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The Clutha-Southland MP, who stepped down as his party’s candidate in the Southland seat in the coming election after admitting he released private details of Covid-19 patients to the media, has not been at Parliament this week.
Mr Walker, who went to ground after his indiscretion became public, has so far not been seen publicly or spoken to media and has also proved hard to find for his own party.
Ms Collins said she contacted Mr Walker yesterday.
‘‘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.
‘‘We expect him to continue this good work through until the end of this parliamentary term.’’
Mr Walker’s electorate offices have been closed in recent days. Signs on the door said the MP was on leave.
Ms Collins said it had been agreed Mr Walker would be granted leave from parliamentary duties in Wellington through until the end of this term of Parliament.
It was unconfirmed last night whether this meant Mr Walker had turned down the right accorded to all departing MPs, to make a valedictory statement to the House.
Because Mr Walker has not quit or been sacked, he will still receive three months' pay from the taxpayer totalling $60,000.
This entitlement is about two months' of his $163,000 base MP salary ($27,000), plus a further three months' pay after the election or $40,000 in total - a perk afforded all MPs who have resigned, or are voted out - minus 10 per cent due to Covid-19-related cuts.
Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway will also still be paid because he hasn't quit - but being stripped of his portfolios means he'll take a $132,000 pay cut and lose his access to a chauffeur-driven BMW limousine.
But disgraced former National MP Andrew Falloon, who was sacked for sending a pornographic image to a teenager, will save the taxpayer $60,000 because he lost his job immediately.
Falloon was the 13th National MP to announce they were leaving politics, although the 12 others will do so at the September election and so will continue to collect their salaries plus three months' pay after polling day.
They will all be reduced a minimum 10 percent due to Covid-related pay cuts that came into effect July 9 and are to last six months.
The collective payouts amount to roughly $1.4m, based on base MP rates and not including extra payments from committee roles.
The payouts range from about $238,000 for Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott, who announced his resignation in June last year; to about $61,000 for departing former deputy leader Nikki Kaye, who announced her resignation last week on July 16.
- additional reporting NZ Herald