Labour MP Tāmati Coffey has reversed his decision to retire from politics to stand for the East Coast electorate. The seat opened up after former Government Minister Kiri Allan announced she would not be standing for re-election.
Allan is before the court, charged with careless driving, after a car crash in Wellington last Sunday night.
Coffey says this tragic event “changed things” for him, having previously said was leaving politics to spend time with family. “However, the tragic events of last week which led to my colleague and friend Kiritapu Allan choosing to step down at the upcoming election have changed things significantly,” he said in a statement.
“The people of the East Coast need a strong, experienced MP who can hit the ground running and provide strong representation in Parliament. The East Coast has been through so much this year and it needs an experienced champion in Parliament.
“Whānau were my reason for stepping back and it is my whānau who have given me the green light to stay in politics, challenge for the seat, and to do my bit to support an area that I love that so needs a champion right now.”