23 Jan 2019

Ross hoping for fresh start in 2019

5:47 pm on 23 January 2019

Embattled Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross has promised to steer clear of the conduct he was involved in last year.

Jami-Lee Ross addresses media

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross Photo: RNZ/ Rebekah Parsons-King

In a Facebook post last night, Mr Ross apologised to National leader Simon Bridges, deputy Paula Bennett, his former National Party colleagues, his former staffers, and his wife and children for the things he has done and for what happened last October.

He said he had been struggling with mental health early in the year, as his job and relationships began deteriorating.

Mr Ross said he regretted his actions and planned to return to parliament to be the best MP for Botany he could.

RNZ political editor Jane Patterson told Morning Report Mr Ross's post was deeply personal and very detailed.

"I think there was definitely some hyperbole and quoting Nelson Mandela, I don't think he was comparing himself to Mandela, I think he was more comparing the situation that they were in and the signal that that's how he wanted to come back.

"It's really going to be his actions when he gets back to Parliament (in February) that will demonstrate whether this Facebook post is genuine in terms of him saying that he wants to come back and not cause any trouble for anyone else, including his former caucus, and to represent the people of Botany."

Ms Patterson said Mr Ross appeared to be setting himself up for the 2020 general election by targetting issues such as housing affordability.

"I think this is a signal of his focus because really, politically, this is all he has left. He only has his seat of Botany and his role as a local MP so he's signalling very strongly that he's going to put all of his time and all of his energy into that.

"Maybe again [it's] just a bit of reassurance to the people of Botany that if he does come back to Parliament in his name, he'll be doing the work of an MP rather than engaging in the type of conduct that we saw last year."

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