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Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party.

The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal life to supporting the party that for me has always represented the ultimate kiwi values of hard work, reward for effort, self-reliance and compassion. Unfortunately this passion has put me on a self-destructive path. This was confirmed for me as I wrote to Michael Heron QC last night to advise him that towards the end of June I had sent several emails to Michael Woodhouse comprising notification of a small number of then new Covid19 cases. My decisions to share this information were wrong, driven by my distorted view that providing that information would help the National Party to hold the Government to account. In fact it was harmful, not helpful, and it is time that the National Party and I parted ways.

Since joining the National Party at 18, I have tried, sometimes way too hard, to support the Party in any way I could. After resigning as President following the 2002 General Election, I continued to defend and advocate for the Party in many forums, including accepting invitations to provide political commentary. In none of those forums was I the official representative of the National Party, yet media and political opponents saw my comments as “the National Party” and I in turn felt the need to defend any National Party perspective.

My strong sense of obligation to others has manifested itself in extensive work for charities and individuals in need over many years, but in respect of the National Party, my loyalties have severely clouded my judgement. I was always available to defend, to support and to advocate for the Party and its MPs. I have become an unhelpful distraction in the current political environment. I apologise to all those who have been collateral damage in my quest, both inside and outside the Party and I deeply regret my actions.

I hope my resignation will allow the Party to get on with its vital task of setting out its pathway for New Zealand’s future in the upcoming General Election. The governance and direction of New Zealand, its economic stewardship and the wellbeing of all New Zealanders is the most important issue right now.

I am grateful for the many friends I have made through politics and for their recent support for me personally. Right now, my task is to assist the investigation being carried out by Michael Heron QC and face the consequences of my actions.

I will be making no further comment at this time.

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