26 Oct 2020

Billy Te Kahika's party splits from alliance with Jami-Lee Ross

4:46 pm on 26 October 2020

The New Zealand Public Party (NZPP) has split from its alliance from Advance NZ, saying it always intended to revert to being its own party, if it failed to make it into parliament.

Billy Te Kahika, leader of the NZ public party.

Billy Te Kahika says he will be staying on as the Public Party leader. Photo: RNZ

NZPP, led by Billy Te Kahika, formed an alliance with Advance New Zealand led by independent MP Jami-Lee Ross, to fight the election.

However, the spokesperson for the Public Party, Michael Stace, denied reports that ties have been severed with Advance New Zealand after the merged party failed to cross the five percent threshold.

"This is something we've discussed from early on - that even if we got into Parliament that we might stand as NZPP - and afterwards if we didn't make it into Parliament that we'd just continue on as NZPP."

Stace said NZPP still gets on well with Jami-Lee Ross, however, he admitted both parties have differences that need to be resolved.

In a statement, Te Kahika accused media of being hostile to the party as it questioned the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the party wanted to improve while staying true to its core beliefs.

The statement also said Te Kahika would remain as leader of NZPP.

On election night, Advance NZ got 20,841 party votes, or 0.9 percent of the preliminary vote, well short of the 5 percent threshold for seats in Parliament.

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