Former TV presenter and Waiariki candidate Tamati Coffey first stood as a Labour candidate in Rotorua in the 2014 election.
Coffey is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. He polled at 11,297 in the 2014 election and is now standing in the Waiariki electorate competing against the incumbent Te Ururoa Flavell.
Based at Hinemihi Marae in Rotorua Coffey says, “there’s an expectation actually for my whanau that I put out there for my whanau come on whānau come home and help me out and they turned out in their droves.”
There was definitely no love lost between the two candidates of Waiariki during Māori Television's exclusive political debate. Despite Flavell's convincing lead, Tamati Coffey has more support from the youth.
Te Kāea reporter Taroi Black is with Tamati Coffey and will provide updates throughout the night as the results continue to be tallied.
Stay tuned to Māori Television for the latest from the Māori electorates.
The Waiariki Māori electorate spans from Waihi Beach to Whangaparaoa in the East Coast through to Mount Tongariro in the south and includes Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupō and Whakatāne.