Renegade Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross will return to politics next month.
Ross has opened up about his state of mind which saw him sectioned into a mental health facility, triggered, he said, by a text message from a female MP with whom he’d had an affair saying he deserved to die.
It was only the thought of his children which pulled him through, he said.
Police are investigating that text, deemed unlawful under NZ law.
He has promised that on his return to Parliament he will behave. “People can expect I’m not going to be there to throw bombs, I’m not going to be there to conduct any vendetta.”
He will return as an independent MP after expulsion from the National Party with whom he had a cataclysmic fallout.
Ross yesterday released a lengthy and very frank treatise on the last couple of months of political and personal turmoil which have dominated his life and the media.
Here is an excerpt from Ross’s Facebook page:
Leaving bitterness and hatred behind
“The last time I actively took part in public debate, over three months ago, I found myself at the apex of a mental health crisis that became a life and death situation. My absence from Parliament and the media since then has understandably raised questions. I hope to now answer some of them.
“I’ve been to hell and back. I almost lost everything, including my own life. I just can’t be driven by hatred anymore, or the pursuit of getting even with Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett or anyone else in the National Party. “Life is too short for that. My time and energy needs to be focussed on doing everything I can for my family, my constituents and my country.
“If I could go back in time, my biggest wish is that I could have spared Lucy from this painful experience. She never deserved any of this, and politics is always harder on those loved ones in the background, than on the MPs themselves.
“I can’t spare Lucy (his wife) that pain or take back any hurt I have caused. But what I can do is dedicate myself for however long I have left in public life to making those around me proud of the good work that I can, and will, do.
“My plea to the 70,000 people living in my electorate is that I hope they are willing to judge me on the decade and a half I have spent serving Botany and the wider Howick area, and not that one challenging and confusing month where things fell apart for a while.
“I am still the same person that has always worked hard for them, that has never been afraid to speak up for them, or knock on their door and front up to them face to face. The only difference is that my life has been laid bare for all to see now, and I happen to be a flawed human being.
“Last year showed me that I need to be a better husband, I need to be a better boss, and I needed to be honest with myself about my own mental health struggles a lot earlier. I have been working really hard on these things in the past few months.”