Billy Te Kahika quits Advance NZ party

  • 26/10/2020

Billy Te Kahika has quit as co-leader of the Advance NZ party according to Jami-Lee Ross. 

Ross, the other co-leader, told supporters in an email that  "Billy Te Kahika informed Advance NZ that he has decided not to continue with the party.

'Naturally, this is sad for all of us." 

Ross told Newshub Te Kahika "wants to do his own thing" and the decision was a swift one. 

Advance NZ won just 0.9 per cent of the vote at the October 17 New Zealand election. The party, which largely had a number of conspiracy theories as its manifesto, got just 20,841 votes. 

Ross told Newshub the party will be continuing and restructuring. 

Ross was the subject of a Newshub Nation interview on the morning after the election where political editor Tova O'Brien held him to account over views he put forward during the campaign. 

O'Brien asked Ross if he had any regrets being part of an election campaign that was peddling misinformation.

"You know exactly what you were doing; you were whipping up fear and hysteria among vulnerable communities," she told Ross.

Ross tried to make claims COVID-19's fatality rate is similar to the seasonal flu - something experts have disproven. O'Brien interjected before moving on.

"I don't want to hear any of that rubbish," she said.

She went on to ask Ross why he pulled out of the running for the Botany electorate - where he was the incumbent MP. The seat was won by National's Christopher Luxon on Saturday night.

"I wanted to focus on the nationwide campaign with Advance New Zealand. We had 62 brand new candidates," Ross replied.

He claims had he stood, he would have "taken so much vote off Luxon that Labour would have won the seat".

"You're dreaming, mate," O'Brien said.

The interview went viral on social media.