Tim Costley is the National Party candidate for the Ōtaki electorate.
Tim Costley says he is really excited to be replacing Nathan Guy as the Ōtaki electorate National Party candidate.
Tim spent the last 19 years in the Air Force as a helicopter pilot.
"The thing I loved about flying helicopters in the Air Force was that you got to work closely with people on the ground and really feel like you were part of the team making a difference. While other units flew people from airport to airport around New Zealand and around the world, when we went flying, whether it was search and rescue in the Tararuas or peacekeeping in East Timor, we would land with them on mountain tops, in paddocks, in river valleys, and we'd get to be in the midst of the action with them, helping.
"We landed in the Showgrounds in Levin and could get out and speak with those running the search on the ground, we would stay overnight in shearers quarters in inland Canterbury with other searchers, we helped load stretchers into the aircraft, talked to the mum and her newborn baby we flew to hospital in Guadalcanal. Maybe my greatest privilege was sitting with a Swiss tourist we found and rescued in Abel Tasman, and I watched the video he'd recorded saying goodbye to his parents because he thought he couldn't survive another night. Being part of rescues like that and seeing the firsthand difference we could make reinforced in me that I wanted to spend my life serving others," says Tim.
He says his parents are both school teachers and he grew up always wanting to be an Air Force pilot from the time his Dad first took him to an airshow.
"No mistake, I loved flying choppers, flying in air shows like Warbirds Over Wanaka, and travelling all around the world. I served with Special Forces in Afghanistan, I helped plan elections in Papua New Guinea and I went to Fiji in the immediate aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston. If there was a chance to go and help I was always keen. This was my motivation for founding a national charity in 2010 which supports Air Force families in times of tragedy: we've helped dozens of families over the last ten years. But now having spent almost twenty years serving in our military around the world, it is right here in the Ōtaki Electorate that I want to be, using the skills, the experiences and the values I've gained in our Air Force to serve on both a local and a national level."
Tim says he's been lucky to have had some amazing experiences since joining the Air Force after university.
"I've travelled New Zealand from the Bay of Islands to Stewart Island, East Cape to Westport, and I've been to many countries I would never have seen otherwise. I spent two weeks working for HRH The Duke of Cambridge (or in the minds of my three daughters working for the Duchess!) during their 2014 visit, and I've been pushed beyond my comfort zone in peacetime, in conflict zones, and of course in the air. But if I had the privilege to be elected as the MP for Ōtaki, there is one thing I will miss and one thing I will treasure always: the people I served and the people I served with. I know it sounds cliche, but all the good stories from my career are about people. Sometimes they happened in and around helicopters but the stories are seldom about helicopters; it is the ordinary Kiwis like me who signed up to serve our country that I will both remember and miss the most."
For Tim, standing for Parliament is all about one thing: people.
"Fundamentally I believe there are better things to come for us in New Zealand, for Kāpiti and for Horowhenua, from Foxton to Paraparaumu. We need to work for this brighter future; we'll need to adapt and overcome some challenges in a post-Covid world, but with better transport links coming up our coast our region is opening up to huge potential growth. With the right team leading us, that growth can and will create jobs, lift incomes, and give us better living standards, and with a stronger economy comes better public services. We need to work for this, and I want to be part of the strong National team who can get New Zealand working again. Our region, our families and our future depend on it."