Tāmati Coffey will defend his Waiariki seat against at least two challengers in the 2020 election.

The Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi and Vision NZ Party leader Hannah Tamaki will also vie for the Māori electorate seat, which covers Rotorua, Taupō, Edgecumbe and Tauranga.

Waititi, who ran for the seat in 2011 for Labour, confirmed his candidacy in February. Tamaki announced her bid in Rotorua on Wednesday.

In 2017, Labour's Coffey won the seat from Māori Party stalwart Te Ururoa Flavell, with a margin of 1719.


More candidates may emerge as the deadline for candidate confirmation with the Electoral Commission is August 21.

Tāmati Coffey, current MP for Waiariki, Labour

This Government has walked the talk in regards to revitalising [Waiariki] and strengthening our whānau. From investing in iwi [and] community-led projects that create jobs, to more houses to deal with our housing crisis and free lunches in schools, I have proudly ensured Waiariki gets its fair share. We have more to do, and so do I. I'm asking Māori to honour me again with their vote, so I can continue to serve our people and build on what we've started.

Labour Party MP for Waiariki, Tāmati Coffey. Photo / File
Labour Party MP for Waiariki, Tāmati Coffey. Photo / File

Getting our whānau and local businesses back on their feet post-Covid-19 is my number one priority.

As part of a Government with a strong recovery plan, I am meeting with our community and advocating hard to ensure we create local jobs for locals, boost the role of our Māori economy in our region's recovery, and give our rangatahi a chance at a better future.

The pandemic has highlighted for all of us the true levels of inequity that exist in our region, in terms of access to education to get better jobs, and the need to improve the intergenerational wellbeing of our whānau to achieve better health outcomes – especially for Māori and struggling families.

I'm committed to addressing these kaupapa for our people, and to tackle racism by growing understanding within our community.

Hannah Tamaki, Vision NZ

I have a vested interest in the beautiful district of Waiariki - I whakapapa back to this area as Ngāti Pikiao, and my years of mahi here within the community and through Man Up, Legacy and Youth Nation speaks for me.

Vision NZ Party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / File
Vision NZ Party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / File

There are historic issues [in Waiariki] that demand solutions, like family breakdown, homelessness and unemployment but those have now been compounded by the post-Covid climate.


Vision New Zealand brings innovative social and economic solutions for Waiariki but most of all, I will action what I say and not just words and that is the solution.

[I hope to] bring hope and integrity back into the position that is entrusted to me by the people. That is what democracy is.

Rawiri Waititi, Māori Party

Māori Party Waiariki candidate Rawiri Waititi. Photo / Supplied
Māori Party Waiariki candidate Rawiri Waititi. Photo / Supplied

Waititi's response to questions were not included in a Waiariki candidates' profile last week due to an inadvertent error.

"Waiariki currently has a Labour voice but it deserves to have a Māori voice. A Māori voice that, without a doubt, will always represent us and fights for us.

"Our Whanau First policy will see 25 per cent of the post-Covid budget targeted to Māori. For Waiariki, it means that 25 per cent of health funds will go to iwi, Whanau Ora and Kaupapa Māori providers.

"It means 25 per cent of funds locked up in the business and innovation sector will go to Māori business.


"It means 25 per cent of contracts for housing and forestry projects will go to Māori contractors.

"It means 25 per cent of apprenticeships and employment opportunities will go to Māori.

"It means 25 per cent of funds locked up in arts, broadcasting, culture, and heritage will go to Māori.

"It means 25 per cent of the Justice and Oranga Tamariki budget will go to Whanau Ora to bring our babies home, reunite them with their parents and empower them to be the best they can be.

"Let's believe we can deliver what is best for us. Believe in you. Believe in me. Believe in us. Believe in Māori."

Election 2020: What you need to know

• The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday, September 19.


• When you vote, you will also be able to vote on the cannabis and end of life choice referendums.

• You need to be enrolled to vote in order to do so.

• To enrol, you must be 18 or older, have lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some point, and be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

• You can enrol to vote or update your details any time, including election day.

• Besides from your votes on the referendum, you will have two votes. One is the party vote, which contributes to how many seats in parliament each party gets. It helps decide the total number of seats each party gets. Those seats are allocated based on each party's ranked list of candidates.

• The other vote is your electorate vote, which is based on where you live. This may be the general electorate or a Māori electorate. That vote helps decide who will represent the region - be it Waiariki, Bay of Plenty or Rotorua.