A judge at the High Court in Auckland has reserved his decision in a civil case involving disgraced former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field.
Field has been taken to court under the Proceeds of Crimes Act
in a case that stems from his jailing in 2009 on corruption
He promised immigration help to Thai nationals in exchange for home improvement work they did at his properties in Auckland and in Samoa.
The Crown argues Field got almost $60,000 worth of free plastering, tiling and painting.
The Solicitor-General is seeking $58,000 from the former
associate Justice and Pacific Affairs minister, equal to the amount
he obtained from his
But Field's lawyers are insisting that is a gross overestimation of the work done and the work on Field's house in Samoa would have been cheap.
"The minimum wage over in Samoa is extremely low, approximately one to two dollars, New Zealand dollars," said Matt Karam, Field's lawyer.
A Crown expert has priced the labour at $30 an hour.
The lawyer for the Solicitor-General said Field told the Thai workers to lie about the value of their work and the amount of time they spent of renovations. And given those lies, Field's calcuation is too low, the lawyer argued.
But Karam says the former politician has already suffered for his crimes, losing his political career and ability to earn a living.
"In addition to that, there is the public humiliation which the respondent has suffered over a course of some years," Karam said.
Field was sentenced to six years jail in 2009 after being found guilty on 11 counts of corruptly accepting benefits in connection with acts carried out by him as an MP.
He was also found guilty of 15 counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Field was released last year after serving only a third of his sentence, with the parole board claiming he was a 'model prisoner.'