Field to set up 'family values' political party

MP Taito Phillip Field is setting up a political party focused on family values.

Mr Field told the Sunday Star-Times that there was a "groundswell" of Christian people who felt ignored by the Government.

"There is a real feeling their values are not being accommodated; you can look at United Future but even their voting has been split," he said, referring to the party's division over Green MP Sue Bradford's "anti-smacking" bill.

United Future also campaigns on family values and was key to the setting up of the Families Commission.

"There is a vacuum, there is room for a political party ... People are looking for a new vehicle," Mr Field said.

The party would focus on family values and he would consider putting his own money in, although he thought it would get church support.

Mr Field quit Labour this year to become an independent member of Parliament after the caucus expelled him when he said he would consider standing against the party.

He has been under fire over continuing allegations he helped people with immigration matters for personal gain.

Police have finished a six-month investigation into the claims and their file is with Crown lawyers.

The Sunday Star-Times also reported yesterday that Esther Te, who resigned from Labour over Mr Field's treatment, said the new party had 500 supporters willing to become financial members - a requirement for a party to register. .

A party led by Mr Field could take votes from Destiny New Zealand, the political arm of the Destiny Church which won 0.62 per cent of the party vote at the last election.

Led by Bishop Brian Tamaki, Destiny Church has built up a significant following in recent years and is popular with Maori and Pacific Islanders.

Mr Field was unavailable for comment last night.

- NZPA

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