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National MP refused police statement

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/03/2017

National MP Todd Barclay has admitted he declined to make a statement to police despite promising to co-operate fully with an investigation into allegations he recorded staff in his electorate office.

The Clutha-Southland MP was investigated by police last year to determine whether he had used "interception devices" to record a member of staff after he reportedly received a complaint from a member of the public.

At the time Mr Barclay said he would fully co-operate with the investigation but documents obtained by NZME have revealed he did not return phone calls from police.

"I subsequently received a call from Mr Barclay's solicitor advising he would not be making a statement in relation to this investigation," a police officer noted in one of the documents.

In a statement on Tuesday Mr Barclay said he spoke with his lawyer before declining to make a statement, which was within his rights.

Police later dropped their investigation.

Labour's police spokesman Stuart Nash says it sets a bad example for an MP to not co-operate with an investigation.

"For a member of parliament not to co-operate I think sends a really bad message and sets a bad example for most New Zealanders," he told RNZ on Wednesday.

"If he didn't have anything to hide he would have sat down with the investigating officer, laid out his side of the story and the investigator would have gone on."

Mr Barclay was re-selected as National's candidate for Clutha-Southland in September after a challenge from property developer Simon Flood.

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