Election 2023: ACT deputy leader Brooke van Velden to challenge National MP Simon O'Connor for Tamaki seat

The ACT Party is boldly taking its fight for votes into the heart of National territory - Tamaki, in east Auckland.

Deputy leader Brooke van Velden has announced she'll stand against Simon O'Connor in a battle for the electorate vote.

Hot on the heels of their victory at the last election, ACT is looking to go one better. It has only ever occupied a solitary electorate seat - Epsom - currently held by its leader David Seymour.

But they're hoping to double that number to two by taking the fight to the neighbouring blue seat that takes in Auckland's Eastern Bays.

"Let me tell you a bit about Brooke van Velden, I believe that come October she will be the MP for Tamaki," Seymour said on Saturday.

Van Velden intends on targeting longstanding issues around housing intensification and sewerage and injecting fresh new ideas.

"I want to make sure that this beautiful part of Auckland feels represented and gets the genuine representation they deserve," she said.

Van Velden also claimed incumbent Simon O'Connor's conservative views on social issues such as abortion were not shared by those in the electorate.

"People want someone that does believe people have choice and should have choice over their bodies," she explained.

O'Connor was forced to apologise last year for a social media post that celebrated the US Supreme Court's overturning of the abortion law Roe v Wade.

Despite disagreeing with O'Connor's comments at the time, National leader Christopher Luxon stood behind his MP today.

"He's been advocating for the electorate, he's been doing all the constituency work very well over many years so it'll be a good contest but I'm very confident he will win," Luxon said.

O'Connor too, feels confident about retaining the seat.

"I think it's more what Brooke should be feeling about standing against me. National has run very successful campaigns, party, electorate vote there, in fact some of the best results in the country so I've very relaxed," he said.

Relaxed, because last time his majority was 8000 votes. But it's still a long time until the election.