McClay was born in 1945. He attended secondary school at Wesley College, Auckland.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
A teacher by profession, he was an MP from 1981 to 1996, representing the National Party. He was first elected to Parliament in the 1981 election as MP for Taupo, defeating the incumbent Labour MP, Jack Ridley.
In the 1984 election, he contested and won the new seat of Waikaremoana, which he held until he retired at the 1996 election. He became Minister of Youth Affairs and Associate Minister of Education and Social Welfare during the Third National Government. He later held the role of Commissioner for Children.
In the 2005 New Year Honours, McClay was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO). McClay was the chairman for Keep New Zealand Beautiful until July 2009. He has been involved in a number of other charities, including the New Zealand Spinal Trust, World Vision, Heart Children New Zealand, Variety, the Children's Charity and For the Sake of Children. In March 2010 he was charged with misuse of taxpayer-subsidised flights. In August the same year he pleaded guilty. He repaid the two charities that he had defrauded, Keep New Zealand Beautiful and World Vision. He was convicted and given a sentence of 300 hours of community work.In addition he was stripped of his travel benefits by the Parliamentary Services Commission.
- Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 214. OCLC 154283103.
- Clark, Helen (27 August 1996). "Valedictories". Hansard. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Savage, Jared (19 December 2009). "Charity records seized in inquiry into former MP". The New Zealand Herald.
- "New Year Honours List 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Savage, Jared (5 December 2009). "Police probe ex-MP's expenses". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- Savage, Jared (6 March 2010). "Ex-MP in court on expenses charges". The New Zealand Herald.
- "Former MP admits defrauding charity". ONE News. Television New Zealand. 16 August 2010.
- Savage, Jared (26 August 2010). "McClay offers no apologies for charity double dip". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Savage, Jared (25 August 2010). "McClay sentenced to community service". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 August 2010.