Moving forward Together
Nelson City Council

About Aaron

As an eighth-generation Nelsonian, I am committed to advancing the city that I know and love. We enjoy a unique lifestyle, with a wonderful climate, vibrant creative community, and easy access to beaches, rivers, ocean, and mountains. Having enjoyed all that Whakatū Nelson has to offer, I’m standing for Council to give back to the community, to use my skills and experience to help shape a better future for all of us.

During my primary school years I lived in a state house in the Brook Valley, in a solo-mother household with my two sisters. I played representative hockey and learnt a lot from growing up in a household under conditions of material hardship.

I was fortunate to attend university and found that I loved geology. I completed BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Canterbury, took a year out to travel in the UK, Europe, and North Africa, and then undertook a PhD degree in Australia. At this time, I married and started a family. This was followed by a two-year research position in Japan and a three-year research position at the University of Canterbury, along with lecturing work.

In 2006 I established Stallard Scientific Editing, providing scientific editing services to clients in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. The business has grown steadily over time, employs around thirty staff, and brings foreign earnings into the Whakatū Nelson economy.

In recent years I’ve become increasingly involved in community groups such as Zero Carbon Nelson Tasman and Save the Maitai, and have pursued my own projects such as developing a climate change explainer website and giving talks on the subject. In the 2020 general election I stood as the Green Party candidate in Nelson.

As a geologist I understand the long-term context and science of climate change and the need to transform our systems of transport, energy and food production. The next Council term will be a time of great change, and more than ever we need Councillors who understand the complexities of the path ahead, communicate well and engage with the community, and are prepared to lead and to make positive change. This is my pledge to the people of Whakatū Nelson.

"As a service exporter and employer I am well aware of the issues facing local businesses."
Skills and Experience
I established a scientific editing business that serves clients worldwide, employing around 30 staff. As a service exporter and employer I am well aware of the issues facing local businesses.
I have a PhD in geology and have undertaken research in Japan, Australia, Canada, the USA and New Zealand. I have a sound understanding of the science and politics of climate change.
I volunteer at the Nelson Community Foodbank and planting events, support wildlife groups, and am a member of the Nelson Film Society and the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum.
I have been active in advocacy work via community groups and organisations such as Save the Maitai, Zero Carbon Nelson Tasman, the early stages of the Extinction Rebellion movement, and the Stop the Coal Monster campaign.
I grew up in Whakatū Nelson and have raised my own family here. I know the city, the land, the rivers and lakes, the people, and the issues that are most important to the community.
I am an eighth generation Nelsonian and have raised three children in this wonderful city with all that entails, including sports, music, education, events, and the great outdoors.
"The next Council term will be a time of great change, and more than ever we need Councillors who understand the complexities of the path ahead."
Key issues
A vibrant city centre
I’m passionate about transforming and revitalizing the central city with a focus on people! That means people living in the central city in mid-rise apartments and the city being an attractive place for people to visit, eat, and shop. I will advocate for more people-friendly open spaces in the central city and to prioritise people over cars.

Getting around
A priority for Whakatū Nelson is a rapid transition to a low carbon transport system, where public transport, cycling, and walking are the most attractive options for people to move around. The benefits of this transition are many: reduced road congestion, reduced emissions, improved physical and mental wellbeing, reduced noise and air pollution, greater safety, and reduced transport costs.
Community wellbeing
Our community faces challenges in housing, low wages, and food price inflation. As a Councillor I will work with community groups, businesses, and central government to overcome these problems, as well as to provide the support services, events, and infrastructure that enable all people to come together and thrive.
Iwi partnership
Council can play a key role in upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and establishing a genuine partnership with iwi based on respect and understanding. The Maori ward is the first step in helping iwi to build capacity, strengthening ties between Council and iwi, and having greater iwi involvement in planning and decision-making.
Healthy nature
I support positive change that enables nature to recover and thrive. My priority will be the wellbeing of the Maitai River, ensuring the catchment is covered in indigenous forest and not pine or livestock, that we protect the peaceful open spaces of the lower Maitai Valley for current and future generations, and that a healthy river flows into Nelson Haven and Tasman Bay/Te Tai-o-Aorere.
Climate Change
As a geologist and father I am motivated to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon world to tackle the climate crisis. I am active with the Zero Carbon Nelson Tasman group and developed a website that explains climate change to a general audience. I will work tirelessly to ensure that every Council decision takes us closer to our climate goals.
As a Councillor I’ll advocate for intensification and the construction of central city apartments, providing more housing options, the opportunity to live without needing a car, and reducing the pressure on our valuable recreation areas such as the Maitai Valley.

