Labour’s Tamati Coffey is the new MP for the Māori electorate of Waiariki with incumbent Te Ururoa Flavell out of Parliament – along with his Māori Party.
Coffey celebrated his win at Hinemihi Marae with a fist pump as whānau and friends applauded his success after only his second foray into politics.
The former television presenter took a punt on the Māori seat of Waiariki after unsuccessfully running for the general seat of Rotorua in the 2014 general elections.
Provisional results put Coffey in front with 9,847 or 54% of the votes followed by Flavell with 8,526 votes.
Nobody at Coffey’s campaign party was as proud of his efforts as his mother, Rangi who said, “It's been a long road and we're at the end now – but it’s not registering yet.”
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says the election of a new MP will be a positive step towards change.
“History is being made tonight. I will work with any MP who makes a difference for us here in Rotorua.”