Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Coffey tight-lipped about election options

Tamati Coffey is not saying if, or where, he will run for election to Parliament.
Tamati Coffey is not saying if, or where, he will run for election to Parliament.

Rotorua Labour Party spokesman Tamati Coffey is staying tight-lipped about his national political aspirations, but has declared he will not be standing in October's local government elections.

Rumours have been swirling that Mr Coffey will run in the Waiariki electorate in next year's national elections after running in the Rotorua electorate in the 2014 election.

On TVNZ's Marae programme on Sunday, veteran broadcaster and former politician Willie Jackson said he believed Mr Coffey would run against Te Ururoa Flavell for the Maori seat.

During a debate about using Maori names to promote alcoholic drinks Mr Jackson said: "Tamati's got political aspirations, he stood at the last election and I believe he is looking at the Maori seat down there - Waiariki".

Controversial blogger Cameron Slater has stated at least three times recently that Mr Coffey will run in Waiariki.

On Saturday he said Mr Coffey was the "wannabe candidate for the Maori seat of Waiariki" and earlier this month said "Tamati Coffey has been busy over the last week getting ready to jump to the Waiariki Electorate (a Maori seat)".

But, Mr Coffey told the Rotorua Daily Post there was plenty of time for him and the party to come to a decision.

"Let's start by saying that I can confirm that I'm not standing for Rotorua Lakes Council, but that I will be supporting progressive candidates with enthusiasm and vision for our city and its people.

"Secondly, I've made no decisions about 2017 yet. There's still a little time for me to decide."

He said he would not make any further comment until he had made his final decision on whether or not to run for Parliament, or where.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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