Field gets six years

October 6th, 2009 at 2:20 pm by David Farrar

Former MP Taito Phillip Field has been sentenced to six years jail. He got four years for bribery and and two years for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He is the only MP to ever be convicted for crimes in his capacity as an MP.

The sentence is a bit longer than what I thought he would get, but entirely appropriate considering the nature of the offending- the fact he did it as an MP, using his office as an MP.

In total Field was found guilty on 26 charges.

The sentencing of Field is effectively the last chance for Labour to apologise for their defence of Field. I blogged on their woeful actions in defending him, and attacking those who exposed him, when he was found guilty. One can forgive them their initial defence before the facts were known, but they behaved shamefully after the Ingram Report came out, exposing what he had done. Dr Cullen repeated the line that all he is guilty of is working harder than the National MPs opposite. The smugness in the face of such a damning report was part of why Labour lost. Helen did not even rule out that he may return as a Minister – and again this is after she read the report.

UPDATE: Labour have put out a PR:

Deputy Labour Leader Annette King made the following statement on the sentencing today of Taito Phillip Field.

“This sentence demonstrates that all New Zealanders are equal under the law.

“Taito Phillip Field has been judged by his peers. He must now serve the sentence handed down in the Auckland High Court.”

Labour will not be making any other comment on this matter.

Why not? This offending happened while he was a Labour MP. It was not incidental to his job. this was not offending in his spare time. This was corruption relating to his job. And Labour defended him when this wrongdoing was exposed by Ingram. That may be embarrassing, but that is not a reason to refuse comment. I hope the media are not spineless on this, and allow Labour to get away with no comment. There is no way they would let John Key not comment if one of his MPs was convicted of corruption *as an MP*. The next time Phil Goff does a press conference, or media standup, or walks down the corridor to the House, he should be asked if Labour regrets defending after he Ingram report came out.

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93 Responses to “Field gets six years”

  1. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Will we hear a peep out of Labour on this?

    Out of all the corrupt behaviour in theClark Government, the only surprising thing is that there is not more of them behind bars.

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  2. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    I hope Field spits the dummy and tells the entire story now, I refuse to believe Clark did not know a lot more about this whole saga, it would go against everything we have learned about her and her manic desire to micro manage all aspects of her government.

    I would wager that she knew all along that Field was lying, I would also wager that she is the one who told Field to “tough it out”.

    The people of NZ need to know just how corrupt she was.

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  3. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    One thing this sentence highlights for me is just how farcical our “justice” system is. It was only a week ago that Potter gave 3 years to the scum O’Brien who killed the 78 year old man. It reinforces my total disbelief in the ineptitude the legal system.

    Nickb, thanks for the heads up re the books on Mises. Excellent stuff that should keep me out of trouble for a day or two…… :)

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  4. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Totally agree with you re sentencing kaya. TPF’s is not enough, but O’Brien should be only carried out of jail in a coffin.

    No worries, slightly O/T but am reading an excellent book rebutting keynesianism I got off there, Awesome, bout 500 pages long, and completely free. Its good ay!

    Agreed bruv, that would be interesting indeed. Hope “Big Daddy” spills the beans.

    *awaits mickysavage, greenfly et al spin*

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  5. Auberon (779 comments) says:

    Doesn’t look like Labour are in a terribly apologetic state of mind just now…

    Statement on Taito Phillip Field sentencing

    Press Release by New Zealand Labour at 2:03 pm, 06 Oct 2009

    “This sentence demonstrates that all New Zealanders are equal under the law.

    “Taito Phillip Field has been judged by his peers. He must now serve the sentence handed down in the Auckland High Court.”

    Labour will not be making any other comment on this matter.

    ENDS

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  6. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    LOL but they cant bring themselves to say he was guilty

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  7. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Good job.

    When I first knew Field he was a hard working unionist fighting for the wages and conditions of some of the lowest paid workers. Somehow the power all went to his head, and he ended up using it to feather his own nest instead of advancing the interests of those he was elected to represent.

    Traitor!

    Field 6, English ?

    [DPF: And Jeanette Fitzsimons and the Green Super Fund?]

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  8. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    What a farcical statement that was.
    Labour look more and more like an episode of the Soprano’s everyday

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  9. Auberon (779 comments) says:

    Would you accept Bill sharing a cell with Jeanette and Catherine toad?

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  10. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Bizarre that the Labour leadership didn’t wash their hands of him when, as DPF says, they could/should have.

