Tamati Coffey: Hiss, Roar, Fizzle


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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  • shykiwibloke

    Best thing he could do for volunteers is get some donations into the coffers. Rotorua branch is broke. Pretty hard to fight an election on thin air.

  • Keeping Stock

    My Dear Departed Dad had a saying that’s perfect for grandstanders like Tamati – “all mouth and trousers”.

  • JC

    I’ve lived in Rotorua for 35 years but the only time I’ve heard about this Coffey fellow is here on this blog.. is he paying for the publicity?


    • ReginaldWellingtonJnr

      It is because he is so funny. He is the comedic relief in a party of stone faced comedians. But seriously he is the most popular Labour candidate on social media, though unelected, and he used to have a weekly column in the local paper. Not sure if he still does. His offices used to be on the main street with massive banners of his head stuck in the window.

  • Karl

    I struggled with this post due to the photo even before I got to the content. It looked like Tamati was wearing an English bus conductor’s uniform. I thought he was impersonating Alf …. to get in Grant Robertson’s good books? Watch out Angry Andrew!
    Best I put my tin foil hat on and go stand in the corner.

    • Usaywot

      And his husband? impersonating a minister. If he was impersonating and imam he would be shot so why does he think it is justifiable to impersonate a christian holy man? The cross is sacred to a lot of people.

      • ReginaldWellingtonJnr

        By the looks of their Facebook page it was a “P” party. Not the drug sadly, the letter. But Tamati and Tim are left-wing wannabe activists, homosexual rights activists and bar owners who sell copious amounts of alcohol and pre-mixed drinks filled with sugar to evening revelers. They’re not the sort of people who would worry about insulting the priesthood or the cross and I doubt their customers would either.

    • stephen2d

      Postman Pat!

  • Eiselmann

    Coffey is a typical causehead

    According to the urbandictionary a causehead is

    Individuals who take an issue and stick with it or protest it for about a week; a mob of liberal environmentalists concerned about everything but doing little about it


    One who always feels the need to be protesting or joining some cause such as greenpeace or PeTA. Causeheads are habitual joiners and often end up abandoning a previous cause for another more promising one.

  • cows4me

    “Now what have you done in regard to this issue since then? ” , they’re all swimming in Lake Rotorua you twit.

  • ReginaldWellingtonJnr

    Well done Whaleoil. As this article predicted Tamati would remember to do something about his water campaign. He just put a video up to get people to sign his petition. It looks like this reminded him.

  • DLNZ

    After opening his mouth Tamati has probably since realised that a large chunk of his electorate are farmers, geothermal companies and hot pools all of which take water out of the ground. Or maybe someone has had a quiet word that specifically picking on Chinese (in this case Oravida) hasn’t been working all that well recently.

    Of course he will have been sure to discontinue the sale of any alcoholic drinks in his bar that originate from any “predatory water extraction” occurring in someone else’s country.

  • Chris Bell

    Tamati Smamati – he’s irrelevant move on