Like many New Zealanders, Tofik has an immigrant background. He arrived as a non English-speaking immigrant from Azerbaijan at the age of 16, and began his education at Mt Roskill High School. Soon after his arrival, Tofik had to leave school to help his mother cover their bills, and got a job working at a fast food restaurant.
As someone who had to work 40, 50 or 60 hour weeks to help his family get by, Tofik understands the challenges facing many hardworking Kiwis today. As his English improved, he eventually worked his way up to a managerial position and later opened his own cafe on the Auckland waterfront. After selling this, he went into real estate and then banking and insurance.
Tofik was Labour’s candidate for Botany in 2014. He is ready to give something back to the community that has helped him become a New Zealander.