Vote2020

Advance NZ co-leader Jami-Lee Ross has abandoned his attempt to retain the seat of Botany at the election.

Instead, the former National Party MP will campaign as a list-only candidate, following a decade as the MP for Botany.

Former Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon won the National Party nomination to contest the Botany seat.

Ross said he is confident party co-leader Billy Te Kahika will win in Te Tai Tokerau and get the party into parliament.

Advertisement

"It is an emotional decision to step back from where it all began as a local representative, but this isn't goodbye," Ross said in a statement today.

"Advance NZ is gaining great momentum, and I have taken on the role of steering our campaign's strategic direction.

"I could not do justice to our 60 candidates, our 7000 members and the thousands of volunteers while also properly running in the three-way contest here on the ground."

Jami-Lee Ross will not contest the Botany seat.
Jami-Lee Ross will not contest the Botany seat.

Advance NZ will field a list of more than 60 candidates throughout New Zealand.

Ross said he believed growth in party membership, fundraising, social media reach and increasing volunteer numbers showed the party was growing.

"Billy's energy and connection with voters, combined with my experience in Parliament, will see Advance NZ be competitive on October 17," he said.

Ross won Botany comfortably in 2017, with a majority of 12,839, winning 62 per cent of the total votes cast.

However, he was cast out of the National Party after a high-profile clash with then-leader Simon Bridges and claimed Bridges had broken election funding laws.

Advertisement

Ross was later charged by the Serious Fraud Office, while Bridges, a former Crown prosecutor who denied any wrongdoing, was not charged.

Subscribe to Premium

In February, it was revealed Ross was one of four men charged by the SFO over allegations about two $100,000 donations to the National Party.

All four men have denied the allegations against them over donations of $100,000 in 2017 and $100,050 in 2018. A trial in the High Court at Auckland is due to be held in September next year.

Jami-Lee Ross talking in the house about being leaked SFO document in 'error.' Video / Parliament TV

Ross faces two charges for the alleged use of a "fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem" to split up the two donations.

Political parties are required by law to report the details of donations, contributions and loans of more than $15,000.

Before entering Parliament, Ross was a Manukau City councillor and then an Auckland councillor.

Advertisement