Former broadcaster Tamati Coffey says his selection as
Labour's candidate in Rotorua was never a given and he wants to
take the seat in this year's election.
The 34-year-old beat off two other strong local contenders,
Rotorua Lakes High School deputy principal Dr Angela Sharples
and Integrated Health Services company director Hugh
Kininmonth, for the candidacy.
Mr Coffey said this morning that he was honoured to be
selected but it was "never a given".
"I had to compete against some great nominees - that's what
democracy is all about and that's what Labour is all about."
Mr Coffey said it was now "game-on in Rotorua".
"This seat is officially up for grabs and I want to take it.
I want to be Rotorua's voice in Parliament as Labour delivers
on its plans for more local jobs, for the revitalisation of
forestry and for the best start for Rotorua's kids and
Rotorua is held by Cabinet minister Todd McClay, who won the
seat with a 7357 votes majority at the 2011 election.
Mr Coffey was selected at a meeting at Rotorua Primary School
At a consecutive meeting, Rawiri Waititi was selected as
Labour's candidate for the Waiariki Maori electorate.
Mr Waititi said Maori development was "the name of the game"
in the electorate, and Labour would deliver sorely needed
good jobs for the region.
"I am a keen and proven advocate for the issues that matter
to people and communities in the Waiariki electorate.
Preserving our natural taonga is a high priority for me; as
is education, which is becoming a big election issues."
Labour president Moira Coatsworth said a crowd of more than
200 party members from the Maori and general electorates
attended the meetings.
"They heard inspiring responses to questions put by members,
and outstanding speeches from the six nominees for the two
"Labour's performance in our provinces is crucial to a win in
2014, and candidates of this quality will make all the
This year's general election will be held on September 20.