National MP Hamish Walker granted leave from Parliament, set to collect $60,000

National MP Hamish Walker.
National MP Hamish Walker. Photo credit: File

National MP Hamish Walker has been granted leave from Parliament and is set to collect around $60,000 on the taxpayer. 

Walker announced earlier this month he would not seek re-election in Southland in September after he confessed to passing on confidential COVID-19 patient data to the press. 

National Party leader Judith Collins confirmed to Newshub on Friday that Walker had been granted leave from parliamentary duties in Wellington through until the end of this term. 

Parliament dissolves on August 12 ahead of the September election. 

"I have spoken with Hamish and we have decided the best course of action will be for him to focus on supporting his constituents from within his electorate," Collins said. "We expect him to continue this good work through until the end of this parliamentary term."

Walker earns $163,961 as an MP and by law he is entitled to three months' salary post-election - a perk open to all MPs who retire or are not voted back in.  

He stands to collect about $60,000 in entitlements, including the three months' post-election salary worth around $40,000. 

Walker announced his plans not to stand at the election on July 8, thanking the people of his electorate Clutha-Southland who he said he has "loved meeting, assisting and representing" over the past two and a half years.

"I sincerely apologise for my actions," he said at the time. 

Andrew Falloon does not get the same financial entitlements, because he resigned effectively immediately earlier this week after it was revealed he had been allegedly sending inappropriate images to young women. 

Walker and Falloon join a string of other National MPs who will be gone after the election.