Will the Deon Swiggs scandal affect how people vote?

Cr Deon Swiggs was a no-show at Tuesday's council meeting. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Cr Deon Swiggs was a no-show at Tuesday's council meeting. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Voters appear split over whether they will back under siege city councillor Deon Swiggs in the local body elections.

The Star asked people in the Central Ward on Wednesday if the controversy over the 33-year-old had put them off voting for him.

Of those surveyed, 50 per cent said they would not vote for him because of the allegations; 30 per cent said they would still vote for him, and 20 per cent were unsure because the allegations were still under investigation.

Cr Swiggs became the Central Ward councillor in 2016 with a 449 vote majority over The People’s Choice Vicki Tahu-Paton.

Phillipstown resident Sue Porteous said the allegations against Cr Swiggs had come as a surprise, and had impacted her view of him.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I know it’s all alleged at the moment but it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” she said.

Judi Walsh of Linwood said she was sceptical of the timing of allegations getting into the public arena so close to the election. She would be voting for Cr Swiggs.

Retired High Court judge John Matthews, who has been engaged by the city council, is doing a preliminary assessment to decide if a full investigation is warranted. It  will be completed before the election and could be as early as next week.

It was revealed on Friday a youth group made a formal complaint earlier this month on behalf of three teenagers, including a 13-year-old who alleges Cr Swiggsgave him unwanted hugs and called him a “very attractive lad.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. Photo: Getty Images
It was then revealed Mayor Lianne Dalziel had been told in May, but apart from informing Ms Richardson had not told other city councillors.

The Star also canvassed people across Christchurch to gauge whether the scandal would impact on Lianne Dalziel’s bid for a third term as mayor.

Just over 62 per cent of people in the Hornby area surveyed said Ms Dalziel would get their vote.

David Esson said he liked what Ms Dalziel had achieved and would vote for her again. He didn’t think the investigation into Cr Swiggs would impact on the mayoral vote.

“It doesn’t have an effect on my vote at all. I still want her to stay in a bit longer,” he said.

Twenty-five per cent of people surveyed would vote for Darryll Park.

David Shaw said Mr Park’s plan to slash rates would get his vote.

Just over 12 per cent would vote for John Minto.

In Merivale, 55 per cent surveyed are voting for Lianne Dalziel, 33 per cent for Mr Park and just over 11 per cent for Mr Minto. The others were unsure.

Annabel Jacobs doesn’t have a strong interest in politics, but Ms Dalziel seemed to be doing a good job.

But Sandy Mason said it was time for a change and she wanted to see what Mr Park could do for the city.

In Papanui, half of the people surveyed were giving Ms Dalziel their vote.

Kathy Matheson of Redwood said: “Lianne is great and she hasn’t done anything wrong in my view.”

Thirty per cent gave Mr Park the nod and again rates were a big part of their reasoning. Twenty per cent were supporting Mr Minto.

Northwood resident Benjamin Ashby is voting for Mr Minto because he would bring change.

In Linwood, 62.5 per cent are in favour of Ms Dalziel, 25 per cent Mr Park and 12.5 per cent Mr Minto, while 50 per cent of those surveyed in Riccarton favoured Ms Dalziel, compared to 25 per cent for both Mr Park and Mr Minto.

 

 

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