10 Jul 2009

Field denies discussing immigration matters with Thais

7:00 pm on 10 July 2009

Former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field has told a court he never discussed with Thai workers any details of the Immigration Act because the language barrier prevented detailed conversations.

Mr Field, who later became an independent MP, denies 35 charges of bribery, corruption and wrongdoing relating to claims that he gave immigration assistance in return for work on his properties.

Thai tiler Sunan Siriwan has told the court Mr Field offered him work on his home in Samoa in exchange for a work permit so he could return to New Zealand.

Mr Field continued to give evidence in his own defence on Friday at the High Court in Auckland.

He rejected evidence given by Phongphat Chaikhunpol, who says Mr Field told him to visit him at his electorate office in Mangere once he was finished a painting job to talk about part of the Immigration Act.

Mr Field says the language barrier would have made such a conversation impossible.

Earlier, Mr Field told the court he expected a bill for work carried out on his rental properties and paid for any materials and work done.

The former MP said there was no link between the work carried out on his properties and any immigration work he carried out on their behalf.

He said it was not possible he could have talked about work permits because of the limited English between the Thai workers.

Mr Field will continue his evidence next week.