Taito Phillip Field has been rebuked by his trial judge for secretly writing notes on his hand to help him answer questions in the witness box.
The former Government minister was ordered to explain himself after the prosecutor noticed he was reading from notes on his palm during his bribery and corruption trial this week.
But it took repeated questioning to make Mr Field reveal the notes he had made.
Prosecutor David Johnstone was asking Field about his South Auckland properties during cross-examination on Thursday when he paused and asked the former MP to show his left hand to the judge and jury.
"Could you hold your left hand up like that [with the palm open] for the jury please, and show the jury and His Honour."
Field held his hand up to the jury, but not with the palm fully exposed.
When Mr Johnstone told him he wasn't doing what he had asked, Field opened his palm fully and showed the jury and Justice Rodney Hansen.
"You've written your own script on your left hand so you can lie to us when you're giving evidence," Mr Johnstone said.
Field: "No, not at all. I've written some things, some note to remind me of some facts in my own mind."
Asked what they were, Field said they were dates in relation to payments he had made for various jobs and the cheques he had written.
When the judge asked him if the notes were written during the lunch break, Field said they were.
"Yeah, just to recall the years that I'd made various payments."
Justice Hansen told him that was not allowed. Field said he had not known that.
The judge told him: "If it were permissible, a witness would be able to bring notes to court, and you have seen that's not allowed."
Field said he was sorry and that he'd written "the year and some of the payments just for my own reference".
When cross-examination resumed, Mr Johnstone asked him to read what was written on his hand.
Field replied: "They're just payments that I've made in relation to Prangley Ave".
But the prosecutor told him he wanted a literal answer, saying, "You understand what I mean - can you read it out." He asked Field to read everything written on his hand.
The defendant began reading out a string of amounts, when Mr Johnstone said: "You've written the names of the people you say you've paid the amounts to.
Field: "No, not at all. It's the date, the year."
Mr Johnstone: "Come on, Mr Field. Can you not answer a straight question with a straight answer?"
The accused began reading amounts with the names of Thai immigrants next to them.
Field faces 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP and 23 counts of perverting the course of justice.
The charges relate to allegations he accepted work on seven of his properties from Thai nationals in return for immigration assistance.
The trial will continue next week.By Andrew Koubaridis @A_Koubaridis Email Andrew