In an explosive political saga, rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross has accused National Party leader Simon Bridges for his “corrupt” handling of donations.
Mr Ross has claimed that Mr Bridges asked him to collect a $100,000 donation only to split it to smaller amounts to hide it, naming the donor as Chinese businessman Yikun Zhang.
Mr Bridges called these allegations "entirely false".
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In a fiery statement on Tuesday, Mr Ross alleged that Mr Zhang’s donation was not disclosed to the Electoral Commission, but emphasised that his doesn’t believe the businessman did anything wrong himself.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Ross tweeted photos of Mr Bridges attending a private fundraiser in May alongside Mr Zhang.
Mr Zhang’s wife confirmed that Simon Bridges had been at their house for dinner before was unsure about any donations, Stuff reports.
Mr Zhang, an Auckland resident, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand-China relations and the Chinese community.
In July 2017, National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett posted photos on Facebook of her and Jami-Lee Ross sitting at the same table as Mr Zhang for the opening of the Chao Shan General Association's new function centre.
According to his wife, Mr Zhang is currently in China and won’t be back in New Zealand for another two weeks.