Jami-Lee Ross has finished his two-hour meeting with police and has laid his complaint about what he says was a "corrupt practice" regarding electoral donations.

The ousted MP said he played police the recording he had with National leader Simon Bridges which he says makes it clear that Bridges wanted the person behind the $100,000 donation to be kept secret.

He corrected something he said yesterday, saying that his conversation with Bridges was not on June 20, but June 25.

He said the $100,000 donation was to Bridges, and police will investigate it.


Ross said the meeting was with three detective senior sergeants, but gave no indication of how long the investigation might take.

Police confirmed they received the complaint said a Detective Senior Sergeant at Police National Headquarters would look into the matter to determine what further steps may be required from police.

"Police take any complaint regarding alleged Electoral Act offences seriously," a spokesperson said.

Police have acknowledged the high level of interest in the matter but said they will not provide a general commentary on specific actions they may take.

"Decisions regarding the outcome of such investigations are made based on the facts and available evidence, and in accordance with the Solicitor General's prosecution guidelines.

Ross said he had further recordings of Bridges about the allegations of harassment, which Ross denies.

"I had harassment allegations that supposedly existed around four women. I'm very clear on my recollection. I have further recordings of Simon Bridges and I in his office. I'm confident in what I said yesterday."

He maintained that he didn't have a chance to answer those allegations.


"When I'm accused of being a liar by the National Party and Simon Bridges, I have evidence, text messages and recordings that say I'm not a liar."

He said he felt "uncomfortable" to be asked to collect the $100,000 donation. so when he called him on June 25, "I felt there was some danger here" and he decided to record the conversation.

Ross said he did not regularly record conversations, but the harassment allegations were "so staggering" that he felt he needed to tape conversations.

Ross said he recorded Bridges telling him that he could find 15 women alleging inappropriate behaviour from Ross.

Ross said when he was confronted with harassment allegations, he was devastated. "I did suffer a medical event at that time ... but I've been given some assistance, and now I'm well."

He said his doctor had told Paula Bennett that he was fit to work. "I'm comfortable with my state of health," and the National Party leadership team should know that because they have spoken with his doctor.

Ross said he was not surprised that National was "playing dirty" by bringing his personal life into it.

He had asked for natural justice, but having not been told any information about the alleged misconduct, he thinks it was simply an effort to push him out of the party.

Ross admitted that he had been speaking with Simon Lusk, as recently as today. He said Lusk, who helped Ross' strategy to win the Botany byelection in 2011, was a friend and someone he had known for a long time.

Lusk's name, along with Cameron Slater and the WhaleOil blog, featured prominently in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.

Ross said he did not know what Paula Bennett was referring to accusations of inappropriate behaviour for a married Member of Parliament. Asked if she was referring to affairs, Ross said: "I don't know."

"I'm comfortable with all of my conduct ... I know there are smears about me at the moment."

Ross said he was comfortable with his relationship with his wife, and was not going to play a game of "lifting the bed sheets".

He said Bridges was offered the $100,000 donation and replied "fantastic". He said Bridges asked him to split up the donation on May 21, but he did not have a recording of that conversation.

But he said the taped conversation on June 25 showed that Bridges wanted the donation split up to hide the identity of the donor.

"I'm the one answering every single question you want. I'm happy with my conduct."

"He signed a piece of paper that said there was a donation of Cathedral Club. There's no such thing as Cathedral Club.

"The Electoral Act is very clear. If you don't provide in your declaration the original donor's name, you are breaking the law."

He said the Cathedral Club declaration was therefore unlawful, because Bridges knows that the Cathedral Club does not exist.

He said Bridges knew the donation was from Aaron Bhatnagar, but Bridges did not declare it as such.

"It's simply implausible that he did not know what he was signing."

Ross said he and Todd McClay spotted the "falsified name" on the electoral donation return.

Ross said the $100,000 donation was not split up by him.

"It came to National Party accounts split up... I did not touch any money. I do not have access to the bank account it went into. It went into a National Party bank account in the Botany electorate ... I do not as the MP for Botany have access to that bank account.