    Big Bruv (H. Clark hate squad member # 001) insists the reason MUST BE some as-yet-unknown complicity on their part. Surprise!

    ***Awaits evidence***

    [DPF: Yes it is a bad call. That press release looks very very defensive]

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  11. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    Kaya you are so correct. Graham Capill was given 9 years for child sex offending , Michael Swann 8 years 6 months for a 17 million dollar fraud and the manifestly inadequate 3 years you site for O’Brien. If courts were rational he would get 6 months home detention. I think he has very good grounds to appeal the sentence or the crown should appeal the sentences of the miscreants sited above.

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  12. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    dont forget Janet Moses murderers got a big fat 0

    [DPF: They were convicted of manslaughter, not murder. I suggest you use the term killers in future to avoid legal issues]

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  13. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    Something that has bothered me about this whole affair is no one has raised the issue of the appropriateness of MP’s representing and advocating for people who are not NZ residents or citizens, (or are not related to NZ residents or citizens), and are in fact illegally in the country.

    I feel there needs to be some type of job description for MP’s that prohibits them from representing such people in immigration matters in particular, where back-handers and bribes are common in undeveloped countries.

    MP’s have enough lawful NZ constituents to represent and advocate for, without representing illegal immigrants.

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  14. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    H Stewart – I have no issue with the sentence that Field got. In fact I think it is an excellent decision by the judge to send the relevant message of the responsibility of people in privileged positions to exceed expectations not just meet them. I thought he might have gotten away with 3 or 4 years.
    I think O’Brien should have gotten at least 8 years.

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  15. slightlyrighty (2,097 comments) says:

    Just a thought, How many displaced people could live in his house in Samoa, now that there seems to be a great need for emergency accommodation?

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  16. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    And here come the Greenies yelling “Class traitor!”, as if you needed any more proof that they are watermelons.

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  17. democracymum (616 comments) says:

    How does Field’s sentence of 6 years, involving crimes of bribery and property compare with the 3 YEARS handed down last week to this man who pulled a defensless 78 year old man from his van, punched and attacked him repeatedly and pushed him onto concrete causing a head wound leading to his death?

    I thought our laws should be seen to be equitable and just – how can this equate?

    NZ HERALD

    On Carrington Rd in suburban Mt Albert, his van nudged a black 1997 BMW, allegedly driven by O’Brien, just outside Unitec technical institute.

    O’Brien, a student at Unitec, allegedly leapt from his car and began punching Mr Patel, pulling him from his vehicle and continuing the attack.

    The incident reportedly happened in front of children outside a primary school.

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  18. Right of way is Way of Right (883 comments) says:

    Damn and blast, he’s just got out of parliament, and now us poor taxpayers are saddled with financing his lifestyle for another 6 years!

    As an aside, can we please stop calling him Taito. It is an honourific title, bestowed upon a man who apparently has none. Just Phillip will do nicely, or Inmate number………

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  19. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    Kaya understand were you are coming from but I am uncomfortable with this sentence because it is inconsistent in terms of the relative severity of the offending and the example you site is excellent. I am not advocating a non custodial sentence but it would be consistent and the law is meant to be consistent. What value have put on O’Brien’s victims life ?

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  20. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    In response to all the posts commenting on the comporability of sentence, I don’t have time to comment now fully, but remember that he was found guilty of 26 charges, with two of the sentences being served cumulatively, hence 6. Not defending it at all just asking that people look beyond total sentence.

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  21. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    What has happened to the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill?

    Given that TakeO Phillip Field will probably be out in under two years, surely the justice system could nab a few of his rental properties to cover his board?

    Sentences like this (never served in full) send a very clear message to the criminal scum of NZ: Crime pays, pretty well.

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  22. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    Field held a ministerial warrant at some stage didn’t he? In that case he should have got 10 years. I can’t believe he got a reduction on account of his past services to the community. For fucks sake, it was his past services to the community that got him into a position whereby he was able to corrupt the system.

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  23. CraigM (541 comments) says:

    I’m surpised and happy to admit my earlier comment that Field may have done a deal to keep other peoples skeletons in the closet was off the mark. Happy to be wrong.

    Good job.

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  24. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    You wouldn’t know he was Labour from the Stuff article. Like most of the stories they’ve done on him, they’ve conventiently left out the L-word.
    Labour not prepared to comment WTF ? It’s not like this is an isolated incident, immigration shonk-o-rama seems to be their bread and butter.

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  25. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    “This sentence demonstrates that all New Zealanders are equal under the law.”

