Earlier today I received the independent report from PwC on their investigation into the recent leak of the National Party’s travel expenses.
The report states that the evidence identified points to Jami Lee Ross as being the person who sent the anonymous text message.
I am releasing the report today.
John Billington QC has independently assessed the investigation report. It is his opinion that on the balance of probabilities the evidence establishes that Jami-Lee Ross was the person who leaked the expenses and the sender of the text message.
I accept both the investigation report and the opinion of Mr Billington.
Earlier today I visited Jami-Lee Ross with Paula Bennett and explained to him the report and the opinion of Mr Billington and gave him an opportunity to respond. I was not satisfied with his explanation.
I also discussed with Jami-Lee other matters concerning his conduct that have come to my attention and suggest, together with the leak, a pattern.
I informed Jami-Lee that tomorrow the investigation report and Mr Billington’s opinion will be presented at a meeting of the National Party Caucus along with the other matters.
The Caucus will be asked to consider all relevant matters, including his membership of the Caucus.
Finally, you will recall Jami-Lee recently took leave from Parliament given personal health issues.
This action today is completely separate. I did not know what the investigation report would contain when those matters were addressed in recent weeks.
Today I have taken steps to ensure that Jami-Lee has the necessary support around him at this time.
The step that I have taken today is not made lightly. I am balancing the health issues with the considerable public interest in the outcome of the investigation.