Labour candidate to member of public: “You nasty person”

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To everyone who has been online over the last few days you’ll have heard the storm [in a tea cup] over the Birkenheed beer named after Hinemoa and Mokoia. Social media warriors lashed out at the company over using Te Arawa ancestors as part of their commercial beer range. Once again we heard the angry cries of “cultural appropriation”.

The company apologized and the story should have gone away. But then the Rotorua Daily Post discovered that a Labour Party candidate and bar owner, Tamati Coffey, was marketing a cocktail called Hinemoa and Tutanekai, in reference to the same ancestors. So do the same rules apply to him? 

Tamati Coffey thinks they don’t. Socialists never think they do. He says he’s free to commercialize his ancestors however he wants. Now while most of us agree, this is a tough line to sell for the wannabe candidate for the Maori seat of Waiariki. For Maori, their ancestors are important to them and hold a special significance. They’re also owned by the whole whanau, hapu or iwi and not just by a former weatherman who needs to make some cash to run a political campaign.

Needless to say the same internet warriors turned on Tamati and Tamati wasn’t taking any of it.

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This is yet another example of why political aspirants shouldn’t be on social media. They can only make themselves look like nutjobs. “You nasty person” comes from the candidate who’s husband called a journalist a “nobody”.

Tamati Coffey has shown himself to be incredibly thin skinned and not adverse to a bit of online nastiness himself.

It is time for him to get out of politics.


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