Tamati Gerald Coffey of Te Arawa / Te Atiawa whakapapa (born 19 September 1979) is a Member of Parliament for the Waiariki electorate on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party[2]. Prior to entering Parliament, he most notably an award winning broadcaster fronting many shows over ten years, for Television New Zealand[3]. He is also a small business hospitality owner[4] in his hometown of Rotorua. He is also a father, having had a baby through gestational surrogacy with his partner[5].

Tamati Coffey

Coffey delivering his maiden speech in Parliament, 8 November 2017
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Waiariki
Assumed office
23 September 2017
Preceded byTe Ururoa Flavell
Personal details
Tamati Coffey[1]

(1979-09-19) 19 September 1979 (age 40)[1]
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Tim Smith
OccupationPolitician / Broadcaster

Political careerEdit

Coffey (far right) campaigning with Labour MPs on behalf of Michael Wood for the 2016 Mount Roskill by-election

In 2017, Coffey won Waiariki for the Labour Party against incumbent Te Ururoa Flavell by a margin of 1,321 votes. With his win, Labour secured all 7 Māori electorates.

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2017–present 52nd Waiariki 35 Labour

On 29 March 2014, Coffey was selected as the Labour Party's candidate for the Rotorua electorate at the 2014 general election.[6] He was also placed 30th on the Labour list.[7] He lost the seat to National's Todd McClay, and was not high enough on the list to get a seat in Parliament. During the campaign Coffey had been used for the Public Broadcasting of the Opening Addresses where he held a staged interview with David Cunliffe. In 2016 he was selected as Labour's candidate for the Waiariki electorate, then held by Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Coffey was ranked 35th on Labour's party list for the election.[8]

Early lifeEdit

Born in Lower Hutt and educated at Onslow College,[9] Coffey is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent.[10] He completed an honours degree in political science at the University of Auckland in 2003.[11]

Television careerEdit

Seven SharpEdit

Coffey was a fill-in presenter for current affairs programme Seven Sharp in late 2013 following Greg Boyed's departure from the show.[12]

New Zealand's Got TalentEdit

Coffey was the host of New Zealand's Got Talent in 2012[13] and 2013.[14]

Intrepid JourneysEdit

As part of series seven of the TVNZ show Intrepid Journeys, Coffey travelled to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula for three weeks. The episode screened on 20 January 2011 on TV One. Coffey is seen engaging in activities including mountain climbing, turtle nesting, dhow fishing cruises and souk shopping.


In September 2007 Coffey left What Now and moved to TVNZ's early morning show Breakfast where he was the show's weatherman and roving reporter.[citation needed] He presented the show alongside Petra Bagust, Peter Williams, Rawdon Christie, Nadine Chalmers-Ross and Corin Dann. Coffey left Breakfast in December 2012 and was replaced in the role by Sam Wallace.[15]

Dancing With the StarsEdit

Coffey was a contestant on season five of the New Zealand version of Dancing with the Stars in 2009. Partnered with Samantha Hitchcock, Coffey won the series final on 21 April 2009. Coffey's charity was Rainbow Youth, an organisation that supports gay youth.[16]

What NowEdit

Coffey joined the What Now team in February 2004.[citation needed] During his time on the show, Coffey also played character roles most notably, "Whitney" in the "What Now Cheerleaders" and "New Zild's Next Top Model". He mainly traveled around New Zealand in a car called "The Spyrider", to many different towns where weekly, he would film live with the locals and experience what their town had to offer. He hosted the show alongside co-hosts Virginie Le Brun, DJ Vinyl Richie, Serena Cooper and Charlie Panapa.

Personal lifeEdit

After winning Dancing With The Stars in 2009, Coffey came out as gay during an interview with Woman's Weekly and said that he lives with his long-term boyfriend, Tim Smith, a former music teacher from northern England. The couple announced their engagement on 16 February 2011[17][18] and wed in a civil union on 29 December 2011.[19] His partner was hit by a falling ceiling fan in Christmas 2017.[20] In July 2019, they welcomed their first son Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey who was born via a surrogate. However the couple can’t legally claim Tūtānekai is theirs until an adoption process is carried out between them and their surrogate mother.[21]

Following the 2014 election Coffey elected not to seek a new broadcasting role, instead going into business opening a bar in Rotorua with his partner Tim. Their bar is designed to give Rotorua the atmosphere of Ponsonby, Auckland, the name of the bar being Ponsonby Road.[22]

In 2016, Coffey was elected to the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust[23] with the highest number of votes; he currently holds the position of Deputy Chair[24] within the trust's board.



  1. ^ a b "The Tamati takes off tour – Lower Hutt (video)". TVNZ video. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Tamati Coffey". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  3. ^ Screen, NZ On. "Tamati Coffey | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  4. ^ journalist, Zizi Sparks Multimedia (28 December 2018). "From street to streat: Looking back at Eat Streat's first five years". ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Labour MP Tāmati Coffey welcomes first baby into his 'modern family'". Stuff. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  6. ^ Bilby, Lynley (29 March 2014). "Tamati Coffey selected for Labour". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Labour List for the 2014 Election Announced" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Scoop. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Labour Party List for the 2017 Election announced". Scoop.co.nz. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Tamati Coffey". tvnz.co.nz/. Television New Zealand. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Our people: meet Tamati Coffey's parents". Rotorua Daily Post. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  11. ^ Bathgate, Benn (4 March 2013). "Can Coffey break McClay's hold on Rotorua?". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Coffey 'just helping out'". New Zealand Herald. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Tamati Coffey to host NZ's Got Talent". 1 April 2012. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Tamati Coffey Returns For New Zealand's Got Talent 2013". www.scoop.co.nz/. Scoop Media. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Tamati Coffey says goodbye to Breakfast". New Zealand Herald. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Tamati's DWTS win benefits gay youth charity". TVNZ. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Tamati Coffey announces engagement". One News. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  19. ^ "TVNZ's Tamati Coffey to wed – reports". Stuff.co.nz. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Labour MP's partner felled by ceiling fan in Christmas tree stretch". New Zealand Herald.
  21. ^ "'I'm in a position where I can talk to some friends' – MP and new dad Tāmati Coffey on updating surrogacy laws". Television New Zealand. 15 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Tamiti Coffey Brings Ponsonby Road to Rotorua". TVNZ. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  23. ^ TheDailyPost, Stephanie Arthur-Worsop (20 November 2016). "Four new faces on Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  24. ^ Bay_Times, Zoe Hunter (19 September 2017). "Tamati Coffey 'gunning for the seat'". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Te Ururoa Flavell
Member of Parliament for Waiariki