Taito Phillip Field, former Labour minister convicted of corruption, has died

Former Labour government minister Taito Phillip Field has died.

Field was a Labour MP elected in 1993 to represent South Auckland electorates.

He died this morning aged 68, TVNZ reported.

His political career was controversial.

He was forced to become an independent MP after being formally expelled from theLabour Party after criticising his colleagues in interviews. He was being investigated by police for corruption at the time.

Field lost his seat in the 2008 election and 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.

Field was freed on parole in October 2011 after serving the minimum one third of his six-year sentence.

TVNZ is reporting he died this morning. Field was the first Pacific Island MP.

In 2002, Field was appointed a minister outside Cabinet when made Parliamentary undersecretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Social Development and Employment.

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