Statement by Taito Phillip Field
1 August 2006 Media Statement
Taito Phillip Field
Madam Speaker, I seek the leave of the House to make a personal explanation under standing order 350.
(Speaker asks if there is any objection)
Madam Speaker, I thank the House for the opportunity to make this personal statement.
Madam Speaker, I accept wholeheartedly the New Zealand parliamentary principle of not accepting any consideration from constituents on whose behalf members are advocating, and I accept that members of this House have been concerned by some inferences which may have been drawn from reporting of the Ingram report.
While I do believe that because much of the evidence presented in the report was untested, some inferences which may be being drawn are inaccurate, I can understand the disquiet felt by colleagues.
I want to assure the House that for my part, I cooperated to the fullest extent with Dr Ingram’s inquiry, and he makes mention of that fact in his report and I must also make it clear that at no stage did I knowingly seek personal benefit from my relationship with my constituents.
However, I accept that issues raised in the report have brought the principle of not accepting any consideration from constituents on whose behalf members are advocating into question.
I also accept that not keeping an appropriate distance between my professional and personal relationships has contributed to the feeling of concern amongst my colleagues and members of the public and for that I apologise.
I understand I have to change the way I have operated and I want to sincerely express my regret to the Speaker, the Prime Minister, other honourable members of this House and the New Zealand public for any reduction in the public confidence in the institution of parliament that the issues raised by the Ingram report may have caused.