Robert Lee
Robert Lee

RDRR-endorsed councillor candidate for Rotorua District Council 2022

I am a reluctant entrant into the political arena but am compelled to do so having lost confidence in this current Council. I have watched from the sidelines with increasing dismay since the current Mayor was elected in 2013, but have been “too busy” to do anything about it. I am a software developer, specialising in cloud-based database applications. I would much rather be working in that field than dealing with political matters.

However, the final straw for me was the $45 $61 million “Westbrook Sports Precinct” that the Council plans to build on the Springfield Golf Course. I was the founding president of Saving Springfield, which collected and presented to Council 5,017 unique hand-written signatures. In that capacity I co-chaired the Springfield Community Conversation in April 2021 at the Springfield Golf Club which was attended by the Mayor, six Councillors and about 170 members of the public.

I was born and bred in Springfield, a son of English immigrants who moved here in 1960. Our family have owned various businesses around town since. My wife and I have been married for over 25 years. Her parents are also English, though they immigrated to Australia. We have three children from primary to high school age. Our first home was a “doer-upper”, an old farm house we brought over from Te Puke that we moved to an empty section in Pukehangi.

Rotary afforded me a number of memorable opportunities to serve Rotorua’s youth including twice running a project in conjunction with the Territorial Army where we hosted a bus load of Year 10 students from the local high schools at an outdoor education camp in Tauranga for a long weekend. I also had the pleasure of mentoring a number Year 12 & 13 students from the local high schools to run a decent sized project called “Rotorua Has Talent”, a inter-high school talent quest for several years.

Apart from my “day job”, I have a broad range of experience including high-end hospitality in London, accounting, business administration, sales and marketing. I have also advocated for various worthy causes, both in and out of court. I lived in Auckland for five years and London for two and a half. As a younger man I was a keen cricketer. These days you’re more likely to find me hitting a golf ball amongst the beautiful mature trees on the Springfield Golf Course.

Recent articles by Robert:

Opinion – Where is the push for co-governance coming from in Rotorua?