There's still one twist to the Phillip Field case; the Herald reports:
Disgraced former Labour MP Phillip Field could be ordered to pay more than $50,000 by the courts - the combined value of free tiling, painting and plastering work done on his properties.Field was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2009 after being found guilty of 11 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP and 15 charges of perverting the course of justice.The Crown said he had traded immigration favours to immigrants for tiling, painting or plastering work on his properties in New Zealand and Samoa.Now the Solicitor General is asking the courts to order Field to pay $58,000 for those services.Representing the Solicitor General, lawyer David Johnstone told the High Court at Auckland today that the figure is derived from expert evidence given at Field's trial about the value of the work on his four New Zealand properties and one in Samoa.Mr Johnstone said the court could also take into account the increased value of the properties after the work was done.He said one of the properties had been bought for $847,000 and was later sold for more than $1.2 million.The hearing before Justice Rodney Hansen continues.Field was charged after then prime minister Helen Clark ordered an inquiry into allegations he had traded immigration favours for tiling, painting or plastering work on his properties in New Zealand and Samoa.He was freed from prison after serving a third of his sentence in October last year.
Readers will remember that when the Philip Field story first broke prior to the 2005 election, the Labour Party denied that he had done anything wrong. Three days after the story first broke on One News, Helen Clark stated "the only thing of which Taito Philip Field is guilty is being helpful." This was even before she had called for the sham Ingram Report, which reached exactly the conclusion it was intended to.
We could have seen a reprise in 2012 when David Shearer called on the Auditor-General to investigate Shane Jones' following of process in the Liu citizenship case. Fortunately, Lynn Provost decided that the net needed to be cast far wider.
Even when Phillip Field was convicted of 26 out of 35 charges of bribery and corruption, Labour MP's could not bring themselves to condemn his behaviour; this from Scoop on the day that Phillip Field was convicted:
Court decision on Taito Phillip Field
Hon Darren Hughes
4 August 2009 Media Statement
Court decision on Taito Phillip FieldLabour acknowledges the jury’s decision today on charges brought against Taito Phillip Field after a long and difficult trial, Labour Chief Whip Darren Hughes said.“Mr Field was expelled from the Labour Party in 2007. Labour has acted in good faith throughout this process.“The jury has decided that Mr Field acted illegally.“The judge is yet to sentence Mr Field. Labour will make no further comment.”
There may now be a financial cost to Phillip Field as well. That's a big price to pay for someone who was "only guilty of being helpful".