Thriving economy
The economic wellbeing of Whakatū Nelson depends on revitalization of the city centre and having more people living in, and visiting the urban area. The transition to a low-carbon economy and the planned science precinct present opportunities for the city. As a business owner, I’m committed to working with the business community to create an environment that attracts businesses and workers to the region.
"As a geologist and father I am motivated to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon world to tackle the climate crisis."
In the media
Geologist: If people understood the problems we face they would change right now
Nelson geologist Dr Aaron Stallard is used to working with the long time scales that have shaped the planet. But lately he's been preoccupied with a more immediate problem: our future.
Nelson Mail 10 January 2020
Maitahi development opponents call for council to reject plan change request
Save the Maitai spokesman Dr Aaron Stallard said, in a statement, there were grounds to reject the request for a private plan change.
Nelson Mail 21 September 2021
Kākā Valley: The opponents
“The things we will lose forever are the unique qualities of the valley,” Stallard says.
Nelson Mail 12 June 2021
Mayor's 'bizarre' letter not complaint but 'invitation' for housing collaboration
Dr Aaron Stallard says a letter raising his conduct as a spokesman for Save the Maitai with the Green Party co-leaders is “bizarre and undemocratic”.
Nelson Mail 7 August 2021
Save the Maitai group lodges Ombudsman complaint
Save the Maitai spokesman Dr Aaron Stallard said the group believed the official complaint was necessary in the face of the council’s response so far.
Nelson Mail 8 March 2021
Council urged to re-consider 'high risk' riverside development
In the meeting’s public forum, geologist Dr Aaron Stallard said there was a “real risk” the precinct would be permanently under water within 80 years.
Nelson Mail 14 August 2020
Legal concerns raised with Nelson council over library development
ZCNT spokesman Dr Aaron Stallard said the group’s concerns were linked to the flood-risk of the area, which he said the council was “well aware” of...
Nelson Mail 23 August 2021
Library decision commits city to millions in flood defences, lobbyists say
Spokesman, geologist Aaron Stallard, said there was too much uncertainty about the flood risks at the site to “rush ahead” with the proposal. Combined river flood and coastal inundation modelling...
Nelson Mail 5 March 2021
Thousands back call to save Nikau House in Nelson
A petition to save Nikau House has gathered more than 2200 signatures since it was launched by a woman whose sister has used the service on a weekly basis for the last 10 years.
Nelson Mail 18 June 2020
It’s time to stop the coal monster
A group of concerned citizens is calling on Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council to work with central government and industry to end coal use in Nelson Tasman by 2025.
Nelson Mail 24 June 2021
Petition calls for end to coal power in Nelson
Dr Aaron Stallard and Dr Joost van Rens spoke on behalf of the campaign group, calling for both the Nelson City and Tasman District councils to stop the burning of coal in their areas.
Nelson Mail 4 November 2021
Call to ban industrial coal use in Nelson
Stop the Coal Monster group spokesman Aaron Stallard said it wants to see no new consents issued for coal use, and existing consents ended by 2025.
RNZ 6 November 2021 (Full article...)
Ombudsman partially upholds complaint against council
The Chief Ombudsman has partially upheld complaints about Nelson City Council’s consultation process for the Future Development Strategy
Nelson Mail 21 June 2022
Save the Maitai group renews call to halt housing plan after floods
Save the Maitai spokesperson Dr Aaron Stallard says continuing with plans to build on “a flood-prone river flat would be irresponsible”.
Nelson Mail 26 August 2022
Aaron Stallard standing for Nelson City Council
Geologist, climate activist and Save the Maitai spokesperson Dr Aaron Stallard is vying for a seat on the Nelson City Council.
Nelson Mail 7 June 2022
Ombudsman finds 'shortcomings' in Nelson development consultation
Part of the Nelson City Council's consultation on a controversial housing development in the Maitai Valley has been labelled as unreasonable by the Chief Ombudsman.
Radio New Zealand 19 June 2022
Liquefaction threat 'final straw' for library's river site, climate group says
Geologist Dr Aaron Stallard said the report found liquefaction...was likely to be triggered at the site during moderate to strong shaking.
Nelson Mail 29 August 2022
Tilda Publishing
"As an eighth-generation Nelsonian, I am committed to advancing the city that I know and love."
Let's Vote!
Key dates
Please vote, and encourage your friends and whānau to vote!
8 October
16 September
12 August
16–21 September
30 June
Enrolment update packs sent to all enrolled voters

Enrolment closes for the printed electoral roll. You can still enroll for a period after this date by contacting Nelson’s Electoral Officer on 022 013 1588.

Voting documents delivered.

Voting begins.

Election day, voting closes at 12 noon and preliminary results are expected later in the day.
To enrol to vote or update your details, visit the website of the Electoral Commission.

Information on local elections in 2022 can be found at Vote NZ.
What's new for the 2022 election?
The wards are as follows:

Central Ward (four seats on Council) – all areas north of about Bishopdale Hill.

Stoke-Tāhunanui Ward (four seats on Council) – all areas south of about Bishopdale Hill.

Whakatū Māori Ward (one seat on Council) - the full Nelson area, for those on the Māori roll.

‘At large’ (three seats on Council) - the full Nelson area.

The mayoralty is contested over the full Nelson area.
In 2022 there are two changes to the local government elections in Whakatū Nelson: we will use wards for voting and the Single Transferable Voting system.

Ward system
In many parts of the country, Council territories are divided into wards, and candidates can choose which ward they stand in. Only people enrolled in that ward can vote for them. This year, a ward system will be used for the council elections in Whakatū Nelson.

The ward system is for the purpose of the election only. Once elected, all members of Council represent the entire community, regardless of the ward in which they stood.
How many votes will you have?

If you are on the general roll, you will have three votes:
  • Mayor
  • Ward councillors, either Central ward or Stoke-Tāhunanui ward depending on where you live (four seats to fill)
  • ‘At large’ councillors (four seats to fill)

If you are on the Māori roll, you will also have three votes:
  • Mayor
  • Māori ward councillor (one seat to fill)
  • ‘At large’ councillors (four seats to fill)
Nelson City Council have released the following videos to explain how the Single Transferable Voting system works, and how to vote.
"I’m standing for Council to give back to the community, to use my skills and experience to help shape a better future for all of us."
Contact Aaron
Mobile: 021 123 7099
I’m here to listen and engage.
Tell me of your ideas, aspirations, and challenges.
Let’s work together to promote the wellbeing of everyone in Whakatū Nelson.
Authorised by Aaron Stallard
Tilda Publishing