The National Party board member said to have talked to the woman allegedly bugged by MP Todd Barclay about withdrawing her complaint to the police was Glenda Hughes, the Herald has been told.

The identity of Hughes has become one of the points of focus in the unfolding scandal enveloping the National Party's handling of the allegations against Barclay.

Barclay is facing intense pressure over claims he secretly recorded former electorate secretary Glenys Dickson, who then complained to the police.

No charges were laid, but details of the investigation revealed by Newsroom showed Prime Minister Bill English had been interviewed by police and told detectives Barclay had admitted recording her.


Dickson received a payout from her employer, Parliamentary Services, on leaving Barclay's office - a payment topped up with money from then-Prime Minister John Key's leader's budget to take into account a breach of her privacy.

Newsroom reported that within weeks of laying a complaint with police about the alleged secret recording, Dickson spoke to a National Party board member.

She was quoted saying: "I was told if I didn't withdraw the police complaint I could potentially take down the National Party, and there was an [implication] that if National didn't have Barclay in Parliament they were one short to pass legislation."

Dickson said the board member told her a high-profile court case would be hard on her and her family.

Newsroom reported: "The board member explained to me if I withdrew my complaint I would be considered a hostile witness and the police would have not had a case."

Inquiries by the Herald have revealed Hughes was the board member Dickson referred to as making the call.

Hughes is a former police officer and national sporting champion who now works as a media and public relations consultant.

She holds a number of high-profile positions as a director on the NZ Racing Board along with her position as a director on the National Party board.

The Herald has attempted to contact Hughes on a number of occasions since learning her role yesterday afternoon. She has not responded.

The Herald has also attempted to speak to National Party president Peter Goodfellow to find if Hughes had placed the call at the request of the board, or if he had talked to her about it. He has also not responded to messages.

University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis told the Herald that the call was "unwise" given Dickson had made a complaint which police were investigating.