8 Mar 2016

Todd Barclay: 'I've made some mistakes'

8:04 am on 8 March 2016

The National Party MP for Clutha-Southland, Todd Barclay, has admitted that he has made some mistakes as a new MP.

National Party MP Todd Barclay

National Party MP Todd Barclay Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

Two electorate staff members and the electorate chairman have resigned since Mr Barclay took over as MP in 2014.

In an interview with RNZ News, Mr Barclay said it had been tough for him following on from Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, who served as the local MP for the area for 24 years.

"Bill English is a highly respected local Member of Parliament before he went on to the list ... the nature of the electorate as well, it's a strong blue seat.

"It's had its challenges and I'm just trying to work hard just to build people's trust and build people's confidence.

"You know I'm only almost 26, you know I don't have the same level of experience or background as what many other people in the electorate have.

"We have a strong number of really passionate loyal supporters, and I'm just keen to move forward and work with these people who provide so much support to the party."

It had been a steep learning curve, he said.

"I'll be the first to admit I've made some mistakes and I'll make mistakes again, you know it's been a huge learning curve and a lot of change in a short space of time."

He declined to comment on media speculation about an alleged secret recording involving a staff member.

If he had learned one thing - and he said he had learned that the hard way - it was that he could not talk about any employment matters.

He now wanted to focus on being a good MP for his electorate.