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Deon Swiggs to challenge Dalziel seat

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 26/08/2013
Deon Swiggs
Iain McGregor

HARD AT WORK: Deon Swiggs pitched in to shovel silt in Shirley after the earthquakes.

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The East

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An advocate for people with insurance problems is eyeing up the seat left vacant by long-serving MP Lianne Dalziel.

Deon Swiggs is seeking the Labour Party's nomination in the Christchurch East by-election. Nominations for the by-election candidate opened earlier this month, and Swiggs - founder of the non-profit Rebuild Christchurch website - is the first person to officially seek the spot.

He has been a Labour supporter since he was 15 and said he made his decision after talking to eastern Christchurch residents about what they wanted from their MP.

"It is clear people want empathy, transparency, honesty, a willingness to listen and someone to stand up for them. These attributes are absolutely aligned with what I stand for and offer, and I believe I have a great deal to offer the Christchurch East electorate," he said.

Swiggs, 26, said he was committed to helping the residents with their problems and working hard for them.

Christchurch East Labour electorate committee chairman Andrew McKay said that as well as Swiggs, Ngai Tahu manager James Caygill had showed strong interest and there were three others who were likely to seek the spot.

Nominations for the National Party's candidate to contest the by-election open today.

National Party Canterbury Westland regional chairman Roger Bridge said the Christchurch East seat had been held by Labour since 1922 and he noted that a sitting government had never won a by-election in a seat it did not hold.

"We recognise history is not on our side, but never enter a contest aiming for second place."

Both parties' nominations close on September 4 with the successful candidate announced by the end of September.

The by-election will be held on November 30.

SELECTION

National and Labour are both seeking nominations for a candidate for the by-election. They will each hold their internal selection process to decide who that person will be. It is expected both parties will announce their candidate by the end of next month with the by-election to be held on November 30.

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- The Press

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