Waiariki's new MP Tamati Coffey is still processing his election night victory in which he beat Te Ururoa Flavell and become the first openly gay holder of a Maori seat.

Coffey told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday he was feeling energised after a morning full of interviews.

"It hasn't fully sunk in yet.

"I head down to Wellington first thing [Monday] morning for induction," he said.


"I am ready to take all of that onboard and fuel myself up to be the best possible MP I can be for our city, but also our region."

Labour won all seven of the Maori electorate seats and Coffey said they were feeling "pretty stoked" with the result.

"I want to thank the Waiariki voters for putting their confidence in me," he said.

"I want to pay tribute to Te Ururoa as well.

"It was a battle, but we always knew it would be.

"I want to send my love to him and his whanau for all the hard work he has put in over the years."

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24 Sep, 2017 8:37pm
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The 37-year-old former television broadcaster won the seat with 9847 votes to Flavell's 8526.

In his Saturday night victory speech, Coffey gave special thanks to his partner, Tim Smith.

"I absolutely wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for Tim's love and support."

He said Smith had been his campaign manager through both his election campaigns as well as managing the couple's Rotorua bar Ponsonby Rd.

"My elevation to Parliament is as much yours as mine.

The Labour Party's Tamati Coffey, surrounded by his supporters at Hinemihi Marae. Photo/Stephen Parker
The Labour Party's Tamati Coffey, surrounded by his supporters at Hinemihi Marae. Photo/Stephen Parker

"I am the greatest fan of you Timmy, I love you."

He went on to make pledges to those across his electorate.

"You can rely on me to be there. To be the soldier for our people on the marae, the streets and in Parliament."

More than 100 supporters of Coffey had gathered at Hinemihi Marae to be there as the results came in.

The whare kai was plastered in red with Labour Party signs and red balloons across the walls.

Supporter Ryan Gray said Coffey was the underdog from day one and his victory was a tribute to the mahi his campaign whanau had put in across the Waiariki.

"Te Ururoa Flavell will be a loss to the parliamentary landscape, but the voters have spoken, and they have voted for the person they thought best to represent their dreams and ambitions.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Tamati in the house and delivering on his pledges for those across Waiariki."

The Waiariki seat at a glance
Tamati Coffey: 9847
Te Ururoa Flavell: 8526
The Labour Party held the Waiariki seat in the 1999 and 2002 election.
The Maori Party's Te Ururoa Flavell has held the seat since 2005.
The Waiariki electorate covers Rotorua, Tauranga, Whakatane and Taupo.