Friends and former colleagues of Darren Hughes have put pressure on police to decide whether to charge him over sex allegations.
Labour Party figures risked accusations of political interference by calling on police to "give the guy a break".
And close friend Paul Henry said it was "extraordinary" the case was dragging on, more than three months after an 18-year-old student alleged Hughes sexually assaulted him.
Wellington police defended the length of the investigation, saying it had to be "thorough".
It's now more than three months since the alleged incident at Annette King's house in Wellington. It does seem to be taking the police a long time to make a decision.
A number of Hughes' former colleagues think likewise - read on:
Labour list MP Stuart Nash said the lengthy investigation was unfair on Hughes and the 18-year-old complainant. He called on police to "give the guy a break".
"If there is something there then charge him, but if there's not then let him get on with his life. You can't leave him hanging."
And he said Labour MPs had agreed to stand by Hughes whatever happened. "We all agreed this is what we would do for any friend, give him a bell, make sure he is okay.
"He is still a mate. You don't cast aside your mates."
The assault allegedly took place at Labour deputy leader Annette King's home in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai, where Hughes was living as a boarder.
Former Labour Party president Andrew Little joined calls for a swift resolution.
"It wasn't as if there were people to hunt down, anyone who had anything to say about it would have been interviewed."
Party officials said this week that Labour leader Phil Goff had not given MPs direction on whether they should be in touch with Hughes.
Goff and King are overseas and were unavailable for comment yesterday.
Senior Labour MP Trevor Mallard said he and other members of the caucus had spent time with Hughes since he resigned in March.
"I'm not aware of Phil giving anyone any direction. I see no need. There is always an assumption that when you have a friend or a colleague and they're running into some sort of trouble, you're supportive of them."
We have mixed feelings on this. Loyalty to a mate is a commendable quality. But we wonder if its a good look for politicians to be telling the police how to do their job.
And spare a thought for the complainant. His credibility is on the line as well, and if a decision is ultimately taken not to prosecute Hughes, he will be seen as a boy who cried wolf. No allegations of criminal wrong-doing have been made against him; if a crime was committed, he was the victim of it.
The police are defending their position, and with a complaint of this nature against a public figure, you'd expect a cautious approach. We just hope that these calls from Labour MP's are not an attempt to get the investigating officers to put this matter in the too-hard basket, or to decide that it's "not in the public interest" to proceed. That would indeed be an abuse of power.