    Except of course when retrospective validation kills a standing court case, OK for the PM but not a minister…

    I wonder if Field will be writing a book any thime soon ?

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  26. Russell Brown (379 comments) says:

    You wouldn’t know he was Labour from the Stuff article. Like most of the stories they’ve done on him, they’ve conventiently left out the L-word.

    It will have something to do with his expulsion from the party in early 2007. Labour actually stood a candidate against him last year, remember.

    Oddly enough, he was no friend of (ahem) Helengrad — they despised him. Values-wise, he was pro-smacking and he didn’t like the gays. They just made a piss-poor political calculation that they didn’t want to alienate his voters.

    I met him in 1993, as a journalist. He struck me as an arrogant prick then, and I don’t see that that’s changed.

    [DPF: He was expelled – not for the abuses outlined in the Ingram Report, but because he mused aloud about standing again even if not re-selected by Labour.

    I agree that he has always been a prick. I like a fair number of the Labour Caucus, but he always struck me as somewhat thuggish to be blunt]

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  27. Simon (780 comments) says:

    6 years.

    Jesus fucking priest but that is a long time between drinks.

    Michael Cullen and Helen Clark will be spinning in their graves.

    What Field should have done. On the way to court he should have had a minor vehicle accident then got out and beaten the other driver to death. He would have been out in 18 mths.

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  28. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    now..if field had been falsely claiming a government allowance he wasn’t entitled for…

    for about ten years…

    and had pulled in excess of 200 grand ..in false allowance claims..

    d’yareckon he would’ve faced more corruption charges over that..?

    (just wondering out loud…)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  29. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    You’re being disingenuous Russell. He was Labour when he was selling residency and they protected him long after it came to light.

    Just saw TakeO Phil being taken down on the box. He had a bible in his hand. Bless. That’ll keep the constituents in line.

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  30. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    i wonder if the amount of money field made from this…(from his ‘corruption’..)..

    ..comes anywhere near 200 grand..?

    does anyone know..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  31. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    Annette King’s media release is interesting.

    If all New Zealanders are equal under the law, why was it never “in the public interest” to prosecute Labour Ministers and the MP herself, when the Police acknowledge that there was prima facie evidence of crimes having been committed?

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  32. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    and..what if ..say..field had altered his ‘trust’…?

    to enable/further that 200 grand ‘earn’..?

    would he have faced further ‘corruption’ charges over that..?

    d’yareckon..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: What if he billed $1,000 a week for a three bedroom house like Jeanette and Catherine, instead of $700 a week for an eight bedroom house]

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  33. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    He had a bible in his hand

    Well there’s plenty in there about repentance… and he has plenty of reading time ahead, so a good choice!

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  34. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    IV2 – the public interest criteria is applied to all prosecutions. This is not something reserved for MPs.

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  35. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    You’re quite right, Getstaffed. I’m just so inescapably cynical. My bad. I rashly assumed he was carrying a bible to make himself look good to his old constituents.

    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.
    I must not be cynical about bible-carrying corrupt politicians.

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  36. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Field must have been carrying the Bible so he could review the bit about it being OK to keep slaves.

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  37. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    While I have no sympathy for FIELD I agree with KAYA and others. The life of the 78 year old Indian and that of the pedestrian woman run down by a boyracer doing 150 kph for which he received 2 year 9months clearly illustrates how out of kilter our Justice system is and the value we place on life.

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  38. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    NOt1tocommentoften

    the public interest criteria is applied to all prosecutions.

    Well yes, but somewhere between the public interest and the political party interest the Police seem to have got a bit confused…. or something.

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  39. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    What a blow for Christian politics! Capill denied parole, now Fields in Jail. Now we just need to lock up Brian Tamaki and Peter Dunne.

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  40. jabba (280 comments) says:

    as a MP, what he did was pretty stupid and corrupt .. no doubt about it BUT I thnk 6 years is over the top. No-one died, no-one got injured and no-one got their life savings ripped from them as all those people have with the crash from all the Finance companies that crashed and burned.
    Those theiving bastds running Bridgecorp etc must be shitting themselves because if they don’t 10 years then there is a real problem with the justice system.
    maybe if he paid the Govt say …. $20 mil as an act of good faith like Fay Richright did, remember they did “nothing wrong” either, he would be let go.
    Big Phil must be close to being skint and is going to the big house .. I hope the tileing is ok there.
    Now the real goodie .. LABOUR, what a whucking joke. I will be watching the news at 6 with HUGE interest and if the Goff etc are NOT questioned really hard, then someone needs shooting at the TV stations .. can’t imagine Garner ripping into them.
    Still nothing on Redalert on the Greens scam or the Field affair.

