Will Singh keep his JP?

December 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Radio NZ reports:

Daljit Singh was convicted on two charges of forgery in the High Court in Auckland on Thursday over the registering of 116 voters in the Otara-Papatoetoe area, where he was standing for the local board in 2010.

The Royal Federation of Justices Associations says the integrity of its members is paramount and it has asked the Auckland association to seek Singh’s immediate resignation.

Singh was made a JP in 2005 by then Justice Minister Phil Goff. You have to be nominated or supported by an MP and I understand that his application was supported by Taito Phillip Field.

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Taito’s consicence is clear

October 19th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Outside prison yesterday, Field said: “Despite what’s happened my conscience is clear.

I am sure his conscience is indeed entirely untroubled by what he did.

I never have at any time had the intention to break any law and, in God’s good time, I believe that the full truth of things will be revealed and exposed.”

Yes, he had no idea that asking witnesses to lie and perjure themselves to the Ingram Inquiry was breaking the law. Poor man.

Anyway things may be looking up for Field. I’ve got the perfect job for him, if Labour wins the election. They can appoint him as a former union official to their Workplace Commission, to set minimum pay rates and conditions for industries. The perfect gamekeeper turned poacher turned gamekeeper again.

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Field free

October 18th, 2011 at 9:46 am by David Farrar

Ian Steward at Stuff reports:

Ex-MP Taito Phillip Field says he spent his time in prison observing the penal system from the inside and giving advice to the many who sought his counsel.

I bet he did.

“So how did you get the witnesses to lie to the QC, Taito”

“So the way you make it legal is to get them to offer to work for free, rather than tell them they must”

I am sure they learnt a lot from him.

The former Labour Party member for Mangere would not talk about his convictions citing a pending Supreme Court appeal.

He said he had to be ”guarded” with his words as he had ”already suffered a media trial before a trial”.

When it was put to him that gaining parole normally meant taking responsibility for your crime he said: ”You’ll have to answer that question for yourself.”

I bet you he will never ever publicly admit he did wrong. His belief is the same as Labour’s official line that the only thing he is guilty of is working too hard to help his constituents.

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Still in denial

January 5th, 2010 at 11:33 am by David Farrar

NZ Herald Court Reporter Andrew Koubaridis is having a look back at high profile trials from last year, including former Labour MP Taito Philip Field:

Taito Phillip Field was charged with 35 offences that were alleged to have occurred when he was a Labour MP and minister outside the Cabinet.

He was eventually found guilty of 11 bribery and corruption charges and 15 counts of wilfully perverting the course of justice and sentenced to six years’ jail.

Apart from marking a spectacular fall from grace for Field, this trial was significant because it was the first time a New Zealand politician had been convicted of bribery and corruption.

He continues to deny any wrongdoing and is appealing against his conviction and sentence. An appeal date has yet to be set.

Field is not the only one who continues to deny wrongdoing. Not only has no one from Labour apologized for their defence of his corruption, they have refused to even state that they now admit he broke the law and was corrupt. The most they could bring themselves to do was say they acknowledge the verdict – not even that they accept it.

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Tackling Labour MPs on Field

October 20th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Shaun Wallis commented yesterday:

I had a long debate with Phil Goff last night about this particular matter when he came to speak at my Hall of Residence.

Good on Shaun for raising the issue. I urge everyone who meets a Labour MP to do the same. Think of it as tough love – the aim is to get them to abandon their no comment policy. A party which had one of its MPs (and Minister at the time) found guilty of corruption should not be allowed to escape without any comment on whether they agree he was guilty, whether they condemn what he did, and whether they regret defending him.

He feels that he did not know enough about the situation at the time (bollocks in my opinion)

Now this is bollocks. The Ingram Report laid out Field’s conduct in massive detail. If a Labour MP claims they did not know enough at the time, ask themif they read the Ingram Report, and if not why not. If they did read it, then ask them how could they approve of a strategy to defend Field and praise him as a hard working MP, after reading the Ingram Report.

and then he later stated after many questions from me [i.e. there is a massive difference between accepting a decision and approving of a decision, and why hasn’t Labour stated that they approve of the High Court decision], and his response (again him not getting to the point) is that at the time, they did not think Taito had done anything hugely wrong.

Well this is interesting. Phil Goff presumably read the Ingram Report, and didn’t think it disclosed Field had done anything wrong.

Now I read that report carefully. I blogged a list of 44 damning facts revealed by Ingram.

And even putting aside the illegal stuff, Phil Goff is saying that at the time he did not think having immigrants work on properties for around $2 an hour was “hugely wrong”. Let’s remember that when Labour call for the minimum wage to go up.

So we now know that Phil Goff didn’t think Taito had done anything wrong despite the Ingram Report. This explains why they won’t apologise for defending him. It does still leave the question as to whether or not Labour now agrees that Field did anything wrong. Not a single Labour MP has said on the record they think Field was corrupt, let alone they are ashamed of what he did

BTW: The students that he spoke to last night in our hall were not overly impressed by him.

Not even 4.6% of them?

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More to suggest Labour thinks Field not guilty

October 19th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

I was amazed that Labour has refused to do the obvious thing, and apologise for their defence of convicted corrupt MP Taito Phillip Field.

A friend suggested to me that this was because they still did not think he broke the law. At first I was dismissive, but as I checked their statements I found out they had never said they agree with the verdicts, and it remains an open question as to whether Labour thinks he did anything wrong, or broke the law.

