Christopher Luxon to announce decisions on Sam Uffindell today

National MP Sam Uffindell spoke to the media after the disclosure on Monday of the vicious attack that resulted in him being asked to leave King’s College.
Video / Mark Mitchell

National Party leader Christopher Luxon will announce which decisions he has made about the future of new Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell later today.

A report by KC Maria Dew was presented to Luxon late last week. Luxon had asked Dew to look into allegations about Uffindell’s behaviour at university and any further incidents that were brought to her attention.

Uffindell, who won Tauranga’s byelection earlier this year, was stood down from National’s caucus on August 9 after two allegations of bullying and intimidatory behaviour in his youth surfaced.

Luxon has said he does not expect to release the report by Dew, but would make decisions based on its findings.

Over the weekend, National’s central North Island regional chair Andrew von Dadelszen posted a photo of Uffindell holding a National Party rosette at the Tauranga Women’s Expo.

In response to a commenter, von Dadelszen said “Sam is in excellent heart… itching to get back to work, supporting Tauranga in Wellington.”

On August 9, National leader Christopher Luxon said he expected the Dew investigation would take two weeks.

He later said the investigation would start on August 15, and re-stated his expectation of a two-week duration.

In the latest update, Dew had reportedly requested more time to complete the investigation.

On August 8, Stuff revealed Uffindell had been asked to leave Auckland boarding school King’s College for physically beating a Year 9 (third form) student while Uffindell was Year 11 (fifth form) in 1999.

A further allegation was made to RNZ by one of Uffindell’s former university flatmates, including that he had once banged on her door and shouted at her – and she had fled through her window, and then moved out of the flat.

Uffindell has rejected that allegation, but admitted he had been a bully at school.

He claimed he was now a different person.

Uffindell has been away from Parliament since he was stood down.

Uffindell had disclosed the incident at Kings College during the selection process for the Tauranga byelection.

However, that information was not passed on to either the leader or the delegates voting in the selection. It later emerged that MP Todd McClay, who chaired National’s byelection campaign, had advised one of Luxon’s staff, but they did not tell Luxon.

Luxon has previously said that he should have been told about it and that the party’s delegates and the public should also have been told.

The National Party President Sylvia Wood has previously said the selection process was run in accordance with the party’s rules, but admitted it was now clear the process needed to be improved.

The party overhauled its selection processes after 2020 following a bruising election defeat, and MPs leaving under a cloud of scandal during the previous two terms.

More to come

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