Dom Post on Field and Labour

October 8th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dominion Post looks at both Field, and those who got off:

Bravo. Justice Rodney Hansen has resisted the temptation to let disgraced former MP Taito Phillip Field off with a slap on the wrist and sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment. …

As Justice Hansen said, he betrayed the trust placed in him as an MP and undermined the institutions it was his duty to uphold.

Jail time is warranted. New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world in which political is not endemic. By his actions, Field threatened to erode standards that have served New Zealand well.

The court’s sentencing notes are very interesting. The appropriate penalties for the crimes were deemed to be five years for the bribery and corruption and four years for perverting the course of justice.  This would be a total of nine years.

Justice Hansen said nine years would be excessive as the two categories of offending are closely linked, even though they are distinct. It is because they are distinct the two penalties are cumulative, not concurrent. He said that seven and a half years would be the appropriate sentence for the offending.

He then deducted a further 18 months off to take account of mitigating factors, so got to the final sentence of six years.

However, if Field has got his just deserts, others have got off lightly. Those others are the senior members of the Labour Party who ran interference for him for almost 18 months and who are now ducking for cover.

They won’t even say if they agree he broke the law.

Readers might remember that former prime minister Helen Clark was slow to act when questions were first asked about Field’s conduct, perhaps because the 2005 election was in the offing, and that when she did, she established an inquiry with narrow terms of reference and without the power to compel witnesses to give evidence.

Hence Field was able to claim he had been vindicated by an inquiry that found no evidence he had misused his position as minister for personal benefit.

And no other conclusion was possible given the terms of reference as he had no portfolio responsibilities in the area. The issue always was whether he had misused his position as an MP, not a Minister. The framing of the inquiry was designed to clear him.

Deputy prime minister Michael Cullen appeared to agree. Field’s “fundamental fault was to work too hard for the many, many hundreds of people who come to his electorate office on immigration matters”, he said.

And he said this after he had read the numerous abuses of office detailed in the Ingram Report.

What he overlooked, deliberately or otherwise, was the numerous questions the inquiry raised about Field’s conduct as an MP as opposed to his conduct as a minister.

And which Labour has never condemned. He used his loyal Thais as slave labour, and Labour has not a word of criticism. How sincere are the about the need to raise the minimum wage, when they defended their colleague who was found to be paying no wages at all!

Field’s sentencing closes a sorry chapter in politics. He has shamed himself, his family and the Samoan community, which was so proud when he was first elected to Parliament.

The blame lies not with the Samoan community, however, but with Field and the Labour Party, which, for political reasons, tried to shield him from scrutiny long after his position became untenable.

And we are still awaiting a clear statement from Labour that they agree Field was corrupt, let alone an apology for their defence of him. One can only conclude they do not think his behaviour was corrupt.

Tags: , ,

23 Responses to “Dom Post on Field and Labour”

  1. Sector 7g (242 comments) says:

    Labours legacy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Tim Ellis (251 comments) says:

    I think you are just michief making on this issue Mr Farrar. It is clear to me now that the quote in the Dominion Post, in which Dr Cullen said that Mr Field was just trying to be helpful to his constituents, was written by you. Congratulations on being a propaganda writer for the Right Mr Farrar, it has worked.

    For a balanced analysis of the Field scenario, I suggest readers catch up with that Eddie fellow at the Standard, who wrote a thought provoking piece in which he outlined how the Labour Party acted quickly and immediately to sack Mr Field as soon as the allegations arose. It is clear that Eddie’s posts on this matter are more authoritative, because when I questioned the Standard on a couple of the points Eddie raised, I got banned.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Think you’re being a bit tough on Labour here DPF- they have clearly “acknowledged” the verdict, and said that Field is “equal before the law” (a surprising admission, as most of the LAbour Party clearly don’t consider themselves to be- see pledge card, paintergate, Harry duynhoven saga etc).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    There are, I’m sure, a few nervous glances being exchanged between actors in this play. I wonder if Damien O’Conner would care to comment?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. 3-coil (1,199 comments) says:

    getstaffed – good point.

    Has Damien had any tiling done at his place recently? Can he show us the invoices, and his record of payments? ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    Perhaps everyone from Liarbore is to scared to comment least they draw attention to themselves. Many in the party must have known Field was as bent as a dog’s back leg but they were happy to sit in parliament with stupid grins on their faces. They are as guilty as Field. I bet also most were shit scared of the wrath the Dear One would bring down on them should they speak. I would now expect “I was only following orders” excuse next. I hope they are ashamed of themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Alistair Miller (505 comments) says:

    Yes, this is to their shame. But where are the charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice? How about conspiring to subvert the Ingram inquiry?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    “slave labour” is a bit OTT, DPF.

    Exploitative – sure; but “slavery”?

    [DPF: I suppose they could opt out, but when you work for no pay at all, what do you call it?]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    I vividly remember Helen Clark standing by Philip Field when the Ingram report was released. She didn’t just do it metaphorically she did it literally, on National TV, standing beside him as he was interviewed and claiming he had been exonerated.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Auberon (779 comments) says:

    –noun

    1. a person who is wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
    2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person.

    Sounds like they were slaves to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Mr Nobody NZ (365 comments) says:

    Is anybody aware if the Labour party wrote a support letter on Fields behalf to the courts?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Do we have an extradition treaty with UNHQ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    “slave labour” is a bit OTT, DPF.

    Exploitative – sure; but “slavery”?

    I aggree. Coolie is the right term.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Time for another enquiry, with full legal powers, to investigate the coverup.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    Of course everyone is “equal before the law” … when you find yourself in Opposition. That’s not a place from which you can put yourself above the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    I vaguely recall that Parliamentary Services insisted on a sign being put up in Field’s Electorate Office informing visitors that the services offered by the office, were free.

    Parliamentary Services would not have had such a sign put up if they did not already have on file, documented concerns about Field’s activities.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. jabba (280 comments) says:

    we can all say what and demand what we want BUT nothing will happen unless the Govt and the Journo’s go for them.
    I don’t think the nats will and the Journos are saying nothing .. what the whuck is going on.
    This is a shocking example of political corruption .. why is everyone so scared .. is there something we don’t know? Clark is gone so she can’t do the death stare anymore!!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    [DPF: I suppose they could opt out, but when you work for no pay at all, what do you call it?]

    I don’t know … but you call it slavery when you own someone.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Murray M (430 comments) says:

    There is not a show in hell of this being invested any further by our elected representatives. The only person likely to spill the beans and implicate others is Field himself, and I’m not holding my breath. Thick as thieves (no pun intended), the lot of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Murray M (430 comments) says:

    that should be “investigated”. apologies, am running external keyboard on laptop via USB hub and sometimes response is tardy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Vanzyl (7 comments) says:

    Until Labour starts to own the mistakes they made, they will keep slipping further into oblivion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Paulus (2,712 comments) says:

    When have Labour every apologised?

    It’s not part of the socialist doctrine – its everybody else’s fault, stupid.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Alistair Miller (505 comments) says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. What we need is an

    Independent
    Commission
    Against
    Corruption

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote