Tamati Coffey, Labour Party

What has been your proudest achievement to date - in politics or in life?

My proudest achievement in recent years was having the ability to uproot myself and my partner from well paid, secure employment in Auckland, to come home to Rotorua to serve my whanau, hapu and iwi.

Read more: Local Focus: Waiariki Candidates - How well do you know Waiariki?
Local Focus: Waiariki Candidates - Getting people to vote

The Waiariki rohe is where my heart is. We are Faulkners from Tauranga, the Hori whanau from Rotorua and the Ngamotu whanau from Taupo. I love the wairua of the people, the beauty of our natural environment and being able to connect with whakapapa and marae. So stepping into Parliament, I will walk proudly with my whanau alongside me.

What do you think is the one biggest issue facing Waiariki - and what would you do about it?


The biggest issue is that voters from our kuia to our rangatahi feel ignored by the government of the last nine years in regards to housing, healthcare and opportunity.

As Rotorua is awarded the title of having the second highest rate of homelessness in the country and Ford Block New Zealand's most deprived suburb - as a Maori for Maori health service is removed from Rotorua Hospital, our politicians blame those who need help for not asking for it, rather than act.

Why should Waiariki voters vote for you?

This election there is a clear choice; vote for more of the same from a National-Maori Party coalition that has been all steam and no hangi for our whanau, or vote for change. Vote for an MP who will be on the ground across our rohe ensuring we get better mental health services to fight record suicide rates, an MP who will ensure education is free for our rangitahi and who will protect Maori land and our environment for future generations. Let's do this.

Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party

What has been your proudest achievement to date - in politics or in life?

I am honoured to be your Member of Parliament for Waiariki, a role which I have cherished for the past 12 years. It has been a huge privilege to serve the Waiariki electorate.

I was determined when I entered Parliament in 2005 that I would be the example set by my kuia and work hard to get things done for our people - he ringa raupa hei hapai i te iwi. Raising five healthy, reo speaking tamariki with my beautiful wife Erana and welcoming two mokopuna into the world is by far my greatest honour in life.

As a teacher and champion of efforts to revitalise te reo Maori, passing Te Ture mo te reo Maori Act last year is a personal highlight. Facing our past with courage is important to me too, so getting agreement for the pardon of Rua Kenana is another highlight.

What do you think is the one biggest issue facing Waiariki - and what would you do about it?

The priority issues in Waiariki are housing and homelessness. In 2015, I set up the Maori Housing Network Kainga Ora, and 100 housing projects have been approved for the Waiariki rohe this year. Despite the $2.3 billion that will be spent nationally on housing this year, we need to do more and I am determined to deploy specialist navigators who will work long term with whanau to get them in to permanent housing.

My four key priorities for whanau are to:
• provide access to warm, affordable homes
• improve the health of our tamariki and our kaumatua
• provide opportunities for rangatahi to thrive as Maori at home, work and school
• further address poverty, inequality and institutional racism

Why should Waiariki voters vote for you?

A vote for me is a vote for a safe pair of hands - kaupapa Maori, ringa raupa! A vote for me is a vote for a belief in ourselves. Make it Maori, Make it Happen.