Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March gives details of overseas trip which saw him miss first week of Parliament

Source: 1News

Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March has released a lengthy statement revealing details of the overseas trip which saw him miss first week of Parliament.

Menéndez March went to Mexico to care for sick parents, and also travelled with his partner back to New Zealand.

The Greens says Menéndez March and his partner didn’t need to travel back together from Mexico for the visa as "Visa waiver countries don’t need to travel together". 

He waited 24 hours before making a statement on Facebook.

When 1 NEWS asked questions about his partner they did not return calls.

Menéndez March's full statement can be viewed here.

Part of his statement reads:

"Leaving New Zealand and returning to my homeland of Tijuana Mexico was not an easy decision and many have understood the severity of my personal circumstances, and shown compassion and empathy.

"The Green Party has always stood for truth and transparency. Because of this, I am going to go into detail, (as much as my family is comfortable) as to why I made the difficult decision to return home.

"Before becoming a Member of Parliament last year, due to the ill health of my father and step-mum, I had booked an urgent flight home to go and care for my parents.

"My step-mum has had breast cancer diagnosis that she has been battling for several years, she recently had an aggressive relapse and has been given between six to twelve months to live.

"For several years since my biological mum's passing, she has been a core part of my nuclear family. During the pandemic my dad had undergone major surgery (with long lasting effects), and the person who had cared for them had become extremely ill herself and was unable to care for them.

"The pandemic itself has taken an incredible toll on their health and finances."

Menéndez March went on to say he received the blessing of Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson and party whip Jan Logie before leaving on December 13 last year.

"Meanwhile, since June last year, my long-term partner and I have been trying to secure a visa for him to live and work in Aotearoa with me. 

"After a couple of attempts, and after a change to the process for people from visa waiver countries, he was granted an invitation to apply for a visa on Dec 3rd.

"On Jan 11th, my partner was granted a six month New Zealand Visitor Visa.

"This aligned, very fortunately, to the period of time where I was seeking to return to Aotearoa New Zealand," March wrote of his partner.

National's Judith Collins told media today she would not have let her MPs travel.

Menéndez March had asked for a special exemption for a place in MIQ and it was turned down.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Green Party co-leader James Shaw were contacted by the Chief Executive for Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Carolyn Tremain as part of the no surprises policy.

Tremain said she called them to ascertain if there was "any information we were missing that would factor in the outcome of the application".

"As a result of both of these conversations, I was comfortable with the decision to decline the application."

Shaw said it was a "very serious family issue" for Menéndez March to travel.

"He had no special treatment, he went through exactly the same process that anybody else doing the same thing would."

Menéndez March was able to secure a place without a special exemption and will finish managed isolation this weekend and is set to be back in Parliament on Tuesday.