Jami-Lee Ross

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Jami-Lee Ross
Jami-Lee Ross Portrait.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Botany
Assumed office
5 March 2011
Preceded by Pansy Wong
Majority 3,996
Personal details
Born (1985-12-10) 10 December 1985 (age 31)
New Zealand
Political party National
Spouse(s) Lucy Schwaner

Jami-Lee Matenga[1] Ross MP (born 10 December 1985) is a New Zealand National Party Member of Parliament for Botany, having won the 2011 Botany by-election on 5 March.

Early life[edit]

Ross was brought up by his grandmother as his mother was "not in the best space to raise a child", and he has never met his father who descends from the Māori iwi of Ngāti Porou. He attended Dilworth School, a boarding school for pupils from difficult backgrounds, then Pakuranga College, but left without formal qualifications. He holds a commercial pilot's licence from April 2012,[1] having trained at Ardmore Flying School. He has also studied towards a politics and economics degree at the University of Auckland.[2]

His wife, Lucy Schwaner, was a member of the Howick Local Board.[3] Schwaner was reelected to the Howick Local Board in 2016, but when she failed to be chosen as chairperson after being sworn-in she quit, triggering a $104,000 by-election.[4]

Political career[edit]

Auckland Council
Years Ward Affiliation
2010–2011 Howick Citizens & Ratepayers

Ross was elected to the Manukau City Council in 2004 aged 18 and worked as an electorate secretary in Pakuranga for Maurice Williamson.[5] He has been a member of the National Party since 2003.

In 2010, he ran in the Auckland local elections for a place on the new Auckland Council, winning a seat in the Howick ward. He was subsequently elected co-leader of the Citizens & Ratepayers ticket, who form the opposition on the council.[6] He resigned from the Council on 7 March 2011, after winning election to parliament.[7]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011 49th Botany National
2011–2014 50th Botany 54 National
2014 – present 51st Botany 29 National

On 27 January 2011, the National Party selected Ross as their candidate for the Botany by-election, which was held following the resignation of Pansy Wong.[5] On 5 March 2011, he won the by-election with 54.66% of the vote and a majority of 3,996. Upon his swearing into Parliament Ross became the youngest Member of Parliament, taking the title of Baby of the House from Gareth Hughes, a Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand List MP.

Following the February 2013 reshuffle, Prime Minister John Key appointed Ross as the Third Whip for the National Party. New guidelines from Parliamentary services allowed larger parties to employ a Third Whip along with a Junior Whip Tim Macindoe and a Chief Whip Louise Upston. Ross remains seated with Backbench Caucus colleagues but gains additional salary and is usually seen in the Whip's chairs if both of the other Whips are out of Parliament.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Refer to talk page
  2. ^ "No Plan B for Botany's young gun". The New Zealand Herald. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Smith, Simon (23 January 2013). "Chairman fails in attempt to dump deputy". Auckland Now. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320550/local-board-member-who-quit-within-minutes-paid-$1600
  5. ^ a b "Nats and Labour make choices for Botany". TVNZ. 27 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Orsman, Bernard (12 October 2010). "Defeated but defiant: right wing's new faces hint at old-style politics". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Howick councillor Jami-Lee Ross resigns scoop.co.nz, 7 March 2011
  8. ^ "Members of Parliament: Current MPs". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "House Seating Plan: Debating Chamber" (PDF). Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Pansy Wong
Member of Parliament for Botany