Tamati Coffey to run for election in Rotorua

Last updated 11:34 01/03/2014
Tamati Coffey
Fairfax NZ
BORN TO RUN: Tamati Coffey.

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Former TV personality Tamati Coffey has confirmed he will run for a seat in parliament.

Coffey will seek the Labour nomination to challenge incumbent Rotorua MP Todd McClay at the next election. 

''Yes, I am standing as the Labour candidate for Rotorua,'' he said.

Coffey left Auckland University with an honours degree in political science in 2003 and always intended to pursue a career in the field, first targeting local government.

While he admitted that for many it would appear to be a career switch that's come out of left-field, he said it was in fact his TV career that was a surprise - to him at least.

He admitted that as a young man, the offer of television work was simply too good to turn down.

His TV career spanned the children's show What Now and a role as TVNZ's roving weather reporter before he appeared on - and won - Dancing with the Stars in 2009.

He also presented New Zealand's Got Talent and appeared on Seven Sharp. 

Speaking at the Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua, Coffey also conceded that if he was chosen as the Labour nominee - he's one of three contenders - he would face an uphill battle to unseat McClay.

However, he believed his profile meant he could reach out to, and mobilise, a large proportion of the population that didn't vote in the last election.

His comments were echoed by Waiairiki Labour's Katie Paul.

''Someone like Tamati shows anyone can change a Government,'' she said.

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