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Visa-gate: Field’s conflict of interest

Hon. Tony Ryall MP
National Party Immigration Spokesman

16 September 2005

Visa-gate: Field’s conflict of interest

National’s Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall, says it is clear that Labour’s Associate Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Taito Philip Field, used his position to try to get a New Zealand work permit for an overstayer working for him.

Mr Field tried to get help from Associate Immigration Minister Damien O’Connor to grant work permits for a Thai overstayer and his wife after the man did some work on Mr Field’s house in Samoa.

“According to the Cabinet Manual ‘Ministers must ensure that no conflict exists or appears to exist between their public duty and their private interests.’

“It is clear that there has been a conflict of interest, but it seems Helen Clark is too busy to deal with her Minister's misconduct.

“It is a sackable offence to use official powers for one’s own gain. Ministers in Britain and Canada have gone down the road for exactly this.

“Now the shadow of suspicion taints the Labour Government. But Helen Clark ignores it.

“It is up to the voters to get rid of this rotten government tomorrow,” Mr Ryall says.


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