Tim Costley goes from Air Force rocker to National candidate for Ōtaki

Despite starring in an air force rock video that has clocked up almost a million views online, Tim Costley hopes his legacy lies not in music but in politics.

Costley, a former aide to Prince William, is National's candidate for Ōtaki.

The turn to politics comes after a 20-year career in the Air Force and follows an announcement last year that current National MP for Ōtaki, former Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy, would not be seeking reelection.

Costley admits that he didn't quite know the effect the video - which can be found on YouTube under the title "Jet Pilot music video" - would have.

"We didn't really understand social media back then - it wasn't really a thing in 2007," Costley told The AM Show on Tuesday. 

The spoof video was originally made to be seen by just a handful of mates, but after being posted online "it just took on this life of its own".

It was filmed while Costley was stationed in East Timor, he says.

"We ran an Academy Awards night for New Year's because there's not a lot else you can do, and so it kept everyone busy making movies during Christmas to try and keep people's minds off of back home - and that was my entry into the competition."

Despite the tongue-in-cheek video, which features sex jokes and sheep shagging references, Costley says he is serious about sharing what he learnt in the Air Force with the country through politics.

"I just think we need some good people in there. I've spent 20 years serving in the air force and now I just want to take the values, the skills, the experience that I've gained there and bring them to somewhere I can serve on a more national scale."

He admitted it would be tough for his family if he is elected, but no tougher than life in the Defence Force.

"We've never got to choose where we live until now so in some ways it brings stability. It will bring a lot of challenges as well," he said.

Costley said he considered himself a natural leader.

"I think I've found as I've gone through life that I've ended up in leadership roles, whether that's at work, whether that's working in the community."

Despite that, though, he dismissed claims he could be a party leader in the future.

"That's way ahead of where we are," he said.

"All I'm dreaming about right now is being able to serve as the MP for Ōtaki and working hard to make that happen."