Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Coffey says he can beat Flavell (+video)

3 comments

Tamati Coffey believes with the Labour Party behind him he can win the Waiariki electorate seat off the co-leader of the Maori Party at next year's general election.

Mr Coffey was the only person nominated to represent Labour and take on Te Ururoa Flavell, but still needs to go through a Labour Party confirmation process before he becomes its official candidate for Waiariki.

Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton confirmed Mr Coffey was the only nominee and that he would not need to go through a candidate selection process.

He said local party members would still need to endorse Mr Coffey's nomination at an upcoming meeting.

"Technically it is not yet a done deal, we have got to respect the process and let the local party members decide as it's their decision," Mr Kirton said.

Mr Coffey said he decided to have a go for the Waiariki seat after "a very long process of consultation with my friends, with my family, with my wider family, and my supporters as well".

He lost to Rotorua MP Todd McClay in the 2014 general election.

"After the last election one of the big pieces of feedback I got was that I stood in the wrong seat.

"Since that point I've been thinking about potentially making the move over to the Waiariki seat."

He said he felt "a little bit disappointed with the performance of the Maori Party" and said the Labour Party offered a change of government.

"There are a lot of disappointed Maori Party voters out there that are still quite disappointed that National and the Maori Party still sit at the same table.

"They have been there to prop the National Government up.

"People know me now, I'm a trustworthy person . . . and hopefully if I get there, I will be able to sort some of these problems out."

He said in the last election Labour's Waiariki candidate Rawiri Waititi and Mana's Annette Sykes had enough votes between them to beat Mr Flavell.

"It was a strong signal to our party that this seat is doable, it is winnable, Labour has held it in the past and we can win it again.

"If we work strategically . . . it is a highly winnable seat.

"We just need a really strong candidate and a really focused campaign."

Mr Flavell released a short statement regarding Mr Coffey's nomination.

"I commend Tamati for putting his name forward to run for Parliament a second time and wish him the best.

"However, my focus right now is continuing to work tirelessly for our people in the Waiariki electorate and the nation as a whole."

Mr Flavell said he would not comment any further regarding Mr Coffey's claims.

Mr Waititi, who was the Labour Party candidate for Waiariki in the past election, coming second to Mr Flavell, recently switched his allegiance to the Maori Party, saying at the time he wanted Maori to unite under one banner and work harder for Maori as a whole.

Meanwhile, nominations for Labour's general electorate seats opened yesterday and close at 5pm on December 6.

Waiariki electorate results 2014

Candidate vote:
- Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party): 9726
- Rawiri Waititi (Labour Party): 5837
- Annette Sykes (Internet Mana): 5482
- Pat Spellman (NZ Independent Coalition): 301

Party vote:
- Labour Party: 8595
- Maori Party: 4880
- NZ First: 2809
- Internet Mana: 2524
- Green Party: 1787
- National Party: 1120
(Top six listed only)

- Rotorua Daily Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 10 Dec 2016 05:13:39 Processing Time: 1405ms