Making amends and moving on

Foes turned friends, Jami-Lee Ross and Tofik Mamedov at the Business Breakfast hosted by Getba. Times photo Farida Master. 

At one time they were political rivals. And now they have hugged and made up.

Jami-Lee Ross’s Facebook post about former Labour Party candidate Tofik Mamedov came as a big surprise.

His post read:

“This morning I had coffee with Howick local Tofik Mamedov. Many will know Tofik as the Labour candidate for Botany in the 2014 and 2017 elections. We were opponents.

I owe Tofik a big apology – I was a bit of a d*** to him when he was the Labour candidate. I was too wrapped up in the game, thought I was better than him, and I treated him appallingly.

“Many of us did when we were in government. It was wrong and I have said sorry to him several times since.

Back in January Tofik reached out to me to check how I was going. Despite how I treated him, he was a decent person and wanted to know how I was.

“We had coffee in January and he was so nice he even bought my children Christmas presents. How could this guy that I had battled for two elections, which I had beaten and been unpleasant to, be so nice that he checked up on me and went as far as thinking about my kids’ wellbeing?

“Tofik is a kind and compassionate man. Our politics might differ, but his small acts of humanity meant a lot at the start of this year, and they still do now. I’ve learnt a lot about politics and about myself recently. People like Tofik have taught me about decency in how you treat others.

I hope Tofik is successful in all his future endeavours. He’s a good guy. I feel lucky that he took the time to extend a warm embrace.”

And it looked like the post was not just all talk.

Jami-Lee followed it up by inviting Tofik to his table at a Business Breakfast recently hosted by Getba – Greater East Tamaki Business Association – at the Waipuna Conference Rooms in Highbrook.

And while guest speaker Counties Manukau East Area Commander Inspector Wendy Spiller spoke about what a long way women in police have come: “In 1987 there were hardly any women in police. I remember they handed us a mirror in our police kit with a handbag.” As Area Commander Counties Manukau Police, her patch covers a population of 200,000 incorporating three local boards and 70 schools. Big changes.

It was good to see that a lot had also changed for Jami-Lee and Tofik.