Labour's new Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey is "moving on" from the social media bullies who have called people who voted for him "abusers" and "oppressors".
He told Kawekōrero tonight, "Those people who have come out quite strongly online y'know I don't quite understand. Yes, they've felt passionate about their party, and obviously their party not being in Parliament any more, but at some point you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving."
Coffey is not a fluent speaker of te reo but did say he started his reo journey in 1999 and that neither of his parents spoke Māori. "It’s been a learning journey for me and I am still on it."
From Taranaki, Te Arawa and Te Aitanga a Hauiti, his job on the marae when he was working in kids TV was to look after the kids. "I graduated from that into the kitchen but just lately I’ve been pushed to the second row of the paepae."
Today was the first Labour caucus meeting. "All of the new MPs came into Parliament they asked me to do the whaikōrero and for the mihimihi today." He says it was "scary" and he just had a message from the whānau that he would have to brush up on his reo and tikanga.
Māori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell never took the lead once during election night and Tamati Coffey was ushered in by the voters with a majority of more than 1300.