Just a short post to cover the latest events of the Jami-Lee Ross saga.
The media reports are that he has been committed under the Mental Health Act and is receiving treatment.
Radio New Zealand has the details of what can be expected from here:
Mr Mallard has been taking advice about the relevant legal matters and privacy guidelines.
The Electoral Act does not appear to require Mr Mallard to report to Parliament if he does end up getting a notification.
Under the Act he would, however, have to alert the Director-General of Health:
“Who, together with some medical practitioner named by the Speaker, shall without delay visit and examine the member to whom the notice relates, and shall report to the Speaker whether the member is mentally disordered.”
Then follows a six month period after which the Speaker and the Director-General have to go back to the medical practitioner for an assessment as to whether the MP is “still mentally disordered” – if that is the case the MP’s seat becomes vacant.
That is all based on a hypothetical situation, and is not the necessarily the course of action that would be taken in Mr Ross’s case.
The National Party has released this rather strange statement:
Over the past several weeks the National Party has taken seriously the mental health concerns raised by Mr Ross and the medical professionals he has been involved with.
“That has included seeking advice from medical professionals and involving Police wherever necessary to ensure support is made available to Mr Ross. It would not be appropriate to comment further.”
It is rather difficult to reconcile this with the full on attack on Ross that happened last week. And elements of Twitterati see a conspiracy.
For me I think that David Seymour has summed up the situation well.
I have been staying out of the JLR saga but if reports are true that @nzpolice have detained a sitting MP under any circumstances they need to give an immediate explanation. Obviously these are unusual circumstances but police detaining a sitting MP is constitutionally serious.
— David Seymour (@dbseymour) October 21, 2018
Although all indications are that the authorities’ response to the situation was appropriate questions will need to be asked and answered.
And there are still so many other questions:
So many questions …
Please keep the discussion respectful. Matthew Whitehead’s outstanding post on the Weekend shows how it is done.