Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A pattern of exploitation

Taito Philip Field is in the news again, this time over a dodgy house sale. A family facing a mortgagee sale approached him for assistance, and he ended up buying their house at below the market rate. Despite reportedly promising that they could continue to rent there, he then kicked them out - and has since sold the property at a tidy profit.

As with the case of Sunan Siriwan, there's some justification to the claim that Field was helping the family. But in doing so, he also helped himself, to the tune of $150,000. There's a disturbing pattern of exploitation here, which is unwelcome in a Member of Parliament. While MPs are under no obligation to help those who come to them (it's just good politics to do so), they absolutely should not be exploiting them for their own financial advantage.

Unlike the immigration case, it's difficult to see how Field has violated any laws here. Instead, he's just an arsehole - and if Labour has any sense, they won't let him back into Cabinet.


If Labour had any sense they'd sack him.

His "Taito" title should also be removed

Posted by Anonymous : 9/28/2005 12:54:00 PM

I don't know if Field has broken any laws either, but legal and ethical aren't strictly synonymous. There are rules and ethical norms around how MPs and their staff interact with constituents. In part, these rules acknowledge that very few people contact their MP to say "I'm fabulous, thanks for asking".

The world is full of property speculators who've turned a tidy profit off people in the financial poo. I just wonder if Field shouldn't have stuck to scanning the Property Press and the Weekend Herald for leads instead of apparently using his constituency office.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 9/28/2005 02:23:00 PM

nrt - I am surprised you think the law on personal benefits from public office were not broken. we agreed when the first revelation came out that it was akin to bribery. This is corruption. Field abused his office (as MP) for personal gain.

Posted by sagenz : 9/28/2005 08:13:00 PM

just re read the crimes act. I can see your point.

Posted by sagenz : 9/28/2005 08:37:00 PM

Sage: in this case, there was no exercise of power as a minister or a member. However, as Craig points out, its a gross violation of the ethical rules we expect MPs to abide by.

Now, getting someone to tile your roof or (possibly) paint your house in exchange for lobbying on their behalf, that's corruption. And as I've said before, if there's a case, he should be prosecuted.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/28/2005 10:48:00 PM

Its a pity you didn't breath through your nose before joining the band wagon of bashing Mr. Field. It is becoming clear the $259,000 house purchase was a favour, done after the house (in a dilapedated condition) was passed in at auction and the price paid was $59,000 over the GV. You have to ask yourself, how come the Coles, in full time employment, managed not to pay their mortgage for a full year??

That Mr. Field then renovated the place and made some money out it is seen as a some kind of crime by you marks this website as just another middle class sham masquerading as left and liberal.

I am frankly dissapointed, whitey.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/29/2005 08:39:00 AM

Anon: that's not what the Coles are saying, and according to the news this morning, they certainly weren't advised to take that price by Kiwibank, as Field had claimed. I also suggest you learn the difference between a GV and the market value.

And I don't think something counts as a "favour" if you intend to profit from it. Again, that's not helping others, that's helping yourself.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/29/2005 10:05:00 AM