The ODT says:
However much it might be argued that he was a victim of cultural difference, as an MP he swore an oath to uphold New Zealand law.
He therefore knew the rules and the borders that cannot be crossed.
His peers have judged that he knowingly broke those rules and crossed those borders: if he is a victim, it is of his own arrogance, his own greed and his own lust for status.
The Press says:
For all the shallow cynicism that New Zealanders like to profess towards their politicians, it is undeniable that the country has possibly the least corrupt politics of anywhere in the world.. .
Among the most shameful aspects of this sorrowful affair was the attempt by the Labour government of the time, when the scandal first made the headlines, to trivialise it. . .
. . . Labour’s foot-dragging was dictated by a desire not to offend an important political constituency. But whatever the motive, it was not good enough. The country’s political and administrative integrity will only be preserved by constant vigilance. If there is a lesson to be drawn from Field’s sad case, it is that when such allegations arise they must be dealt with vigorously and promptly.
Sadly, the affair reflects badly not only on Field, but on those politicians who put pragmatism and keeping his vote ahead of principle, and tried to close the issue down rather than do the right thing. Miss Clark was initially dismissive, using her favoured “move along, nothing to see here” strategy. When people didn’t, she launched a narrow inquiry under Noel Ingram QC.
Despite the constraints on Dr Ingram and a distinct lack of co-operation from some of those involved his report made it clear that something was terribly amiss in the way Field had been handling immigration issues to everyone but Labour MPs, that is. They continued to defend him. . .
. . . Under Parliament’s own rules, all members are deemed to be honourable members. Field’s corruption has shown that up as the fiction it always was. His Labour colleagues’ handling of it simply added to the insult of his crime.
The verdict says we have a culture of public service that allows no favours in return, and that is a culture that rules all.
Summing that up:
MPs must obey New Zealand law regardless of what is acceptable in their own countries and cultures; we are still one of the least corrupt countries in the world and Labour is tarnished by this sorry episode too.