce diversity and fresh ways of thinking to the council.
“I offer governance experience, local government knowledge, and a strategic approach to issues,” he said.
During his time with the council, he was responsible for the finances, rates, and supporting of councillors.
He is also a qualified accountant and has previously held financial management roles in both large and small government departments and agencies.
“Two big issues facing Carterton are affordability and equity of rates, and climate change,” he said.
“There will be a review of the rating system, the Ten-Year Plan for 2021-2031, a review of the Combined District Plan, the introduction of new development contributions, a review of funding and financial policies, and a rates revaluation.”
Sebire said he had the experience to “hit the ground running” on these reviews which would provide an opportunity to address rates affordability and equity.
“Council needs to be always open and transparent.
“I’m really keen that the community is fully engaged in these processes, so that we can make better decisions and people feel that they have been involved.”
Since moving to Carterton in 2011, he has helped establish and lead the Carterton MenzShed, Project Wairarapa, and Resilient Carterton.
He has also served on the committee of several community groups, including the Scouts Committee, the Carterton Community Trust, and the Carterton Farmers Market.
He said he was especially excited about Ka Pai Carterton, which he helped bring about under an agreement with the Department of Internal Affairs.
“It has the potential to build a stronger and more connected community with the massive funding it could bring.”
Climate change issues are high on his list of priorities, having lobbied the council for action through Resilient Carterton to establish the recently announced climate change champion position.
Sebire is also proud of having acted as the principal liaison with Hurunui o Rangi Marae and on the paepae for the council, having been asked by marae trustees to represent them on the council’s audit and risk committee.
Any questions can be directed to him at [email protected]