Taito Phillip Field granted parole

Former Cabinet Minister Taito Phillip Field during his sentencing on bribery and corruption charges. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Former Cabinet Minister Taito Phillip Field during his sentencing on bribery and corruption charges. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field will be released from prison later this month after serving the minimum one third of his six-year sentence.

In October 2009, Field was jailed for six years after being convicted by a jury in the High Court at Auckland of 11 charges of bribery and corruption as a MP, and 15 charges of perverting the course of justice.

He was charged after Prime Minister Helen Clark ordered an inquiry into allegations he had traded immigration favours for tiling, painting or plastering work on his properties in New Zealand and Samoa.

The Parole Board granted his application to be freed from prison early at a hearing this morning.

The release will be towards the end of this month and he will be subject to a series of conditions until his sentence end date in October 2015.

In a statement, the board said safety was the paramount consideration in its decision to release the offender.

"Safety is the board's primary focus, and the assessment of risk is a very strenuous, and scientific process - it's also important to remember that other aspects of the legalisation state that an offender cannot be kept in prison longer than is consistent with the safety of the community."

The board's statement said offenders could not be detained when they posed no threat to the community.

"They must not be subject to release conditions that are more onerous, or last longer, than is consistent with the safety of the community."

A full decision on the reasons for releasing Field would be made later this month.

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