Tamati Coffey: Hiss, Roar, Fizzle

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I hear it a lot from people in Rotorua. Tamati Coffey, Labour Party candidate and local spokesperson, starts off with a hiss and roar and then fizzles on many an issue. He doesn’t have the drive to see things through.

We saw this recently with his campaign to “save our water”. It started with multiple social media posts, a video and a petition. The petition’s goal was 2,500 signatures. Tamati is now 136 signatories short and most campaigners would now be pushing to get this over the line. But Tamati’s campaign has fizzled, attention stagnated and media has moved on. There has been hardly a mention of it. (Prediction: he will now do something. He can thank Whaleoil later.)

Even one of his closest supporters in the last election has attacked Mr Coffey for his lack of commitment.

Tamati Coffey, it’s always good to have a face that can get a message out there the way that you do. I admire you for that. However what viable solutions have you got to offer, other than asking the people for help? The reason why I ask, is simply because of your track record which many will be unaware of, which is the failure to back up anything you put out there with action to create change in a way that doesn’t support your positioning in society but the actual issue itself. Take for instance the Maui’s Dolphin march you lead … remember we helped you prepare for it. We created the 55 red Maui ‘s Dolphin signs, all numbered 1 to 55 representing at that time ‪#‎TheLast55‬ Maui’s Dolphins left in Aotearoa, you can’t forget that…. Now what have you done in regard to this issue since then?

Yep, before the last election Tamati was leading the protests to protect the Maui dolphin. He was all wind then but he was only interested in getting in front of large crowds and looking like a politician. His interest fizzled as soon as people went home.

During the 2014 elections when you ran as the Rotorua candidate for Labour, the TPPA was mentioned to you multiple times by concerned citizens of Rotorua and in particular people helping out with your campaign (which have stopped supporting you). Why did you not listen?

Funny how Tamati suddenly became anti-TPPA overnight as the political climate among the left-wing changed. But have we heard from him on the TPPA since the massive protests? Not really. Again: hiss, roar, fizzle.

I do not support false leadership and I will not stay silent while you exploit water like you do people.

So is this really a principled campaign to ‘protect’ New Zealand water from corporations or is this another political move which has already been forgotten about? Only time will tell.

This water campaign will end up like his others; the “save the Maui Dolphin” protests and his “Keep Waiariki Local” campaign are now just footnotes on social media.

But to put the above rant in context Marama Meikle is a staunch left-wing activist who campaigned solidly for Tamati Coffey in 2014. She organized the Rotorua anti-TPPA protests and got everyone up to Auckland for the big protest earlier this year.

Tamati Coffey has alienated a lot of left-wing supporters in Rotorua with a lot of them going over to now support New Zealand First and National. It will be interesting to see what he does for volunteers next election.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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