Deon Swiggs left school in 2004 and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a navigation officer. This experience has helped Deon to grow as a person to understand the high degree of importance communications play when dealing with both operational logistics and disaster related recovery
Deon left the navy in 2008 to take up roles in business. When the September 2010 earthquake hit, Deon was both studying and managing an advertising company with interests in many commercial businesses in the CBD of Christchurch and the stadium. After the earthquake Deon saw a need that people were desperately seeking information about what had just happened. While others grabbed shovels Deon grabbed his laptop and began collating information from a variety of sources and placed this information in an easy to understand format that became the Rebuild Christchurch website www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz
Deon worked tirelessly to set up relationships with people who were providing the information and when the Earthquake of February 2011 hit these relationships would have proven to be crucial for the people of Christchurch for gathering information to what became a very large scale disaster. The platform is ever evolving as an ongoing recovery tool which now reaches on average 5000 people a day.
Following on from the continued success of the website in August 2011 the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation was launched. The goal was to take the relationships and the key skills learnt online, offline. By using grass roots social communication we were able to match the needs of people and the skills of volunteers to directly assist people on the ground and support thousands of hours of community volunteer service.
Deon and his teams philosophy is one of ‘grass roots’; not focusing on bureaucracy, but by simply getting out there and getting it done. People are the key to recovery.
Deon was born in Nelson in 1986 and was bought up till Primary school at Parihaka Pa in Taranaki. It is here where Deon credits his develpment of his values which have led him to build and maintain Rebuild Christchurch for the better of the people in the city.
To download a full CV please follow this link (PDF 527kb)
In September 2013 I sought selection to be the member of Parliament representing Christchurch East. Although I didn’t get the selection I learnt alot and am fully behind the candidate selected. A view of my selection material here
Timeline of work History:
September 2013 – Sought selection as Christchurch East MP
July 2013 – Awarded as a runner up as Young New Zealander of the Year 2013.
July 2013 – Rebuild Christchurch Foundation awarded in Community of the Year category in New Zealander of the Year Awards
March 2013 – Graduated from CPIT with Bachelor of Applied Management Majoring in Sales and Marketing (top of business school) and Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
July 2013 – Rebuild Christchurch Foundation members awarded a Volunteer Recognition award by Volunteer Canterbury.
August 2012 – Offered 6 month contract to work with CERA comms around the CCDU Blueprint launch.
June 2012 – Awarded a youth community service award to the city by the Christchurch City Council
March 2012 – Awarded Christchurch Local Hero award in the New Zealander of The Year awards
August 2011 – Founded and set up Rebuild Christchurch Foundation
April 2011, Contract made redundant from AdzUp due to major Earthquake in February 2011 and decided to dedicate to work full-time on RebuildChristchurch.co.nz and studied on the side.
18 February 2011 – started study for a Bachelor degree at CPIT
September 2010 – two days after the 7.1 Darfield earthquake founded Rebuild Christchurch, which collated information from a variety of sources and placed this information in an easy to understand format.
April 2010 – was offered the contract as South Island Accounts Manager at AdzUp.
January 2010 – Left Real Estate to form Swiggs Consulting Limited.
October 2008, started as Real Estate agent for Harcourts in New Plymouth before transferring to Christchurch in 2009.
January 2005 – Joined Royal New Zealand Navy Officer Training as a General List Executive Officer