National MP Sam Uffindell Stood Down After More Allegations Surface & More New Zealand News


National MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down pending an investigation, National Party leader Christopher Luxon says.

At about 11.20pm on Tuesday night, Luxon announced the Tauranga MP would be stood down, after more allegations surrounding his past behaviour surfaced.

Luxon said they had made the decision to stand the MP down after they became aware of “very concerning” allegations made to RNZ regarding Uffindell and a female flatmate in 2003.

“Mr Uffindell disputes the allegations and, in the interests of natural justice, an independent investigation will now be undertaken to determine the facts.

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Jericho Rock-Archer/Stuff

National MP Sam Uffindell says he is not proud of the person he was at school, admitting he was a “bully” but says he is a changed man.

“While this process is under way, Mr Uffindell will be stood down from caucus,” Luxon said.

The investigation will be done by QC Maria Dew – with the expectation that it will take two weeks, he said.

Uffindell said that while he was student at Otago University, when the alleged incident took place, he enjoyed the student lifestyle – which included drinking and smoking marijuana.

“While in second year a number of flatmates fell out – and two of the flatmates left midway through the year.”

He said he rejected any accusation that he engaged in behaviour that was intimidatory or bullying.

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National Party Leader Christopher Luxon made the announcement late on Tuesday night. (File photo)

Jericho Rock-Archer

National Party Leader Christopher Luxon made the announcement late on Tuesday night. (File photo)

Newly appointed National Party President Sylvia Wood said she was advised by the party on Tuesday evening that Uffindell would be stood down from caucus.

As the party only became aware of the allegations on Tuesday evening, the details of the investigation will be finalised over the next few days, she said.

The new allegations come after revelations the new Tauranga MP was asked to leave his exclusive boarding school, after viciously beating a younger student late at night.

The victim of the attack said it happened on the last night of term in 1999, inside one of the King’s College boarding houses.

He had been in bed in his dorm room after lights out, when four older boys came in and jumped on him and began beating him, he said.

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Jericho Rock-Archer/Stuff

National’s Christopher Luxon says he stands behind his Tauranga MP San Uffindell.

He thought the boys had been using wooden bed legs unscrewed from their dorm.

Uffindell did offer the man an apology, but it came 22 years after the attack, and nine months before he publicly announced his political aspirations.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Uffindell said he was “a 16-year-old thug” at high school but was not trying to hide his past. “I’m ashamed of the person I was,” he said.

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