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On the stump: Advance NZ co-leader Jami-Kee Ross, centre, electioneering in Arrowtown recently with Southland candidate Robert Wilson and Waitaki candidate Heather Meri Pennycook

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Advance NZ co-leader Jami-Lee Ross is advancing his party as a friend of the beleaguered
tourism industry.

In Arrowtown on September 26 to address an election meeting, Ross — whose party’s been widely condemned for spreading conspiracy theories — tells Mountain Scene ‘‘as a country we can’t go for years and years with rolling [Covid-19] lockdowns, and with borders closed’’.

‘‘Tourism is such an important part of New Zealand’s economy, so we’re of the view that we should look to reopen the borders.

‘‘We should take a risk-based approach where some people who are at greater risk either
because they have low immune systems or are older, should be supported more.’’

In a statement that’s been widely debunked, he says Covid-19 mortality rates are ‘‘not too dissimilar’’ from those for seasonal flu.

Unlike the major parties, Ross suggests NZ needs to live with the virus.

‘‘You can’t have lockdowns as a long-term strategy, it won’t work and the long-term impact is devastating.’’

Meanwhile, Advance NZ’s added a last-minute candidate to the contest for the local Southland electorate.

He’s Mossburn-based Robert Wilson, who’s a farmer, a venison recovery businessman and a
goldminer.

scoop@scene.co.nz