• March 13, 2019
Independent MP Jami-Lee Ross feels more connected to his roots in Botany. Photo: Kelly Enright
Former National Party frontbencher Jami-Lee Ross says he feels liberated as a party-less MP.
Mr Ross said since returning to Parliament in February as an independent MP for Botany, he is “free of the pressures and expectations of the [National] Party”.
Mr Ross was voted out of the National Party and spent the summer recovering from mental health trials, after his public falling out with party leader Simon Bridges in October.
“Both of us are very belligerent. I was just standing up for myself.
“MPs inside a political party get so wound up, the price is extremely high if you speak out. It could mean the end of your career.”
The National Party said it had “nothing further to add’ to such claims.
Mr Ross said his new-found freedom allows him to spend more time with his Botany constituents without getting caught up in the “Wellington scene”.
“I need to re-engage with my community. My plea to Botany would be: judge me on my 15 year track record.”
Howick Local Board member Bob Wichman said he worked closely with Mr Ross in the past.
“Jami-Lee is going to have to prove himself to me and the community.”
A number of comments on Jami-Lee Ross’ Facebook profile show many Botany constituents remain supportive of the MP.
Mr Ross said in the coming weeks he plans to pursue amendments to a Bill on foreign donations to political parties.