Greens to move motion on findings of Ingram report
1 August 2006
Green Party to move motion on findings of Ingram report
The Green Party will move a motion in the House this afternoon expressing concern at the findings of the Ingram report, and calling on Taito Phillip Field to apologise.
"It was suggested last week that a select committee inquiry be held into matters raised by the Ingram report. My colleagues and I have spent the last few days considering what such an inquiry would achieve," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
"We are of the opinion that a select committee is very limited in what it can do. It cannot force witnesses to appear and cannot require an MP to resign or apologise. It is hard to see what it could add to the conclusions of the Ingram Report, incomplete as they are.
"Nevertheless, the Green Party believes it is important for the House to have an opportunity to reiterate the principle that Members must not receive, or appear to receive, personal gain from the exercise of their role as an MP.
"We also believe it is important to challenge Taito Phillip Field to take some responsibility for damaging the credibility of Parliament in the eyes of the public.
"We have therefore drafted the attached motion, which we will seek leave to move today. We hope all parties will give leave for the motion to be moved, whether or not they intend to vote for it, as this important principle deserves the consideration of the House," Ms Fitzsimons says.
The motion is reproduced in full below.
Motion - 1 August 2006
I move that this House:
* Reaffirms the principle of not accepting any consideration from constituents on whose behalf members are advocating or have advocated; and while accepting that much of the evidence in the Ingram report is untested -
* Notes Dr Ingram's expression of concern that people may have carried out work on the house of Taito Phillip Field in Samoa "out of gratitude for, or some other sense of obligation in relation to the assistance which Mr Field had provided in the immigration applications of those people"; and
* Notes Dr Ingram's finding that Mr Field, after writing to the Assoc Minister for Immigration to support Mr Siriwan's work permit application, failed to inform the minister that Mr Siriwan was working on his house in Samoa and was not being remunerated; and
* Notes Dr Ingram's concern at "the unsatisfactory nature of the explanations provided by Mr Field" in relation to the painting of his house in Otahuhu; and therefore
* Calls on Taito Phillip Field to apologise to the House for not ensuring a clearer separation between his private business and his duties as an MP, resulting in a perception that could reduce public confidence in the institution of Parliament; and
* Asks him to recommit to this principle.