“While an incumbent Government has never won a by-election in a seat it does not already hold, the National family are united behind Matthew as he accepts the challenge to wrest a seat which Labour has held since 1922,” says National Party Regional Chair Roger Bridge.
“Matthew Doocey is a fresh new face to the political landscape in Christchurch, and one of two nominees interviewed for the candidacy. We’re delighted to have him aboard.”
Matthew Doocey says he is proud to have won selection to contest the by-election on behalf of National.
“It’s going to be a big challenge up against the Labour machine in East Christchurch. Of course Lianne Dalziel is a household name there and Labour will be desperate to hold on to the seat.
“But I believe Christchurch East needs a constructive voice inside John Key’s National-led Government. It’s an electorate with huge opportunities and big decisions to make as it works its way through the recovery and beyond.
“Jobs, growth, education and healthcare are the bread and butter issues. I think the public appreciate the fact that National has held steady despite the distractions and side-tracks that appear to pre-occupy the other side.
Matthew Doocey (41) is married to Hungarian-born wife Viktoria. They have lived in Redwood since returning to Christchurch from the UK earlier this year. He works at the Canterbury District Health Board as a manager in its surgical division.
He went to St Bedes college, then studied counselling psychology at WelTec (Wellington). He has a Bsc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MA in Healthcare Management from Kingston University in London, and an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck University in London. He is also studying towards a Doctorate in Health by distance at Bath University in the UK.
Matthew Doocey has a long career in healthcare management including in the delivery of community mental health and social care services both in voluntary, and Government settings. He has worked extensively in the voluntary and community sector, including for Youthline NZ.
“Christchurch is my home town. My closest family are here. When I heard about the quakes I really wanted to come home to the city I grew up in and give something back.
“Christchurch East was characterised by strength and resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Now we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the community even stronger and I want to be part of that.”
The Green Party is contesting the seat which will split the anti-government vote to some extent and a new candidate won’t have the personal following that the retiring MP Lianne Dalziel had.
But Christchurch East is a dark red seat and even a strong National candidate like this one faces a huge task in contesting it.