6 Aug 2009

Samoan leader in NZ says sadness over Field downfall

11:25 am on 6 August 2009

A Samoan leader in New Zealand says there is sadness in the Pacific community at the downfall of Taito Philip Field.

Field, the former associate Pacific Islands Affairs Minister, has been found guilty of 11 of 12 corruption and bribery charges, and 15 of 23 charges of obstructing justice, related to giving immigration favours in return for work on his properties.

The convictions make Field the first New Zealand politician to be found guilty of such charges.

But a former chair of the Samoan Advisory Council, Faamatuainu

Tino Pereira says this should not be held against the Pacific community and other Pacific MPs.

He says a lot of Pacific people are hurt that Field's career has come to this.

"When he came to parliament there was a lot of hope and a lot of aspirations lifted in terms of our community's dreams about living in this particular country. But we have to say that he did help, that he did advocate for Pacific communities, he did pursue their interests vigorously while he was in Parliament and he helped a lot of people. That's why he's still held in high regard by the Pacific community because of his work."

Tino Pereira says the Pacific community cannot resile from the court's verdict.