Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross says New Zealand has put too many eggs in the Chinese Communist Party basket.
He says it’s time to realign New Zealand foreign policy, because the communist party is meddling in domestic political affairs.
“Our politics needs to be free of money from the Chinese Communist Party-linked individuals,” Jami-Lee Ross says.
Ross faces charges in the High Court relating to donations to National from CCP-linked donors, which he says former National leader Simon Bridges asked him to conceal. He is due in court next year. Bridges denies the claims.
A written constitution, for Kiwis, by Kiwis
In the meantime, he wants to bring New Zealand’s minor political parties together. That’s the motivation behind his alliance with Billy Te Kahika and the NZ Public Party.
He says the alliance is about preserving democracy, something he wants Māori voters to understand.
“Billy (Te Kahika) and I stand for protecting our sovereignty, protecting our freedoms and our rights.”
A big step toward that, he says, is a written constitution.
At the moment, New Zealand’s constitution is a collection of documents and acts such as the Treaty of Waitangi, the Magna Carta, and the Bill of Rights.
But the government is not bound by these documents. Rather they serve as a guide. A written constitution, Ross believes, will end that.
Treaty Manuscripts - Photo / Wikipedia
“Parliament too often overrides the rights of New Zealanders,” Jami-Lee Ross says.
“We don’t have enshrined documents that protect our rights and freedoms. Te Tiriti is not enshrined, and Parliament can override treaty principles whenever it wants.”
The Covid-19 Public Health Response Act is, in Ross’ opinion, a violation of those rights. He says the act gives an unelected official (the director-general for health) powers to take away human rights.
“There can be mandatory isolation, mandatory testing, and mandatory medical procedures,” Ross says.
“Mandatory vaccinations as well, if a doctor believes that’s going to be helpful to prevent spread of Covid-19."
Raised away from Te Ao Māori
Ross admits to being disconnected from his taha Māori. He was raised in Papatoetoe by his grandmother because his parents were not in his life. His Ngāti Porou father had no hand in raising him.
“I’m like so many Māori boys who were raised with an English worldview,” Ross says.
“I’m happy to say, I’m a little embarrassed that over time I haven’t connected with my Māori whakapapa.”
The Botany MP expressed the desire to change that.
His electorate has a diverse ethnic makeup. Some 45% of Botany electorate residents are Asian.
Representing an electorate of tauiwi (non-Māori) means that Ross has not had the opportunity to represent Māori interests. He thinks that working with Billy Te Kahika and the other parties he is working with, would change that.
About the NZPP/Advance NZ party alliance
The New Zealand Public Party and Advance NZ signed a partnership deal in the weekend past. Billy Te Kahika, NZPP’s leader will campaign in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate to replace Kelvin Davis.
Jami-Lee Ross is looking to come in behind him, sitting at No2 on the party list. He rejects the notion that his partnership resembles Internet/Mana, and he prefers another comparison.
“Well, I’m not a German millionaire! I’m not Kim Dotcom. Billy is not Hone Harawira.
“I would say this is more of the Alliance party of the 2020’s.”
There are four candidates contesting Te Tai Tokerau. Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis is the incumbent MP. Billy Te Kahika represents NZPP, Stephanie Harawira fronts for the ONE Party and Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, is the Māori party candidate.