12 Jun 2009

Thai man tells court Field offered permit help

1:48 pm on 12 June 2009

A Thai tiler has described being told that the only way he could stay in New Zealand would be if he took up the offer by former MP Taito Phillip Field to do work on his home.

Mr Field is on trial at the High Court in Auckland on 35 charges of bribery, corruption and obstructing justice.

He is accused of helping Thai people with immigration matters in return for free or discounted work on his homes in Samoa and New Zealand.

Sunan Siriwan told the court on Friday he was taken to visit Mr Field by a friend after his work permit has expired.

Mr Siriwan said Mr Field asked him if he would like to do some work on his house in Samoa, saying if he did, Mr Field would help him get a work permit.

At a later meeting the friend referred to Mr Field as Big Dad, and told Mr Siriwan that his only hope of staying in the country was with Big Dad's help.