MP Jami-Lee Ross has written individual letters to his former National Party colleagues ahead of his return to Parliament next month.

Ross, who yesterday released a long public statement explaining his actions, how he was feeling and looking to the future following the events of October last year, also emailed a letter in a similar vein to his former caucus colleagues.

It's understood the letters, an attempt to smooth things over before Parliament sits again on February 12, contain an apology and reassurances that he will not publicly reveal any information he was privy to as party whip or cause trouble at Parliament when he returns.

However, it's not clear how many National MPs read the letter, with some telling the Herald they deleted it without reading it and one saying they ignored it because they thought it was spam.

Advertisement

Ross said today the letters were intended only for his former colleagues and declined to comment.

No one in the National caucus was speaking publicly today about Ross or his imminent return to politics after an extended period of leave while he dealt with mental health issues.

"My attitude is let him get on his public service and we will get on with our job as opposition. Probably as simple as that," said one National MP.

Police are also not commenting on a complaint made over a text message sent to Ross by his former lover, a fellow National MP.

In part, it said: "You deserve to die".

Ross told Newshub yesterday that a complaint had been made to police about the text. It was not sent by him but he was co-operating with the investigation.

In his statement, Ross said of the woman: "There must have been a lot of personal stress in her life for her to end up sending me a late-night text message inciting me to commit suicide".

The MP who wrote the text message did not respond to requests for comment today.

Ross said today it was not right to comment on an active police investigation.

A spokesman for the National Party said it was aware of media reports of a police investigation but had not heard from police.

"If there is an investigation then we would expect people to co-operate fully," the spokesman said.

Police said in a statement: "We are not in a position to discuss specifics of the investigation while it is still ongoing."

High bar for prosecution

It is illegal under the Harmful Digital Communications Act and Crimes Act to encourage or incite someone to kill themselves.

The offence carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

In the last financial year there were 53 convictions under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said he understood very few of those were for incitement to suicide.

"There is a very high bar for the police prosecutions for the Harmful Digital Communications Act offences," Cocker said.

Any prosecution would have to take into consideration the context in which the comment was made but under the Act, a single text message inciting suicide could be considered a harmful digital communication.

Police could act in the public interest in such cases and did not have to wait for a complaint before deciding whether to investigate.

"Whether a person complains is a significant factor for the police in considering whether to take a prosecution because so often with armful digital communications stuff it's wrapped up in very personal, complex cases where prosecution may not be in everybody's best interests. Police have got to take that into consideration," Cocker said.

Ross revealed that he had contemplated suicide at the end of an explosive week in October in which he was expelled from the National Party on the grounds of disloyalty.

After being found, he was sectioned to Middlemore Hospital for psychiatric assessment and released a day later.

The text was sent by the woman well before the events of October but he re-read it after they had taken place and responded to her: "You get your wish."