"I provided the bank account number for the donation to go into. When the donation came in, it came in split up." he was then given the names and addresses of people to attach to the split sums.

The names were of people that "presumably" exist. He then communicated with National Party general manager Greg Hamilton questioning the names because they could not find them all on the electoral role.

He said the donation was split into seven lots of $14,000 and then one of $2000.

He was provided the names and he then passed them to the National Party.

"I did feel uncomfortable about what was happening. That's why I recorded our subsequent conversation."

Ross spent two hours inside the Wellington Central police station today.

Jami-Lee Ross speaks to media outside Wellington Central police station.
Jami-Lee Ross speaks to media outside Wellington Central police station.

Earlier, Ross said he would hand the recording to police, as well as photos and text messages with party general secretary Greg Hamilton.

"On the phone, it was very explicit that he [Bridges] wanted me to ensure that whatever could be done, that it wasn't made public," Ross told media on his way to the meeting.

"I was asked to do some things with that donation that I want to talk to police about."

Ross will address media after his meeting with police, adding that he will release the phone recording to media this afternoon.

The National Party has said it has found no evidence of illegal donations, and has supported Ross going to the police.

Ross has previously said that the donation was split into smaller chunks so the donor would not have to be declared. Donors of under $15,000 to a party or $1500 to a candidate do not have to be declared publicly.

National deputy leader Paula Bennett has questioned the donation, and whether it was Ross himself who may have acted illegally.

"It sounds like he's taken a donation and I'm not sure what he's done with it. He knows electoral law very well. He is used to fundraising and getting big money," she told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking.

Earlier today Massey Law Professor Chris Gallivan told Newstalk ZB that a party or candidate could not hide a large donation merely by splitting it up into smaller amounts.

"For the purposes of the return, you've got to add all those up and say, 'This is the total amount that's come from this person'."

Gallivan suggested that Ross or Bridges may have committed an offence by knowingly taking part.

"Even if, on the face of it, it actually is a donation that came to Ross, as opposed to Bridges, one could say there was aiding or abetting or procuring."

He said it was a corrupt practice to intentionally file a false return, which would lead to an MP being ejected from Parliament.

Ross said yesterday he would lay a formal complaint with police over a $100,000 donation from businessman Yikun Zhang, which Ross claims was knowingly split into smaller sums and filed under different names to hide where it came from.

He said he would offer police photos, a taped conversation with Bridges and text messages with Greg Hamilton.

Cathedral Club donor revealed as Kiwi millionaire

Meanwhile, the identity of the secret $10,000 'Cathedral Club' donor has been revealed as Auckland millionaire and investor Aaron Bhatnagar, as details emerge linking National Party leader Simon Bridges to a group with that name.

Bhatnagar came forward this morning after NZ Herald inquiries tied the donation to a house in Upland Rd in Remuera.

The address was listed on the original donation declaration form which had been signed by Bridges, withdrawn and then submitted again without the Cathedral Club donation.
At the time the donation was made, the Upland Rd house was lived in and owned by millionaire investor Aaron Bhatnagar.

Bridges, who has denied any donation wrongdoing, said the donation and one other for $14,000 had been mistakenly attributed to his return when they were meant to be to the National Party as an organisation.

The name of the Cathedral Club emerged during the days-long purgative exit this week of Jami-Lee Ross from the National Party, during which he accused Bridges of "corrupt" handling of electoral donations and "unlawful" behaviour.

Among the claims by Ross is that Bridges signed off an election return which included a $10,000 donation from the "Cathedral Club" even though he knew the identity of the donor.

Ross said: "The Electoral Act clearly states knowingly filing a false return is a corrupt practice. I know Simon filed a false return because Todd McLay and I spotted that false name in his return in January and suggested it needed to be tidied up.

"Simon Bridges knows exactly what Cathedral Club is. It was a name he used to hide a donation from a close friend of his. He claimed it was a clerical error. I call BS on that."

Bhatnagar and Bridges both appear in a photograph from a gathering the NZ Herald has confirmed was a meeting of the "Cathedral Club"