Cairns, Aug 6 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key says he assumed access to parliamentary perks for convicted former MP Taito Phillip Field would be nullified, and is keen to see that happen.
Field was found guilty this week at the High Court at Auckland of 11 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP and 15 charges of wilfully trying to obstruct or pervert the course of justice.
But it emerged there was nothing to stop Field, elected to Parliament in 1993, from continuing to claim entitlements, including free domestic air travel and thousands of dollars back on international travel.
Field's convictions related to him accepting work on his homes in Samoa and New Zealand from Thai tradesman in return for immigration assistance, and his attempts to derail investigations.
In Cairns, where Mr Key is attending a Pacific Islands Forum meeting, he told reporters that he understood if an MP was convicted and jailed he or she was no longer entitled to perks.
Field is to be sentenced on October 6 and potentially faces a lengthy prison term.
Mr Key said it appeared the parliamentary rules surrounding claims were outdated and needed looking at, and considered Field had blown his right to take advantage of perks.
"He's been found guilty...from crimes for his time in Parliament and I can't see how he should therefore benefit from his service in Parliament."
Speaker Lockwood Smith admitted there appeared to be no rules suggesting former MPs convicted of criminal offences were exempt from general privileges, The New Zealand Herald reported.
But he said, under the circumstances, he was "willing to explore how provision could be made to address the situation".