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  41. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    malcom – lol. Perhaps Field will learn from Carter’s example… and claim he was only prosecuted because he’s a Christian :)

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  42. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    What a blow for Christian politics!

    You think so? These are people who claim one standard, and live another. Sadly it’s all too common for our polititians, irrespective of their religious or idological views.

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  43. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    Jabba – look at the DETAILS man, the DETAILS. He was convicted of 26 charges. Two years of his sentence was for perverting the course of justice, as well as the fraud charges. He got 4 for fraud which comes to six cumulatively.

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  44. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @burt 5:18 PM

    Field must have been carrying the Bible so he could review the bit about it being OK to keep slaves.

    Which bit was Capill reviewing when he was sentenced?

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  45. Leg Break (89 comments) says:

    Doesn’t Royalty normally get a hard time of it inside?

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  46. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    “..[DPF: What if he billed $1,000 a week for a three bedroom house like Jeanette and Catherine, instead of $700 a week for an eight bedroom house].”

    as i have said elsewhere..dpf..the whole system is a stinking mess..

    and needs total/radical reformation..

    and the greens aren’t exempt…

    (for one thing..given just the greenhouse effects from flying..

    ..there is far too much of families just flying around…

    seemingly..because they can..?

    but those ‘cooruption’ questions swirling around english..

    surely..if reason is found..?

    he also will face corruption charges..?..

    surely..?

    how could he not..?

    will he be allowed to just ‘pay it back’..?

    and if so..

    why wasn’t field given that option..?

    of just ‘paying it back’..?

    ‘corruption’ is a multi-faceted beast..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  47. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    democracymum asks:

    How does Field’s sentence of 6 years, involving crimes of bribery and property compare with the 3 YEARS handed down last week to this man who pulled a defensless 78 year old man from his van, punched and attacked him repeatedly and pushed him onto concrete causing a head wound leading to his death?

    A good question. Australia’s justice system has gone down this road and as a result comparisons can be drawn between very similar crimes for which the sentencing disparity is abhorrent.

    To cite but one example – an appeal on which I’m currently working:

    Case 1: A drug-addicted girl decides to carry out a robbery, and premeditatively takes a large knife with her and calls a mate up to help her. They wait till it’s dark. They approach a woman at an ATM and, without aksing for money, use the knife to stab her in the arm. The knife is then withdrawn, the woman is asked “Did you feel that, bitch?” and is stabbed again. Only then is she asked for money but by that time is in too much shock to comply, so the robbers get nothing. The victim impact statement talks of PTSD, not being able to sleep at night etc. Sentence: 3 years, so parole in 18 months.

    Case 2: A drug-addicted girl stops another girl around 4 pm, waving a small corkscrew which she has found in her purse. She demands money, a cellphone and car keys. She is given $5, and then handed the victim’s purse. She takes the car keys, drives off in the car (hitting a fence on the way) and parks round the corner wher she uses the $5 to buy a softdrink. She is found by Police leaning against the car. The victim declines to complete an impact statement. She is physically unharmed, but property was taken, and damaged. Sentence: 5 years, so must serve 3 – effectively twice the time of Case 1.

    New Zealand must avoid going down this road, where human life and safety is valued beneath property. The number of charges is essentially irrelevant to sentencing, it’s the totality of effect on the victim(s) and society that ought to be taken into account by the judge.

    Do we want to live in a country where taking property (any amount of property) is viewed as more serious than taking a life?

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  48. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    philu

    The same people who said it was OK for Labour to have stolen tax payers money because they paid it back now say that is not enough for English to just pay it back…

    It’s not corruption that is multi-faceted beast, it’s the people who are apologists for it … The people who say it is OK when their team do it. The Green’s for example…..

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  49. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    jabba wrote:

    ..I think 6 years is over the top. No-one died, no-one got injured and no-one got their life savings ripped from them as all those people have with the crash from all the Finance companies that crashed and burned.

    He should have got 20 years. Minimum. NZ is one of the least corrupt countries in world. We can keep that genie in the bottle by jumping on dicks like Mr I’m-the-big-taito-chief Field.

    All the bad things you describe above happen in corrupt countries. We could have that in NZ, easily. It would only take a generation. And then you’ll never get rid of it. Just ask the Indians, Italians, Russians, Africans, Queenslanders.. the list goes on.

