Topics: Education, Elections, Politics

Tamati Coffey confirms interest in Waiariki seat

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Tamati Coffey, Labour member

Tamati Coffey hopes to stand again for the Labour Party at next year's elections, but this time in the Māori seat, Waiariki. Nominations within the party closed yesterday. The party has yet to formally accept his nomination but Coffey says the challenge has been set.

Coffey is no stranger to politics.

“For the last two years, I've had Waiariki voters come to me and tell me you stood in the wrong seat last time we wanted to vote for you but you weren't there.”

In 2014, Coffey stood for the general Rotorua seat and came second to National's Todd McClay. Coffey says he will run a very clear, positive and modern campaign.

“One of the things that I have been disappointed with when it comes to the Māori party is when they worked with the National party to sell off state houses at a time where we are facing a housing crisis.”

Te Ururoa Flavell won the Waiariki seat by nearly 4000 votes. Coffey admits the seat is hugely important for the Māori Party.

“It's got strategic importance this seat for the Māori party, Te Ururoa says it quite openly if they lose the Waiariki seat that's the end of the Māori party so it's a big thing, it's a really big thing but that's politics for you.”

The Labour Party has yet to confirm Coffey's nomination.