Advance NZ, the political party formed by independent Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, has today merged with the NZ Public Party to form an alliance of parties.
The newly-merged Advance NZ will form the basis for a range of small parties outside of Parliament to come together to stand under one umbrella.
“Our political system is fast becoming one where there are two big party blocs, and no viable third option sitting in the middle”, said Ross.
“By forming an alliance of parties, together with other small parties that believe in greater freedom and democracy, we stand a stronger chance of uniting together and crossing the 5 per cent threshold in to Parliament.
“The only times in MMP’s history where small parties have had a realistic chance to enter parliament and bring a diversity of views to the table, has been when a sitting MP has formed a party, or where the Alliance Party brought a range of entities together.
“In the past few weeks we have met with leaders or board members of around different parties. Some are considering merging, while others are still talking with their senior personnel,” Ross said in a media release.
“Advance NZ is the new Alliance Party of the 2020s, but a centrist version of that model.”
Advance NZ is in the final stages of registration as a political party.
The merger with the NZ Public Party will see NZPP maintain their own identity and board, but stand candidates under a shared party list as Advance NZ.
The Leader of NZPP, Billy Te Kahika will stand as a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau for NZPP, while all other candidates will stand as Advance NZ candidates.
The model will see other small parties joining, with a shared campaign committee, and the leaders of those additional component parties able to stand in the leader’s seat under their own brand.
Ross says under the Electoral Act 1993, a candidate winning a seat for one of the component parties counts towards the one seat threshold for Advance NZ’s party votes to count.
The co-leaders of Advance NZ will be Billy Te Kahika and Jami-Lee Ross.
“This alliance of parties ensures all component parties don’t lose unique attributes but by merging together we combine resources, skills, and policies to take to the Electorate,” said Te Kahika.
“We formed the NZ Public Party because we could see our people crying out for a party to stand up for our freedoms, our sovereignty.
“I didn’t set out to stand for politics this election. But now we are in a war for our democracy and freedoms and I decided that as a genuine, everyday Kiwi I would fight to defend our children’s futures.
“We have formed a movement of everyday people that want to take our country back.
“And now by uniting with other parties outside of Parliament, we stand a good chance to take the establishment head on.
“Labour and National are cut from the same cloth. Labour hasn’t delivered for our people, and National doesn’t represent anything new.
“We are focussed on restoring rights and freedoms to New Zealanders.
“We will repeal the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act that allows for mandatory detention, mandatory medical procedures and warrantless entry powers into people’s homes.
“We will develop a real Bill of Rights that is enshrined in a written constitution that Parliament can’t override.
“We will remove foreign interference in our political system, and realign our nation back towards our traditional trading partners. We will also restore our economy, end the unlimited unscrutinised spending and protect our National Sovereignty.
“This merger of Advance and NZPP is the start of something new and special.
“The past two months have been a whirlwind of hope and opportunity for NZPP. Now we are pleased to be taking our messages directly into the election.”