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  50. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t go inside .. I admit that I didn’t follow the trial to any great extent .. be it 1 or 10 or 26 charges isn’t really the issue as I “think” many are variations of the same thing.
    Prime TV said stuff all and no Labour Party interviews.
    gee philu, you have me stuffed, is your PC having problems typing?

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  51. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    On the subject of unfit, or unsatisfactory judges, there is a sensible easy to get rid of them. Use the CIR system. The question would be along the lines of: Should judge X be sacked. Voters would tick yes, or no accordingly.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  52. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    I hope I haven’t offended any Christians (Getstaffed can’t be offended, which is good).

    It just worries me when I see a corrupt politician, carrying a bible and I know that many of his supporters – the very people who might vote for his newly formed New Zealand Pacific Party – see that book in his hand and think: “He’s the kind of politician we need”.

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  53. Jack5 (5,278 comments) says:

    Philu at 5.37…. “(for one thing..given just the greenhouse effects from flying.. ..there is far too much of families just flying around…”

    Dead right Philu. Why buy a ticket for a plane ride when you can fly around a room with a bong at a fraction of the carbon cost?

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  54. jabba (280 comments) says:

    ok .. I was wrong re sentence?
    Nothing on TV1 or TV3 about comments from Labour .. Key was ok on TV and didn’t attack like Clark/Cullen/King/Mallard would have if roles were reversed.

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  55. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    malcolm, I don’t offend easily, and certainly never from someone expressing a genuine concern. The truth is I despair at the lack of integrity in many Christian polititians. NZ has plenty of Christian men and women of real integrity and strength of character, but very few of these people make it parliament.

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  56. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    DPF said: What if he billed $1,000 a week for a three bedroom house like Jeanette and Catherine, instead of $700 a week for an eight bedroom house

    DPF, you really are trying to beat this up for all you can, aren’t you>

    But crimes of dishonesty require an mens rea, as well as an actus rea. There has to be an intent.

    I once inadvertently invoiced someone for $12,000 instead of the $1,200 that I was actually owed. I picked that one up reasonably quickly, because the balance in the bank account it was paid to is seldom over $10K. When I realised it, I contacted the client, advising that I thought the payment was in error, and on their conformation duly reimbursed the outstanding $10,800.

    Jeanette’s and Catherine’s situation seems little different from mine above. People make mistakes. And when they realise them, the put them right. As they did, although I agree they were a bit tardy about making the repayment. But at least from June they acknowledged they had been overpaid and reduced the billing for the expenses to the appropriate level.

    To try to drag two MPs, both of whom I know very well personally, and who I know would never do anything financially dishonest, into the same league as Field is gutter politics imo

    Bill English, of course, is another matter. We need to wait for the Auditor-General’s report on that one. But I do find it hard to believe that Dipton would be the place he would normally be when he’s not engaged in Parliamentary business, given his entire family lives in Wellington. And that’s what is on the application form.

    The jury’s out on that one. At the moment, I think it is likely a rort. But if the Auditor-General opines that he had legitimate cause to have a genuine belief he was entitled to the out of town allowance, I will accept that.

    It is, after all, about mens rea as much as actus rea.

    [DPF: The actus rea is the Green MPs charging was outside the rules. That is not disputed. The actus rea for English is it was approved by Speakers Hunt, Wilson and Smith and so far not a shred of evidence that he was not eligible. If the AG makes an adverse finding that of course would change things, but the actus rea to date as you call it is the Green MPs broke the rules, and English did not]

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  57. calendar girl (1,259 comments) says:

    “…. the nature of the offending- the fact he did it as an MP, using his office as an MP.”

    In fact, Field was a Minister at all relevant times, not just an MP. He wasn’t acting in his Ministerial capacity, agreed, but he was undoubtedly using all his influence and prestige as a Minister to achieve corrupt outcomes.

    I too am offended by Field’s sentence being reduced on account of his alleged service to the community. He was performing his so-called service to the community when he committed crimes of corruption. These were not simple “white collar” offences. Corruption by high public officials strikes at the very heart of our democracy and the rule of law. Corruption and bribery are scourges that – on the rare occasions when they are proven – must be met with seriously deterrent sentences. And let’s face it, we will never know the true extent to which Field was prepared to deny his MP’s oath of office and his Ministerial warrant in order to line his own pocket.

    Finally, I understand and share the outrage felt by people at the manifestly inadequate 3-year sentence handed down recently to O’Brien. However, that doesn’t make Field’s sentence excessive. I hope that the Crown appeals O’Brien’s sentence and that he receives something much more in keeping with his taking of an innocent life, i.e. a jail term longer than Field’s.

