Embattled MP Taito Phillip Field today made a statement saying he was leaving the Labour Party but pledging to continue voting with the Government. Read the full text below.
I have been a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years, and an MP and Minister in the Labour Government. The decision I announce today comes after much prayer, and talking with my wife and members of my family.
The steady stream of unfair condemnation by politicians, and judgmental political commentators have been extremely difficult to deal with. And the increasingly damning language of the Prime Minister about my character has been grossly unfair to me and my family, and due process. The move to expel me from the Party and Caucus was swift and clearly illustrated the lack of support I had been concerned about.
There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support over this very difficult time, and in particular I thank Church Ministers for their prayers and messages of support, and I also acknowledge in particular and thank the Labour Party President, Mike Williams, for the consistency of his support and private and public position that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
I say to those who have already condemned me on the basis of untested claims and allegations, that I do not thank you for trampling all over my human rights and rights as a citizen of this country.
You have attacked me for your agendas, and you have attacked me because I happened to be useful vehicle for you to attack the government and try to get rid of Labour's number 61 vote, not Taito Phillip Field, but number 61.
I have taken the time to reflect on the situation because there are a lot of good people in the Labour party, people who I have had the honour of working shoulder to shoulder with on campaigns for justice.
The decision I make, I believe for the good of all concerned, is this it is not in the interests of those good people for the opposition, political commentators and media to have a field day over the process to expel Taito Field. It is not in my interests to continue having "my boss" call me unethical and immoral in flagrant disregard of my rights to fairness and therefore justice.
I reiterate again that I have never done anything illegal as an MP.
Today I am announcing that I am resigning from the Labour Party.
I intend to return to Parliament as an Independent MP within the week. I was elected by the Mangere constituents as a Labour candidate upon a Labour platform and policies, and in line with that mandate I offer my proxy to the Labour government. This government may have abandoned and more lately condemned me, but I owe it the inclusion of their voices and support for a Labour government. Accordingly, I will vote on conscience matters in accordance with my conscience and will otherwise vote with the government to ensure that there is stability until the next election.