Deon Swiggs

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Deon Swiggs
Deon Swiggs in Council Chamber.jpg
Swiggs in Christchurch City Council chamber
Councillor for the Central Ward
In office
8 October 2016 – present
Preceded byWard established
Personal details
Born (1986-09-06) 6 September 1986 (age 32)
Nelson, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyLabour Party (until early 2016)
Deon Swiggs at AMI Stadium

Deon William Swiggs (born 6 September 1986, Nelson, New Zealand) is the Christchurch City Councillor representing the Central ward. Prior to Swiggs being elected, he was most well known for his participation in Rebuild Christchurch, an organisation founded after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake.


Deon Swiggs meets Prince Charles in Christchurch

Swiggs was born in Nelson, New Zealand and is the oldest of 3 siblings. Until Swiggs was 5, he was raised at Parihaka Pa as a Christian. Swiggs was educated at Marlborough Boys' College where he was a sixth form prefect. After graduating in 2004, Swiggs joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2005 as a navigation officer. Swiggs left the Navy in 2008 to pursue a career in the business sector.[1] In 2008, Swiggs worked as a real estate agent for Harcourts in New Plymouth before transferring to Christchurch in 2009. He left the company in 2010 to form Swiggs Consulting Limited. Later in 2010, Swiggs was offered the position of South Island Accounts Manager at AdzUp.[1]

At the time of the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, Swiggs was working for AdzUp, two days later he founded Rebuild Christchurch, which collated information from a variety of sources and placed this information in an easy to understand format. Swiggs has been called one of the innovate new entrepreneurs born out of the Christchurch earthquakes.[2] On 22 February 2011, Swiggs was in the AdzUp office located in the Christchurch CBD when the first earthquake struck,[3] he left the building he was in, and helped other people with the aftermath of the earthquake.[citation needed]

In April 2011, Swiggs was made redundant from AdzUp due to the earthquakes. From this time, Swiggs worked full-time on and studied on the side.[4] In 2012, Swiggs was nominated for Young New Zealander of the Year.[5] and was named alongside Roger Sutton and Bob Parker as a leader in the Canterbury Rebuild.

Swiggs was accepted into a placement at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology in February 2013 into a Bachelor of Applied Management. In March 2013, Swiggs Graduated from CPIT with Bachelor of Applied Management Majoring in Sales and Marketing [6] and Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.[7] The Press reported on 27 April 2013 that Swiggs was contemplating running for Councillor of the Christchurch City Council.[8]

On 26 August 2013, Swiggs announced he had put his nomination forward for the Christchurch East by-election.[9] On 22 September 2013 Swiggs found his nomination was unsuccessful. Poto Williams was selected and elected Member of Parliament.[10]

In July 2015, Swiggs and Christchurch broadcaster Chris Lynch along with award-winning film maker Gerard Smyth spent a week interviewing various citizens of Christchurch about their views on the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Act draft transition recovery plan, which expired in April 2016. As of 28 July, the video has been watched more than 30,000 times.[11]


Presently, Swiggs is the chair of The Rebuild Build Christchurch Foundation, director of Rebuild Christchurch, and a founding trustee on the Canterbury Insurance Advocacy Service funded by council to advocate for people with insurance issues.[12]

On 31 May 2016, Swiggs announced that he would stand for Christchurch City Council as an independent in the newly created Christchurch Central ward in the 2016 local body elections. On 8 October 2016, he was elected to the council.[13][14]


Swiggs has worked on the following projects;

  • Project Christmas[15][16]
  • Lets Get It Done[17]
  • Football in the Gap[18]
  • The Canterbury Insurance Assistance Service[19]
  • Buck Brings Back Marmite[20]
  • A Beautiful Struggle[21]
  • Christchurch Panoramas[22][23]
  • Eyes East [24]

Personal life[edit]

Swiggs is the first openly out Christchurch councilor who supports the LGBTIQ generously. [25]


  • Local Hero Award in New Zealander of the Year Awards [26]
  • Christchurch City Council Service Award for Youth [26]
  • Community Service Award [27]


  1. ^ a b Swiggs, Deon. "Deon Swiggs: About". Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Entrepreneurs emerge from Chch quake". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  3. ^ "New Zealand earthquake: Hard to move on when ground keeps moving". Los Angeles Times. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Entrepreneurs emerge from Chch quake – Story – NZ News". 3 News. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  5. ^ "CPIT Student in the Business of Recovery". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Student numbers up in line with rebuild – Story – NZ News". The Press. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Student numbers up in line with rebuild – Story – NZ News". The Press. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  8. ^ "The Press Campaigners set their sights on council seats". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  9. ^ Rachel Young. "Deon Swiggs To Stand for Dalziel's Christchurch..." Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Poto Williams selected as Labour Christchurch East Candidate". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  11. ^ MEIER, CECILE. "'Huge wave of support' for locally-led recovery". The Press. Fairfax Media.
  12. ^ "Canterbury Insurance Advocacy Service". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Rebuild Christchurch founder Deon Swiggs standing for council". The Press. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Struggling Families Given A Boost". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Stuff | Bus Makes Special Deliveries". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Stuff | Getting it Done". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Rebuild Christchurch | Football in the Gap". Rebuild Christchurch. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  19. ^ "Fairfax". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Sanitarium | Buck Brings Back Marmite". Sanitarium. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Newstalk ZB". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  22. ^ "New pics illustrate change in Christchurch's cityscape". The New Zealand Herald.
  23. ^ "The Press".
  24. ^ "The Press".
  25. ^ " Chch elects openly gay councillor, Deon Swiggs". 23 April 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  26. ^ a b "CPIT student in the business of recovery". CPIT News. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Awards for those who donate their time". The Press. Retrieved 2 December 2013.