National MP Sarah Dowie finally fronts on police probe into Jami-Lee Ross text

National MP Sarah Dowie has responded to an investigation into a text she allegedly  sent to her former colleague Jami-Lee Ross, telling him he deserved to die. 

"If there is an investigation underway, it would be inappropriate for me to comment," the Invercargill MP told press on Thursday. 

She said police haven't contacted her yet in relation to the investigation. 

Police have confirmed the investigation, and asked whether she should stand down while it's underway, Ms Dowie said "no". 

"I am committed to representing the people of Invercargill just as I always have."

It's understood Ms Dowie had a long-term affair with Mr Ross, which ended in mid-2018. 

The text message to him was sent in August, and Mr Ross says it triggered his breakdown in October, which saw him sectioned under the Mental Health Act. 

An anonymous person made a complaint with police over the text in December, under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, and Mr Ross says he doesn't know who it was.

When Newshub approached National for comment in January, National leader Simon Bridges said he wasn't aware Ms Dowie was being investigated, and said police were yet to get in touch.

The maximum punishment under the Harmful Digital Communications Act for inciting a person to suicide - even if they don't carry it out - is three years in prison. 

MPs convicted of a crime that has a potential punishment of at least two years in prison are automatically booted from Parliament, even if that's not the sentence that's handed down.

A spokesperson for National said in January: "The National Party is aware of media reports of a police investigation but has not heard from police. If there is an investigation, then we would expect people to cooperate fully."