One Question Quiz
Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

PoliticsMarch 13, 2023

Fine, I will fight Chlöe Swarbrick

Image: Tina Tiller
Image: Tina Tiller

The MP challenged Madeleine Chapman to a ‘one outs’ two years ago. The Spinoff editor gladly accepts.

Chlöe Swarbrick is looking for a fight. The Auckland Central MP’s team has been asking seemingly every female political reporter in the country to step into the ring for Fight for Life but no one will take up the challenge.

Claire Trevett asked Swarbrick if she would ever participate in the charity boxing event and Swarbrick said yes, but no one would agree to fight her. Trevett reported: “It’s understood Swarbrick’s preferred partner was Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan, while others approached to tackle Swarbrick included broadcast journalists Tova O’Brien and Jessica Mutch-McKay. All declined.”

Of course they all declined! Each of those women is about 10 years older than Swarbrick and none, as far as I know, has any recent experience in fighting or general athletic competition. As far as build goes, none match well with Swarbrick. If she hadn’t just had a baby, Jenna Lynch would be a good match up from the press gallery. But outside of all of that, I will fight Chlöe Swarbrick if she wants to fight someone so badly.

(Note: I don’t believe any politician actually wants to take part in Fight for Life, but it’s an easy win to challenge people who you know won’t be a fair fight so you can then say that no one wants to fight you.)

I will fight Swarbrick not because I am ready to fight anyone (and six weeks is not even close to enough time to go from my current shape to a fighting shape) but because Swarbrick already challenged me. In November 2020 while extremely sleep deprived, I made a meme. Just a silly little meme, about which politicians I thought I could beat in a fight and which ones I thought would beat me.

The meme led to a lot of discoveries – most notably, that Paul Goldsmith is a 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do. It also angered some who believed they had been underestimated. Swarbrick, who I had placed broadly in the “fair fight” region, was particularly miffed. “Madeleine,” she wrote, “I have seven years of karate and two years of Muay Thai exp. One outs.” Firstly, it is very funny to me when someone lists their fitness credentials. Secondly, either Swarbrick has added six months of muay thai experience in the past two years or she has started to inflate her fighting history. Thirdly, saying “one outs” is absolutely a challenge. So I accepted. “Fight for Life 2021” is what I responded with, only to be met with seven years of silence.

And now here we are and Swarbrick claims no one will fight her. So I will. Would it be a fair fight? Honestly, I have no idea. I am taller than her (I think) and probably 20kg heavier. If I were fit I would back myself confidently, but I am not and Swarbrick appears to be reasonably healthy. We are also exactly the same age and it’s always good to fight people your own age. But we can’t forget her seven years of karate and 2-2.5 years of muay thai experience whereas I have taken exactly two Les Mills boxing classes in my life. Luckily for both of us, the card for Fight for Life 2023 is already locked so all of these challenges are just posturing. But Swarbrick intends to be in parliament next year too. I don’t doubt that she would know how to fight and I am certain she would take it seriously. I have a habit of being “too intense” when it comes to physical challenges so at the very least, if we fought it would not be a half-hearted affair.

Why not make this official?

Fight for Life 2024: Chlöe Swarbrick vs Madeleine Chapman.

Keep going!