You Read It Here First: Tamati Declares for Waiariki


Back in June,?we announced that Labour Rotorua spokesperson Tamati Coffey was seeking to switch electorates and stand in the Waiariki for the Maori seat against Maori Party co-leader and incumbent Te Ururoa Flavell. It seems the mainstream media have finally caught up and have officially broke the news: Coffey wants Waiariki seat.

Tamati Coffey has put his hand up to contest the Waiariki seat in next year’s general election.

Mr Coffey told the Rotorua Daily Post tonight he had put in his nomination to the Labour Party to be its candidate for the Waiariki Maori seat.

Tamati hasn’t got a hope in hell. From his silly comments to his partner abusing a journalist, his campaign is a travelling comedy festival. Te Ururoa Flavell will be chuffed. If anything this will protect the future of the Maori Party by keeping Flavell’s seat safe.

This is also interesting timing for an announcement. It is three days before the end of local body voting. Is this to smooth the way for an announcement come the weekend? Is Haydn Marriner going to use the publicity from his bid for Rotorua Lakes Council to announce his intention to run for the Rotorua electorate in Tamati’s place? We’ll have to wait and see who is set to take Tamati’s seat. Whoever it is has a lot of work to do. The electorate is deep in debt and has haemorrhaged members during Tamati’s time at the helm.

But none of that matters to Tamati. He’s off to reap havoc elsewhere. Let’s just remind him his own thoughts on throwing money at a lost cause (in this case his political career):


The only person happy about these developments is Todd McClay, who has seen off another Labour failure. Still, he is going to have to explain these comments he made when he first was announced as the candidate to unseat Todd McClay.

“It has always been Labour, I’ve never been a National Party supporter,” he said. “For me I think it’s very much a two-horse race, it’s Labour or National. Sure you can opt for one of the smaller parties, and I do like the Greens, I do like some of the stuff the Maori Party is doing, but Labour is me.”

So if the Maori Party is so good, why is Tamati now standing against their co-leader?

“Labour is that party, and I’m gay so Labour is definitely the party that best represents me.”

Not sure that is going to go down well amongst Waiariki voters.