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.