11 Oct 2019

19 yo Stacey Rose hangs up clippers for BOP regional council

From First Up, 5:45 am on 11 October 2019

Stacey Rose put his nomination in at 9am on the day the election nominations closed and by 2pm that day, he was a councillor.

Stacey Rose, 19, has been elected unopposed to the Bay of Plenty regional council.

Stacey Rose is preparing to represent the people on the Bay of Plenty regional council. Photo: Supplied

He is one of five candidates for the council's Tauranga constituency who were elected unopposed.

And he's still getting used to the news and the fact that he'll be taking up a $60,000 salary along with the seat, although he already knows what he'll wear to dress for success.

"I hate suits," councillor-elect Stacey Rose said.

"They're all sitting there going, 'you gotta wear a suit', and I'm like, 'I don't want to wear a suit'.

"If I got it my way it would be dress shoes, no-show socks, rolled up jeans, white t-shirt and a dress jacket over top but I don't think I'm going to get it my way so it'll likely be nice shoes, a pair of black chinos, a white dress shirt with cardigan and a bow-tie."

He said he nominated himself because he wants to be a voice for those who don't have a voice - not just for young people, but for everyone.

High on his agenda is advocating for better, more efficient public transport - "because I don't drive" - addressing climate change and pushing for the region's biodiversity.

The Bay of Plenty regional council, along with a chorus of local authorities, has already declared a climate emergency, and Mr Rose says he wants to continue that urgency.

He also wants to protect the region's biodiversity.

"The Bay of Plenty actually has the only kauri trees that haven't been touched by kauri dieback, so I'm really keen to keep it that way, and also to allow the kauri tree to thrive and revitalise as well here in the Bay of Plenty."

Mr Rose says he has been involved in politics for six years, taking an interest in the Green Party, freshwater protection and Māori rights from a young age.

"I actually wanted to run for the Palmerston North City Council in 2016 but I couldn't because I was 16 going on 17, and I also wanted to run for the Green Party and the Rangitīkei electorate in 2017 but I couldn't because I missed the deadline day for the list by five days."

While he's preparing to represent the people, he says he didn't think he'd win the seat.

"My reaction was 'yay' for about five minutes, then, 'ah, okay, I'm in a bit of a pickle here', for the next three weeks."

"Dad was shocked, mum was happy 'cos I've been fighting for this for coming on six years now," he says.

He's pleased to be part of a group of young candidates running for councils this year.

"If you allow the older generation to run the country then you're not getting the fresh youth perspective from the other end of the spectrum."

"There were also reports from Local Government New Zealand stating there were more people over the age of 50 and with the first name of John than there were under the age of 40 and in local government- so it's actually about changing that and it's about making sure young people are represented as well, because we do have a voice and it's necessary to keep that voice active," Mr Rose says.