As tomorrow marks one year since 2017 Election Day, reporter Zizi Sparks looked back on the year that was and the way forward for Rotorua-based MPs Todd McClay, Fletcher Tabuteau and Tamati Coffey.

Labour's Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey has spent the last year "observing and learning", going out and understanding who he represents.

"The constant invites from different marae, different iwi, different hapū, different Māori organisations to go and see what they do has been enlightening."

In the campaign, Coffey was hot on housing and making sure smaller centres got the attention they needed.


Coffey believed the coalition Government was doing well in that regard.

"[There's been] a $5.8 million investment into Minginui to actually springboard them into employment and economic opportunities.

"The housing situation was something I personally was really aware of. From the homeless down one end ... through to young couples just trying to get on the ladder and social housing in the middle.

"We've inherited quite a mess when it comes to the housing situation."

Coffey believed the biggest issue facing his electorate was jobs.

"Finding jobs for people is absolutely what I'm committed to but also making sure they are meaningful jobs, making sure they are aspirational living wage jobs."

Coffey said the Government was working on an economic development plan for the Eastern Bay of Plenty and opportunities and priorities for towns there.

When elected, Coffey dethroned Te Ururoa Flavell and ultimately the Māori Party but he said Māori were still well represented.


"I think Māori were strategic in their vote ... It wasn't us that took [the Māori Party] down, it was the voters that decided it was time."

Looking ahead, Coffey wants to deliver on his campaign promises by 2020.

"I'm really happy with how we are going. We're staying true to our values which are that it's about the people, and it's the people that elected us," he said.

"The investment going into Rotorua at the moment is awesome. We need to capitalise on that. We need to make sure we're riding the wave and looking after our people at the same time."

Coffey sits on the Finance and Economic Development Select Committee and said there was a focus on wellbeing economics, meaning wealth was measured on citizens' wellbeing as well as GDP.

"I look forward to a time, which isn't that far away, where wellbeing is part of how we report on our success as a country, not just on the dollars and cents."

About Labour's Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey
- Unsuccessfully stood in the Rotorua Electorate in 2014.
- Elected in the Waiariki Electorate with a 1719 vote majority, dethroning Te Ururoa Flavell who had held the seat since 2005.
- Sits on the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee and Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee.
- Of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent.