Barclay absent on full pay

Stuff tries to keep the Barclay story going:  He’s making $3000 a week but no-one knows if Todd Barclay will ever return to Parliament

It remains unclear whether embattled Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay will return to Parliament before retiring at the election in September.

Barclay has been absent from the House and select committees since he announced he would stand down in June over further revelations about his alleged illegal taping of a staff-member.

Parliament is currently in recess but will sit for a further four weeks prior to the election. Barclay is the deputy chair of both the Education and Science and Primary Production select committees.

Senior whip Jami-Lee Ross and Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie are travelling to Queenstown on Tuesday to meet with Barclay.

Ross said he would likely be talking to Barclay about whether he was coming back to Parliament or not.

“I don’t know if he’s made a decision yet. I’m sure that will come up in the conversation – we’ll discuss if and when he does come back to Parliament.”


The young MP, who usually has a busy schedule, hasn’t been spotted at a single public event – even when other National MPs have visited the electorate.

It is understood he was even absent from a National Party fundraiser in Queenstown on Friday, which deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett attended.

Barclay was active on Twitter up until June 19.

Since then, nothing.

Not many jobs allow you to keep getting paid while not working. In this case Barclay is very generously paid.

At least he doesn’t seem to be clocking up travel expenses.

This doesn’t look good, he should either be working as an MP or he should resign.

But comparatively, how bad is this?

How much value do taxpayers get out of back bench Government MPs? Especially list MPs?

How much value do we get out of opposition MPs?

John Key and David Cunliffe resigned as soon as they could while avoiding triggering a by-election. They aren’t being paid, but they have left their electorates unrepresented.

How many MPs are spending a lot if not most of their time campaigning? Working for their re-election and not working for the country?

Winston Peters spends a lot of time and money on a leader’s salary campaigning all over the country.

The Green co-leaders and most if not all Green MPs went to Nelson on Sunday to launch their election campaign. Perhaps they all paid for their own travel (presumably not by bicycle) and accommodation.

Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern have been campaigning for months. Who is paying for that?

Who paid for Matt McCarten’s salary while he set up a ‘non-partisan’ campaign using foreign students? And the other Labour staffers’ salaries? Has Stuff investigated that yet?

Barclay’s situation seems farcical, but his skiving off on full salary is not a lot more wasteful than a lot of Parliamentary expenses.

Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. RNZ has just had a news report quoting Barclay, so he must be available for comments.

    • duperez

       /  12th July 2017

      That just about qualifies him as a sought after public speaker I suppose. For the length of time he spoke to whomever, probably up there fee wise with those on the celebrity speaking circuit.😊

  2. Pete Kane

     /  12th July 2017

    “Disgraced MP’s former staff member at NZ First’s Gore meeting
    The staff member who was recorded by National MP Todd Barclay turned up to hear Winston Peters speak in Gore yesterday – while Barclay continues to keep his head down.”

    She’s actually a local Councilor, so a ‘public figure’ in her own right,

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  12th July 2017

    Most of the cost that you have highlighted are part & parcel of a parliamentary democracy.

    You can’t have a government without an opposition or a front bench without a back bench. The back bench is an apprenticeship for the front bench & opposition an apprenticeship for government.

    I imagine a lot of the hard graft at the electorate level is done by electorate staff especially in the electorates of party leaders & senior cabinet ministers.

    I imagine Todd Barclay is essentially on gardening leave. A bit of a no win situation for him & National.

  4. Fergus

     /  13th July 2017

    “Not many jobs allow you to keep getting paid while not working. In this case Barclay is very generously paid”.

    Actually when you have been dragged through the mire by the media and your employee and your world is collapsing the left would be the first to have sick/mental health leave. The poor bugger probably hasn’t moved from the duvet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: