Information has emerged claiming former Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross has manipulated, intimidated and bullied at least four women during his time in Parliament.
It has also been revealed that Ross has had at least two affairs in which the women have accused him of pressuring and controlling them.
In a shocking investigative piece by political reporter Melanie Reid which was released by Newsroom this morning, four women anonymously gave detailed accounts of their close working and personal relationships with Ross.
Two of these women revealed they had a sexual relationship with the career MP which they claim quickly turned toxic.
One woman told Newsroom Ross would “fly into jealous rages, arguing endlessly. That’s when the abusive part of the relationship started to outweigh the love-bombing”.
She told Newsroom she believes in hindsight she was targeted in a “systematic and calculated way’.”
She says Ross threatened to destroy her career if she left him.
“It was very clear to me his political motivation was a lust for power and control,” she says.
Another woman told Newsroom that while her sexual encounters with Ross were consensual, she felt Ross had “groomed her” to gain information about National party members she had access to.
She claims Ross even suggested she sleep with other married MPs.
A third woman who was at one point in time close friends with Ross and was closely involved with him in political circles says Ross threatened to ruin her career and reputation.
“During the past two years, I can assure the public that my dealings with Jami-Lee Ross have never left me more harassed and disrespected as a woman in my whole life,” she told Newsroom.
The fourth woman who worked in close quarters with Ross told Newsroom he was “rude and arrogant”, and falsely accused her of things she didn’t do.
“I could have easily had a personal grievance case but I chose not to expose myself and the National Party for whom I had great respect.”
National Party leader Simon Bridges has acknowledged the Newsroom article and says he is “happy he is no longer part of our caucus.”
Bridges has refused to reveal any more information on complaints he received from women.
Howick Local board chair David Collings has also said that several of his local board members have had their careers threatened by former National MP Jami-Lee Ross.
With Ross resigning his seat as the Botany electorate MP at a dramatic press conference at parliemtn on Tuesday morning, forcing a by-election, Collings says he feels compelled to warn voters of Ross’ behaviour during the 2016 local elections.
Collings has said that Ross threatened local board members that their political careers would go nowhere if they failed to support his wife Lucy Schwaner who was contesting the local board chair.
Collings said Ross would say things like “your career will be over” for “going to war with [his] family”.
“I know of three, possibly four of my members who have been bullied and threatened, such to the point where I had to contact the manager of the National Party and say ‘Hey, look, your MP is out of control’,” Collings says.
“It’s inappropriate for a member of parliament to be trying to influence local board members.”
Collings said he too, even after 20 years in local government, has felt intimidated by Ross in previous years.
He urges the Botany electorate to “be a bit wiser and do their homework” before voting.