MP Todd Barclay resurfaces in Queenstown
Beleaguered Southland MP Todd Barclay has resurfaced after avoiding public interviews for almost a month.
Barclay resigned in June following revelations he secretly taped a staffer, but is still sitting on a $170,000 parliamentary salary until the election in September.
Since then questions have been raised about what Barclay has been doing in the electorate while he continues to be paid with public funds.
On Tuesday, the MP posted on his Facebook page that he is still working on constituent issues, along with a photo of him holding what appears to be a child's letter of support.
"Been in my Queenstown office today working on constituent issues and signing out letters and it was nice to receive this handmade card from a young constituent!," the post said.
The card appeared to read:
"I am very sorry that you are having a bad time at the moment, I hope it stops soon."
It was adorned with a rainbow, pictures of smiley faces and hearts.
Barclay, who could not be reached for comment, said in a statement to Seven Sharp he would return to Parliament next week.
"Contrary to recent speculation, I will be returning to Wellington," he said in the statement.
"As the outgoing MP, I won't be attending public events or publicising my movements in the way I previously would as there will be a new candidate soon and that will be their role.
"I put my life and everything I had into this role, but we are now going through a transition of selecting a new candidate, who I hope will give just as much of themself to the role as what I did."
Barclay has hardly been seen since his resignation on June 21, apart from a sighting at Queenstown's Pig and Whistle last week.
On Tuesday, the Independent Police Conduct Authority said they would not pursue a complaint that alleged there was misconduct or neglect by police in handling the investigation into his secret recording of a staff member.
After initially not investigating the incident, police announced in June they would reopen the investigation.