3 Sep 2012

Field ordered to repay nearly $28,000

8:52 pm on 3 September 2012

Disgraced former MP Taito Phillip Field has been ordered to pay back money earned from his crimes.

In 2009, Field became the first politician in New Zealand to be jailed for corruption after accepting free labour from Thai workers for help with immigration.

The Solicitor-General took Field to court in June this year asking for the $58,000 he made from the added value to the houses. Field's lawyers argued it would only be worth $15,000.

In a High Court ruling released on Monday, Justice Hansen ordered Field to pay $27,480 for unpaid work done on five houses.

Justice Hansen's calculations are based on the work detailed in Field's trial in 2009 and the hourly rate of work then. He said it would not be fair to order Field to pay back the profit on sale of the properties.

Field was released from jail last year having served one third of his six-year sentence.

He told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Monday the court ruling just proves Crown lawyers have made a mistake.

"This judgement confirms the exaggeration and the fabrication of evidence that was provided in the trial. I've always maintained my innocence right through this ordeal, and I continue to maintain my innocence."

Field says he has not decided whether he will appeal against the court order.