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  58. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    getstaffed -there are actually quite a few committed Christians already in Parliament and, to my knowledge, there always have been. They are the ones who don’t wear their religion on their sleeves. They just get on with doing the job according to their own clearly set moral compasses.

    What is far more disgusting than Field’s and Capehill’s behavior was the sight of the odious Helen Clark, an avowed atheist, trotting into a South Auckland church to join in ‘worship’ during an election campaign with media hordes in tow. Within days, the Bilious Bitch was demonising a group of Christians in much the same way Hitler demonised Jews.

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  59. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Getstaffed, actually there have been plenty of half-decent politicians who are Christians: Bill English, John Banks, Jim Bolger, Graeme Lee (?) etc

    As a sweeping-and-quite-possibly-completely-incorrect-generalisation, I’d say NZers don’t mind Politicians-who-are-Christians, but get a little worried about Christians-who-are-Politicians. I think that’s sensible.

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  60. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Adolf said: there are actually quite a few committed Christians already in Parliament and, to my knowledge, there always have been. They are the ones who don’t wear their religion on their sleeves. They just get on with doing the job according to their own clearly set moral compasses.

    Good on you, Adolf. I don’t often agree with you, but I do here. That is the sort of Christian I admire. It is also the sort of Muslim I admire, and the sort of Jew I admire.

    People who believe their religion is personal to them, and don’t choose to try to influence public policy to reinforce or impose their religious beliefs. They are the religious believers I (as an athiest) respect.

    And I do agree that Helen Clark was somewhat hypocritical, as you descrine later in that comment. Guess it is a pity what populism requires of politicians, but I also guess that is why the Greens have never polled acove 10%.

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  61. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    malcolm (5.49pm) – you raise an interesting point. Even though I am a committed Christian, I will NOT vote for a wholly Christian political party. As Adolf has noted, there are plenty of Christians in the mainstream parties, and that is how it should be IMHO. They have a far greater chance of exerting some influence from within the tent than they do from outside.

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  62. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    Like others on this thread, I’d say Helen Clark more than deserves to be in a cell for perverting the course of justice.
    If there was any justice, she’d be stuck in a cell.

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  63. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    Toad – I think that Bill English felt he was well within the rules. He clearly still has the house in Dipton, he is still the member for the electorate, and he is only in Wellington because he is an MP. His family are in Wellington because he is in Wellington. The rules look to have been written to avoid exactly this argument – DPF or one of the commenters here has previously posted the relevant sections, and IIRC they pretty much explicitly say that someone being in Wellington because of their status as an MP is not a reason to decide that they are ineligible – if it were, then pretty much every MP would be caught, and the allowance would be pointless.

    I know that many on the left really really want the Bill English thing to be dirty, but it just isn’t. As for Jeannette and Catherine, I find it hard to believe that they didn’t know they were claiming the money:
    – Catherine moves in, and claims the money herself. I don’t see how she could claim the full amount without somewhere thinking “hang on, Jeannette was already in this house”. She shouldn’t have ever claimed the full amount, and I don’t see how that could be an honest mistake
    – Jeanette I’d agree might not have known Catherine was claiming – she might have assumed Catherine stopped claiming when she moved in. Seems the sort of thing you might talk about though
    – Perhaps the Green Party machine did all the claims for them, and they weren’t personally involved. You’d still have to be accountable for what your staff did though, and I don’t see why the Green Party machine would be doing those claims – that just makes it smell more like a rort……

    You’re also still ducking the question of the Green Party organising their affairs so as to maximise the amount claimed – i.e. vesting ownership in the Super fund rather than individually in the MPs. This is exactly what people claim that Bill English did.

    As always, my personal view is that all these things should be allowed – there should be an allowance of $24,000 per year per MP who is out of town, spend it how you like, live in a caravan and pocket the difference. None of our business, no more panty sniffing. Unfortunately we’ve already gone down this path, and unfortunately for you you were one of those quite vocal about Bill. What goes around comes around…

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  64. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Toad

    “To try to drag two MPs, both of whom I know very well personally, and who I know would never do anything financially dishonest, into the same league as Field is gutter politics imo”

    There is an old saying, “if you are going to play with the big boys you are going to get hurt”

    How on earth do you have the bare faced cheek to piss and moan about DPF having a crack at the native bush burner and Mad Cath when you have done far worse to Bill English and Neville Key over the past few months.