Now to further fit the theory that Labour thinks Field is innocent, are these blog comments from Brian Edwards. Now Dr Edwards does not speak for Labour, is not an MP, and I am sure they are his honest opinion. But I find them fascinating as I suspect they do reflect a widespread common view in Labour. Some quotes:

I’m reasonably convinced that in a decade or less Philip Field will be seen to have been the victim of a major injustice.

Good God – are we going to have a free Taito campaign, as we had a free Bain campaign.

I spent several hours with Field a year or so back, going over all his documents. At the end, I concluded that the Field family’s crime may have been one of generosity. I suspect that we have not heard the last of this case.

Edwards also said:

“But the gain, it seems to me, was relatively small – he got some tiling and other work done”.

Now a Mark S replied:

That is really over-simplifing his crimes, almost trivialising them. It was a lot more serious than that. ‘Tiler’ Field actively set out to subvert the course of the police’s investigation by doctoring evidence and counselling witnesses to change their stories; in doing so, he was perverting the course of justice. This was not a case of someone getting tiling done on the cheap; it was a case of someone, who, egergiously, abused his ministerial position to offer enticements by way of an illicit quid pro quo, which strikes at the very heart of this country’s governance.

He’s cost the country literally millions $s, with the Ingram Enquiry and the High Court trial. I think he got off lightly.

And Dr Edwards responds:

Yes, if you accept the evidence. I have serious doubts. My view is that self-interested lying by his accusors and some enemies played a significant part in the verdict. We’ll see.

I’m amazed by this stance. There is documented evidence Field perverted the course of justice. Nothing to do with witnesses – his false invoices and receipts he drew up.

But this does make me wonder how many Labour MPs share the views of Dr Edwards. Is this why they won’t apologise for the defence of him by their then Leader and Deputy Leader? They think he did nothing wrong?

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This week’s NBR online column

October 9th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Most of my NBR online columns I can do in a couple of hours. This one is a lot longer than normal and has taken half a day or so. Even got up at 3 am to finish it!

It is on the sentencing of Phillip Hans Field, and has (if I can say so myself) a nice mixture of research (including how the British House of Commons in 1695 first made bribing an MP an offence), explaining why the sentence is longer than many people expected and then diving into the politics and comparing how Labour dealt with Field and ACT dealt with Donna Awatere-Huata.

The column is here. Some extracts:

Field was convicted of 11 charges under s103(1) of the Crimes Act 1961, being “Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament”. This has been an offence under New Zealand law since at least 1908. Its history though in fact goes back to 1695 in the United Kingdom, when the House of Commons resolved that offering a bribe to a Member of Parliament shall be a high crime and misdemeanour which subverts the English constitution, and that an MP accepting such a bribe shall be a matter of privilege.

In New Zealand, both offering and accepting such bribes are deemed serious crimes with a maximum sentence of seven years jail. …

As Field’s offending was unique in New Zealand’s parliamentary history, the Judge had no direct precedent to guide him in sentencing. The closest cases he could find was a Customs officer who took bribes and got four years jail. However he, unlike Field, pled guilty and co-operated fully. Without that he would have got six years.

An overseas precedent was a Canadian MP who got five years jail for a one off 10 years $10,000 bribe. Closer to home a New South Wales Minister got ten years for taking bribes to let prisoners out early.

You can read the sentencing notes here.

And then I look at how ACT handled things, compared to Labour:

Some time ago I phoned up then ACT Leader Richard Prebble and asked him if he could detail to me everything they did to force Awatere-Huata out. I explained I wanted to contrast their resolve to condemn such corruption, with Labour’s defence of Field.

I was staggered when Richard said he did not want to be held up as a role model. He explained that he actually felt guilty that they didn’t do more. Perhaps they should have asked questions earlier he said, as there was the odd rumour about her.

I leave readers with that comparison. One party that went all the way to the Supreme Court to force a corrupt MP out of Parliament, and then still felt guilty that they didn’t do more.

And another party that received a 158 page report detailing the numerous abuses and lies of one of their own MPs, and resolved to defend him. Desperate not to upset a core constituency their leader said one day he could be a Minister again. Their deputy leader said his only crime was to work too hard. They posed with him for the TV cameras as he claimed to be exonerated. And then two years later after he is sentenced to six years jail, the new leader and deputy leader still refuse to condemn him. They refuse to say whether or not they think he did in fact break the law. They refuse to express any remorse, shame or disgust over not just his behaviour, but their party’s behaviour in defending him.

Can Labour ever be deemed fit to hold office again until they do so?

Your views and answers can be left at NBR.

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Unimpressed

October 9th, 2009 at 5:33 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Maori Party co-leaders wrote letters of support for Taito Phillip Field, saying he was a man of integrity who had made a major contribution to his community and pleading for it to be taken into account in his sentencing.

I’m very unimpressed. I don’t mind so much pointing out his contribution to the community (as 87 other people also did) as he had done some good, outside his offending.

But to label him a man of integrity is a very bad call. He is not. He was convicted of trying to pervert the court of justice. He lied to Noel Ingram QC. He pressured others to lie to Mr Ingram, and they did. He lied to the Police and he again tried to get others to lie to the Police. He manufactured fake documents and lied about them. He is many things, but he is not a man of integrity.

The letters were on parliamentary letterhead and sent as MPs and co-leaders rather than in their capacity as ministers.

Sadly I think their “loyalty” to a “cousin” has over-ridden common sense. As I said above, I don’t have a big issue with pointing out his community service but I suggest the co-leaders re-read the Ingram report before they label him a man of integrity.

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