The lowest-ranked NZ First MP is refusing to say what job he did before politics.

And his leader Winston Peters is also refusing to say what his 11th-ranked MP Mahesh Bindra does for a living.

"I can tell you, he's not a spy," said Mr Peters this morning.

Mr Bindra, who came in at number 11 on the party list, is currently employed in the public service but will not say which department he works for.


"The (public service) Code of Conduct doesn't allow me to say the department I worked for."

He also said the special votes might mean he doesn't become an MP.

"I haven't received formal confirmation. Technically, I haven't resigned yet."

He also said he was concerned in case special votes impact on the number of seats it has won.

"I am erring on the side of caution. I need a bit more time before I can confirm. I'm not too sure as to where I stand."

Mr Bindra, who won 607 votes as a candidate in the Mt Roskill seat, said he was in the "law and order" field.

His role as chairman of the Corrections Association of NZ would suggest he is a prison officer - but he won't say.

Mr Peters said he believed Mr Bindra had signed an agreement with his employer which stopped him from disclosing where he worked.

"When you are working for a government department, they sign a confidentiality form. If you've signed a document, you're still caught by the document you have signed."

Mr Peters said he would not disclose Mr Bindra's employment because doing so would break a confidence.

He said it was "utterly correct" the public should know about any candidates employment background and hoped it could be revealed tomorrow.

Otago university political scientist Dr Bryce Edwards said it was "bizarre" any candidate or MP would not tell voters what they did for a living.

"Under MMP the public needs to have the maximum amount of information about candidates on the party list."

He said the media and parties had failed to give the public as much information as was needed about candidates on the party list.

"This is lead to all sorts of surprises when minor parties like NZ First bring in large numbers of MPs. Quite often we haven't heard of them until their eccentricities are launched onto the public stage.

"The fact he is so unwilling to talk about himself is quite bizarre and will be unsettling for people. These are the people who will be determining the future of New Zealand - the public would find it entirely unacceptable for any candidate let along an MP not to be upfront about their current or past employment."