NZ First accepts Ross' proxy vote

Jami-Lee Ross outside the Victoria Street police station in Wellington today. Photo: RNZ
Jami-Lee Ross was expelled by the National Party in September. Photo: RNZ

New Zealand First has decided to exercise the proxy vote of former National MP Jami-lee Ross while he is away from Parliament.

The party has issued a statement saying it received a letter from Ross, the MP for Botany, asking it to exercise his proxy vote, and indicated it had agreed to do so with reluctance.

"The New Zealand First caucus strongly believes that in terms of the Electoral Integrity Amendment Act, that someone in Mr Ross' position should resign his seat and test his mandate with the electors of Botany and we urge him to do so.

"That said, after careful deliberation New Zealand First is able to confirm that it has accepted Mr Ross' request.

"The party wishes to make clear that its decision to accept Mr Ross' proxy, until such time as he revokes it, is done solely on the grounds that the electors of Botany gave a clear expression of their will at the 2017 General Election when they elected him with a significant majority."

Ross is on medical leave after having a breakdown.

He was expelled by the National Party last month, after evidence pointed to him being the leaker of the travel expenses of leader Simon Bridges.

Ross also made allegations of corruption against Bridges over donations to the National Party which Ross collected and has made a complaint to police.

The New Zealand First statement said it would cast Ross' the vote at all times in support of the way National votes "as a temporary delegate for the electors of Botany."

"New Zealand First does this to ensure that all New Zealand voters continue to receive representation in Parliament."

 

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