Where's Todd Barclay? MP accused of going MIA
Despite still being paid $3000 a week, National MP Todd Barclay has not attended Parliament, has not been seen at scheduled events and hasn't been seen by media in his Clutha-Southland electorate offices since the taping scandal blew up on June 21.
The only media reports of a public appearance was at Queenstown's Pig and Whistle pub, Fairfax reports.
It's been three weeks since the MP was thrown into the spotlight when new details emerged regarding allegations he secretly recorded staff member Glenys Dickson in his electorate office. A taxpayer-funded Prime Minister's fund was used to pay out Ms Dickson over the dispute.
It then emerged Prime Minister Bill English told police in April 2016 that Mr Barclay had told him about the recording. Following the revelations, police reopened their investigation into the taping after dropping it last year when Mr Barclay refused to be interviewed.
- Todd Barclay tapes contained 'sex and drugs' matters - report
- Bill English admits Todd Barclay offered to play secret recordings
While Mr Barclay appears to have been avoiding public appearances, he's on an annual salary of $165,000, plus travel and accommodation expenses. He's also expected to receive a three-month gardening leave payment when he leaves office after the election.
Adding to frustrations, Mr Barclay's responses to questions from media have been few. When local paper Mountain Scene sent Mr Barclay 12 questions, they reported he answered just one - about work on local issues.
Mr Barclay told the paper he is "totally focused on, and passionate about, remaining actively engaged in issues, looking out for the people of Clutha-Southland's interests and advocating on their behalf". He also told the paper he's doubled staffing hours at his Queenstown office.
Newshub has asked Mr Barclay for response to allegations that appear to amount to claims he's not been doing his job as a Member of Parliament. This article will be updated if he responds.