Former MP and Minister outside cabinet Phillip Field has been found guilty of 26 charges.
Field, former MP for Mangere, was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP after the Crown said he had Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.
He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice. The charges related to his evidence to an inquiry into the work on his homes.
Crown Prosecutor Simon Moore is correct when he says:
“This has been a really important case, and bribery and corruption strikes very much at the heart of who we are as a people.”
The case is a nasty blot on our democratic fabric not just because Field is the first person found guilty of corruption as an MP but because of the way then Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Labour colleagues sought to protect him and hobble the Ingram Inquiry into allegations against him.
Kiwiblog has done an excellent post detailing what happened and when, concluding with:
Long before the Police investigation, the Labour Party should have denounced Field. Instead Clark, Cullen and the rest of the Labour Party defended him. That is why these convictions are their shame.
This would also be a good time for all MPs to come together and declare this should never happen again, and support an Independent Commission against Corruption that can investigate abuses of office by parliamentarians, senior officials and agencies.
The call for an Independent Commission against Corruption is seconded by Whaleoil.
And sadly, we can no longer claim to be a country where our politics are free from corruption. That will be Taito Phillip Field’s legacy to New Zealand, and to the Pasifika people he purported to represent.
Roarprawn asks: He is the first but will he be the last?
No Minister says (and shows): A good day for Tui.
Oswald Bastable says: Official – there is corruption in NZ politics.
PM of NZ notes: Only guilty of trying to help.
UPDATE: Fairfacts Media posts on The Guilty Party.
Macdoctor posts on Dishonour.
Dim Post says The Only Thing Taito Phillip Field is Guilty of is Corruption.
Something Should Go Here highlights the Gobsmackingly Dishonest Quote of the Day.
Monkeywithtypewriter posts In Praise of Ingram.
Stephen Franks writes Reflections on Field’s Corruption.