    You claim that these two stupid wimin are not “financially dishonest”, while you may believe that the facts do not support your assertion, these two wimin were aware for some time now that they were claiming something they were not entitled to, and while you claim they have paid it back (we have seen no proof of this) the fact remains that they hushed it up.

    So Toad, please take your faux outrage somewhere else, you and the Greens are more than happy to play in the gutter when it suits you so do not expect the rest of us to show these two stupid wimin any leniency when they are caught red handed.

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  65. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    Helen Clark should be in prison as well instead of self imposed exile.

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  66. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    Malcolm, not to forget Jenny Shipley, Winnie Laban, Chris Auchinvole and Jack Marshall

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  67. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    big bruv, not sure why the emphasis on wimmin. Agree with much of your sentiment, just not sure that gender has anything to do with it. I know plenty of stupid men….

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  68. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Several interesting things about that press statement. First it was put out by Annette King instead of Phil Goff who had dealings with Field. Secondly there is no comment condemning his actions nor”regret” for the way the Labour Party defended him by being helpful to his constituents. The problem for Labour is Field probably knows where a number of “bodies” are buried, hence this totally weak statement. But my gosh it took some effort to get Field charged. Why did the Police really have to be prodded into action. This is a very very carefullly worded statement. That makes me ask why???

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  69. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    One further comment. This statement by Annette King is very very carefully worded. I really ask why. It fact it is so weak it might have been better to say nothing at all. The public will have no confidence at all that the Labour Party has a rigorous approach to corruption in their ranks. This very weak statement suggests they will continue to tolerate it.

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  70. Pete George (23,798 comments) says:

    This statement by Annette King is very very carefully worded. I really ask why.

    Probably because they are wanting to be seen to be saying something without actually saying much. They know if they didn’t say anything they would be criticised, so instead they say something that says nothing. Hardly radical for politicians. They will just be wanting to ride this out as unobtrusively as possible.

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  71. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Field was sentenced today for threatening to stand as an independent and refusing to stay on garden leave.

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  72. Steve (4,537 comments) says:

    Nah Burt.
    He was sentenced for stealing from poor people

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  73. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Meanwhile….

    Over at the EPMU and Labour party blog “Irish Bill” and “Eddie” are furiously re writing history.

    Anyone who disagree with their new “improved” version of historical events is banned.

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  74. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Steve

    Yes indeed. It would be interesting to see what the people who are complaining about the sentence length would be saying if it was a white, perhaps National voting, BRT member who had been sentenced today.

    I think he should suck it up and write a book, spill the guts and blow a few holes in a few peoples ‘no further comment’. But that’s just me being a provocateur. Field may have a different approach.

    It will be interesting to see what sort of commentary it develops now that he’s had his freedom of movement and association somewhat rescinded.

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  75. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    PaulLsaid: I think that Bill English felt he was well within the rules. He clearly still has the house in Dipton, he is still the member for the electorate, and he is only in Wellington because he is an MP. His family are in Wellington because he is in Wellington.

    You may be correct, that he felt that way, PaulL. I’m reasonably confident that he has not had the entitlement to the allowance for several years.

    Whether he is criminally liable for making false declarations is another matter. With the evidence I am aware of, I don’t think he is demostrably guilty of a criminal offence – even though I think the arrangement is a very bad look politically.

    Time will tell. We have to wait for the Auditor-General. Or if someone wants to make a pre-emptive complaint to the Police, then go for it. Personally, I would rather let matters run their course.

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  76. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    toad

    A preemptive complaint to the police… How about a civil case, toad VS English. Hey your mates in the Green’s can be relied on to stand firmly on principle, they won’t validate him to keep the status quo. Now what about the super scheme, you still standing firm that it’s all above board or are you standing back a bit now? I’m not reading a “Nothing wrong here” as loud and clear as I was a few weeks back from you?

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  77. jabba (280 comments) says:

    the bloke will be skint when he comes out .. I think that he is the sort to write a book .. I’ll tell you this, I will buy it, what a hoot it would be.

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  78. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    backster (297) Vote: 9 0 Says:

    October 6th, 2009 at 5:18 pm
    While I have no sympathy for FIELD I agree with KAYA and others. The life of the 78 year old Indian and that of the pedestrian woman run down by a boyracer doing 150 kph for which he received 2 year 9months clearly illustrates how out of kilter our Justice system is and the value we

    Its not the Justice system that’s out of kilter, its the personal viewpoint of the judges. Many judges overlook that they are there to uphold and serve the rights of mainstream society, and not necessarily what might be enshrined in law.

