Labour also used leader's budget for payouts
The leader of the opposition has revealed it too has used its leadership budget to pay employment settlements.
Police have reopened the investigation of National MP Todd Barclay, who stood down after allegations that he made secret recordings of a staffer who was later paid out using the leader's office slush fund.
Labour leader Andrew Little says his party's done that too.
"There's certainly been employment settlements, they typically go through the leader's budget. I think what's interesting about this case is the text statement from Bill English that this was larger."
Mr English said at the time that the settlement was large to avoid legal action.
Mr Little says it implies the settlement was "unusually high".
"The issue is that the reports from last week and the circumstances around it suggest that there is an elevated level of settlement."
It's unknown how big the payout made to Mr Barclay's staffer Glenys Dickson was.