National Party candidate claims harassment by Jami-Lee Ross

One woman has gone public about what she claims was harassment by Jami-Lee Ross. This is in relation to the Howick Community Board where Ross campaigned for his wife to be appointed board chair. others have complained about Ross’ behaviour over this too, including the person who became chair.

It wasn’t sexual but was serious enough for the women to complain to the National Party (not the parliamentary part) and to seek medical help. At the least Ross has proven again to be a pushy arrogant arse.

NZ Herald: National candidate speaks out over harassment by rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross

A National Party candidate has spoken about a campaign of harassment by rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross which became so severe she sought medical help and intervention by the party hierarchy.

Manurewa candidate Katrina Bungard told the Herald Ross had harassed her in 2016 and 2017.

She said Ross began the campaign to get wife Lucy Schwaner appointed as chair of the Howick Community Board in east Auckland.

Bungard – a teacher – said her experience of harassment by Ross had led her to complain to National Party hierarchy.

“They did what they could, which is talk to him. There wasn’t enough evidence of anything extreme.”

However, Bungard said her personal experience led her to a definite perspective.

“I thought it was extreme.”

Ross had wanted Bungard – and others on the board – to support Schwaner and he had enlisted so-called political strategist Simon Lusk to assist.

Lusk involved again. Odd paying for a political hit man to try to get his wife voted as community board chair.

“(Lusk) rang me and told me I could have a great career in politics, that he would get me this job and that job.

“Then he said he can only do these things if you’re in a good place with Jami-Lee. If you fall out, I can’t do anything.”

“You know it’s not a good day when you’re getting calls from Simon Lusk.”

Bungard said the harassment had been ongoing for a few years.

“It’s been a pretty hard time for me. I had to get medical help. I was off work, working on my Master’s thesis. I had to get an extension on the thesis and medical note saying I had been under a lot of intense pressure.

“I was concerned for my own family. I had phone calls where he was ‘going to war’ with me and my family.”

Bungard said the campaign shifted after she voted for David Collings, as did the majority of others on the board.

Collings had complained to National Party general manager Greg Hamilton about Ross’ behaviour over the vote for the chair’s role.

Collings said: “He was being a dickhead and a bit of a prat and I wanted him to stop. Greg said he would have a word to him. But it carried on.”

Nothing on it’s own seems particularly serious, but it seems to be a pattern of obnoxious behaviour and playing power games.

It included being served a trespass order when she tried to attend a National Party morning tea for senior citizens.

She had arrived at the meeting in the electorate – for which she was electorate secretary at the time – to be presented with the trespass by the electorate chair.

“I didn’t even get in the door.” She said she asked for the grounds and was told it was “because I had fallen out with Jami-Lee and he had been ordered to trespass me and I wasn’t welcome at any event Jami-Lee was hosting”.

Bizarre.

Bungard said she believed the party had done what it could but it was difficult when the harassment included constant low-level incidents over which there was no physical evidence.

“Greg and Peter Goodfellow did what they could at the time given the evidence they had to go on. But it was one person’s word against another. I’ve been a long-time supporter of the National Party and there was nothing they could do.

“I don’t hold National responsible for his behaviour at all.”

Ross must be held responsible for his behaviour, but it sounds like he made things awkward for the party, especially as he was an MP.

 

13 Comments

  1. Revel

     /  October 18, 2018

    Who do the Ross’ think they are? Bill and Hillary Clinton or something!!!

  2. lurcher1948

     /  October 18, 2018

    National,no surprises there

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 18, 2018

    As well as being an evil sod he also seems a complete prick. Tau Henare called him a nutjob on The Project tonight. I think that was unfair to nutjobs – most are fairly harmless.

    • duperez

       /  October 18, 2018

      He does seem to be a prick. He doesn’t have that on his own though the way his ‘qualities’ manifest themselves might be peculiar to him.

      One thing that’s come out of today’s revelations is that maybe no person in any senior/higher role in any workplace in the country should have personal relationships to do with anyone in junior/lower roles in that workplace. Just in case.

      If anything happens where things sour, the more senior one can be said to have abused their position of power and by the mere dint of a disenchanted one’s words be subjected to all sorts of things. It could even end in one person taking out trespass orders against the other as they consider them to be a ‘nut job.’ There are obsessive fruit loops and no doubt obsessive fruit loops crying victim and being believed.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  October 18, 2018

        Irrelevant to the Bungard saga?

        • duperez

           /  October 18, 2018

          I don’t know.
          I’ve seen an obsessive in action (not towards me) and reading the Bungard thing brought her to mind. She was a mad woman and in a 2018 context I would consider her to be dangerous.
          Ordinary people will be asking that if he is such an arsehole how numerous women could find him attractive and/or stick around long enough to accept more than a hint of the arseholeness.

          • Gezza

             /  October 18, 2018

            It’s not all that difficult to get them interested if they’re unattached or shy.

            • Gezza

               /  October 18, 2018

              And from observation, even easier if they’re vulnerable emotionally for some reason.

  4. Tipene

     /  October 18, 2018

    I’m trying to think of an election candidate who has ever hired Lusk, Slater, et al and had a positive, scandal-free outcome as a result of their investment.

    Assistance please, because I can’t name one person.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 18, 2018

      A list of those who didn’t would be interesting.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  October 18, 2018

      Ross is Gone baby Gone … the same way Aaron Gilmour did.
      Drummed out of town by Lusk and Slater. Will Ross be next?

    • Blazer

       /  October 19, 2018

      hiring Lusk seems to be the kiss of death.
      He seems to share the the same m.o as Slater…a big girls blouse trying to present as some macho,stoic hero.
      Dressed in camo gear shooting deer in an enclosure is a good example of what a fucking,useless prick he ..is.