Wagner to defend Chch Central seat

MARGINAL: National's Nicky Wagner on 2011 election night.
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ
MARGINAL: National's Nicky Wagner on 2011 election night.

Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner wants another three years in the job.

Wagner was not expected to contest the seat as she declared it "unwinnable" after proposed electorate boundaries.

Today, she announced she would contest the seat at this year's election.

Wagner said she had the backing of Prime Minister John Key and National's Canterbury-Westland chairman Roger Bridge.

Wagner will officially declare her intentions during question time in Parliament this afternoon.

She said she was "energised and ready to go'' for another three years as the central city's MP.

"There is still a lot of work to do in Christchurch. The National-led Government has made a strong commitment to Christchurch and I am here on the ground to follow through on that commitment.''

She said she wanted to continue giving city residents "a strong voice in Parliament'' and believed now, more than ever, experienced representation was crucial as the city moved forward.

"Our issues here are complex. Christchurch needs spokespeople who have lived through the earthquakes, lived through the daily challenges and have governmental experience and local networks to keep people's cases moving,'' she said.

Bridge praised Wagner for her work in Christchurch, especially during its recovery phase. He also strongly suggested Wagner would be endorsed as the party's candidate.

"Nicky has worked incredibly hard for Christchurch on so many levels. She has really impressed with her dedication to seeing the job through and we certainly welcome her eagerness to embrace the rebuild task ahead and stand again for Christchurch Central.''

Wagner is in her third term as a Christchurch MP. She was list MP from 2005 to 2011 before claiming a 47-vote victory over Labour to ​win the seat at the last election.

The Press