Lawyers for jailed former MP Taito Phillip Field have begun their submissions in the Supreme Court this morning.
Field is serving a six-year jail term after he was found guilty of 11 bribery and corruption charges as an MP. It related to having Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.
He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice.
This morning his lawyer Helen Cull, QC, opened his appeal to the country's highest court.
Cull said Field's actions did not amount to bribery, and that New Zealand law lacked the provision to properly deal with illegal gratuities accepted by MPs in their official capacities.
She argued something more than a link between a reward offered as a "thank you" and something he had done in his role as an MP, was required to prove corruption.
She said some improper or illicit action was required, and his processing the Thai workers' immigration applications in the usual way did not amount to this.
Submissions will continue today.
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