Former National MP turned independent candidate Jami-Lee Ross is attempting to emulate the success of the Alliance Party in a bid to get back into Parliament.
Ross – who now heads the Advance New Zealand party – has announced his party is merging with several other smaller parties.
In Auckland this afternoon, he announced his party would merge with the little-known New Zealand Public Party, which believes "mandatory vaccination [are] a violation of human rights".
The party also appears to be against 5G technology, 1080, "fluoridation" and electromagnets.
In a speech this afternoon, that party's leader, Billy Te Kahika, suggested Covid-19 was a bioweapon designed to be used on civilians around the world.
Speaking to the Herald, Ross – who dramatically split from National in late 2018 – said he was in conversation with another six smaller parties about joining the new amalgamated Advance NZ.
He would not, however, reveal who he was in talks with at this stage other than the fact some have agreed to form a political union ahead of the election.
The Opportunities Party leader Geoff Simons said he had been approached by Ross, but said his party would be "steering clear of that".
Ross - who is facing SFO charges relating to National Party donations - said his plan was based on the structure and make-up of the Alliance Party, which was formed in 1991 but lost most of its influence in the early 2000s.
It was made up of a number of smaller parties, which united under the leadership of former Labour MP, Jim Anderton.
At its height in 1996, New Zealand's first MMP election, it won 10 per cent of the total vote and had thirteen MPs.
But, after years of infighting, the party split and faded into relative obscurity in the early 2000s – it official dissolved in 2015.
Ross said the "new Alliance Party of the 2020s" had a shot at crossing the five per cent threshold and getting into Parliament.
But it's not a new party, per se.
Rather, according to Ross, other smaller parties that join maintain their own identity and board, but stand candidates under a shared party list as Advance NZ.
For example, NZ Public Party's leader Billy Te Kahika is standing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the NZ Public Party – but any other candidates from that party share a party list with Advance NZ.
"Advance NZ is the new Alliance Party of the 2020s, but a centrist version of that model," Ross said.
He and Te Kahika are the co-leaders of Advance NZ's new amalgamation.
Neither Advance NZ nor the Public Party have registered on any major political polls.
Ross is still contesting the Botany seat, where he is up against ex-Air NZ Chief Executive Chris Luxon.