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  79. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Paul Marsden

    Perhaps we could have a special clause, This crime carries a ( 4 + 2 ) year sentence unless some people still defend you and scream that you are a nice guy. Then we feel sorry for you and we give you home detention for 2 years.

    This is the first ever conviction for corruption in the history of democratic governance in NZ and you think 6 years is harsh?

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  80. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    burt said: How about a civil case, toad VS English

    Luv 2 burt. But I would have to stand security for costs. And would have to borrow to do that.

    As someone who earns $60K a year, I would be at serious risk, given that English earns almost 5 times what i do. I’ll let this play out burt, at least for a while.

    I would love to personally intervene. I have taken the Crown to court twice in the past over issues in tort – and won both times, with damages of around $120K awarded. Not all to me, I might add – there were co-plaintiffs in both cases.

    But, given the Auditor-General is involved here, it is far too early for me as someone personally unaffected to put myself at personal risk by mounting a legal challenge.

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  81. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    One down; four to go.

    … and odious little Magpie Man –

    “‘corruption’ is a multi-faceted beast..”

    Indeed. Bit like bludging really. But there you go again getting all confused that you are some how justified in expressing a view on matters relating to the use of public funds when you sit on your bottom all day. Tsk tsk.

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  82. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    toad

    If the AG stands a case against English and you decide to take on a civil case then Spin up a Darnton VS Clark type of site and take donations. Stay watchful with the timing and the other parties involved though. Wouldn’t want to get caught in a rapid validation and have your case wiped out.

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  83. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    Jeanette’s and Catherine’s situation seems little different from mine above. People make mistakes. And when they realise them, the put them right. As they did, although I agree they were a bit tardy about making the repayment. But at least from June they acknowledged they had been overpaid and reduced the billing for the expenses to the appropriate level.

    Toad, if in any way your comments represent a voice of or from the Greens they are absolutely disgraceful. You insult the electorate to expect us to accept incompetance from Jeanette and Catherine as an excuse.

    Like most I don’t have moral issues with the money and think the full allowance should be offered to all out of town MPs and if they don’t use it all then it is a bonus. If the Greens front foot this it will not be terminal for Jeanette, Catherine, or the Greens.

    Ignorance or incompetence is no defence against the law. If I make a mistake in the employment process I get a PG and $6000+ fine, if I make a mistake on my taxes, I get a fine and $6000+ penalties and interest.

    92% of voters don’t buy the Green holier-than-thou line and are enjoying seeing them taken down a peg. This sort of situation is going to happen eventually to every political party and the Greens are so far struggling to acknowledge they are fallible like all the rest.

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  84. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Annette King (not Goff whereizzie????) is refusing all interviews on Field. I think the public are owed an explanation from the Labour Party why they tolerated a corrupt member for so long. Will they do so again??

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  85. Razork (375 comments) says:

    Ecellent, more travel costs exposed for Chris Carter.
    He says he was doing work for Helen.

    Surely Guyon Espinar will all over this; won’t he?

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  86. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/six-years-jail-for-field/#comments

    And again the left wing echo chamber attempts to rewrite history.

    “We are fortunate that in New Zealand corruption by politicians is not tolerated.”

    Lol no, not tolerated, encouraged! And in the case of the Labour Party, a prerequisite for membership.

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  87. Richard Hurst (885 comments) says:

    I wonder if Taito “Big Dad” Phillip Field will be “Big Dad” in prison?
    Anyway six years should give Taito enough time (in between kitchen, cleaning and laundry duties) to write a tell-all book on the Clark govt and get his revenge on Helen, Phil and Co.
    One question however still remains: does anyone know what happened to the Thai labourers involved?

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  88. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    i think i read somewhere they have been given residence here..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  89. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    GOOD. That’s all.

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  90. pdm (707 comments) says:

    DPF – wasn’t he a Labour Minister, albeit outside Cabinet, at the start of the offending, at least?

    [DPF: Yes he was. Clark appointed him an Under-Secretary in August 2002 and she promoted him further to the Ministry in May 2003. Neither were Caucus decisions – both her personal decision]

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  91. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Richard Hurst

    does anyone know what happened to the Thai labourers involved?

    It’s all unofficial at this stage. They have been seen talking to Niki Hager and apparently govt funding is being secured for a play and a simultaneous book release.

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  92. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    The weak response from the Labour Party through its Deputy Leader (not the Leader – Goff could have issued a statement in HIS name) says they tolerate Field AND his kind. And the public can decide.

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