17 Oct 2018

Listen: Jami-Lee Ross recording released

5:39 pm on 17 October 2018

Jami-Lee Ross has released the audio of a phone conversation between himself and Simon Bridges, during which they talk about which MPs they need to get rid of.

On the call Ross mentions the $100,000 donation being "in" which Simon says is "fantastic".

"I promised them that we'd have dinner at my place, you should come, might as well make a bit of fun of it," Mr Bridges said.

"We should make good on that because otherwise I've lied to them because I've said it a couple times now."

As well as discussing the party donations, the pair talk about the ethnicities of potential MPs.

He said assuming the two candidates mentioned at the dinner did get through candidate's college, they can make some decisions further down the track with what they want to do.

"It's like all these things, it's bloody hard, you've only got so much space, it depends where we're polling, you know, all that sort of thing.

"Two Chinese would be nice, but you then know would it be one Chinese and one Filipino, or you know, what do we do."

Mr Ross replied, "Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians, I'd have to say."

"Yeah, which is what we've got at the moment, right?" replied Mr Bridges.

He said this would cause problems with the list MPs.

"It's a pretty mercinary cull," he said.

Mr Bridges said they could end up getting rid of some list MPs to bring in the new ones.

"I reckon there's two or three of our Mps, who not picking up obvious ones, like Finlayson or Carter, but actually we just want them to go."

He went on to say, "Maureen Pugh's f***ing useless."

Mr Ross replied "yeah, I know" and then said "Carter, Finlayson, Nicky Wagner, they don't really need to hang around."

"Yeah, but we don't want them to go this year though... we probably wouldn't want them all to go though, we want to do it well and we just want to think it all through," said Mr Bridges.

Mr Bridges since said he met with Ms Pugh and "unreservedly apologised" for the comment.

"I value the work she does as the National List MP based in West Coast-Tasman & as our Associate Spokesperson for Children. She has gracefully accepted," he said on Twitter.

Releasing the audio on Facebook, Mr Ross said it proved too difficult to release the audio on Twitter.

He wrote: "This audio confirms Simon Bridges and I discussing a $100k donation on 25 June. Simon Bridges says I'm lying - this is part of the evidence I gave to Police today."

Mr Bridges has consistently and strongly denied any wrongdoing.