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The Standard

John Banks must resign

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, June 5th, 2014 - 105 comments
Categories: crime, john banks, Parliament - Tags:

It says a lot about the morals of this government that they’re willing to continue to rely on the vote of a man who has been found guilty of electoral fraud.

But Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee’s happy with the outcome, with Banks not thrown out until he absolutely has to be (probably August 1, after parliament has risen for the election).  Key seems fine with it too (but then he’s backed him every step of the way so far).  They and the speaker David Carter should all be publicly telling him to go.  Now.

How they can expect any New Zealander to have respect for Parliament and politicians when they happily have someone sitting among them guilty of electoral fraud is beyond me.  It shows utter contempt for the integrity of the whole institution.

Our Members of Parliament are our representatives in our democracy.  They’re meant to be the best among us, not criminals who coldly calculate their way around the law.  How can we expect people who have so little respect for the law to make more good laws?

What really boiled my blood was John Armstrong’s institutional capture.  Parliamentary journalists are meant to be outsiders looking in, giving us all the view we don’t get too as we’re too busy with our day jobs.

Not running “Poor John” pieces about how their buddy is a “perfectionist” who will takes this “hard – very hard” as they were just working so hard to try and balance the ledger for having parents who went to prison for backstreet abortions.

In no way was his crime “foolishness” as Armstrong puts it.  This was very calculating, working out how he thought he could circumvent the letter of the law – while stamping all over the spirit of it.  It was no moment of “foolishness” when he worked out a scheme to get multiple donations of $25,000 so that he “wouldn’t know” which one was which.  Bollocks.  It was no moment of “foolishness” when he kept having “memory lapses” about being picked up for helicopter ride to the biggest mansion in the country and meeting a character so much larger-than-life as Dotcom.

This was a concerted attempt to avoid the law by a former Minister of Police.

We deserve honesty from our politicians, not fraud and deceit.

With a crime this egregious he deserves the book thrown at him – but being a member of the institutional elite he will probably just get a little bit of garden leave home detention.

And so we have someone sitting there, guilty, awaiting the noose… and making our laws while he waits.

That doesn’t make sense.

If John Banks has any respect for the integrity of Parliament and the legal system he should see how untenable it is for him to continue to be there as someone found guilty of electoral fraud, whether he believes himself to be guilty or not.

He must resign.

105 comments on “John Banks must resign”

  1. toad 1

    The hashtag #JohnBanksGuilty has to keep going until he finally resigns, or until the election, whichever is the sooner.

    Remember that the state assets privatisations and the SkyCity dirty deal only got the go-ahead by the solitary vote of this corrupt arsehole.

  2. Gruntie 2

    Well said + + +

  3. Mike the Savage One 3

    From a purely “moral” perspective your demand may be right, but from a political perspective, I recommend, hey John Banks, hang in there, stand your hypocritical grounds, do more damage, and drag the damned government down further into discredit and the gutter.

    It should be in the best interest of Labour, Greens, NZ First and the rest of the opposition to have the stupid and arrogant John Key cling to power to the dying days. It is the best recipe to gain more traction, by having this little twit and twerp John Banks, riding on the “moral high ground” to continue being the one member this rotten government depends on.

    It is the best present the “left of centre” have so far got this election year, and it would “help” to dig further into the Oravida saga, and to have Judith Collins dealt to in a similar way. It would be the magic solution to also have John Key exposed and proved as being somehow “corrupt”, and the election will be decided. We are still months away, and it shows, this government has lots of bad baggage, that is so toxic, they are indeed extremely vulnerable, and policy is just one of those areas that they may fall over on.

    We are waiting for more, and there is HEAPS, as trusted sources confide to me, to dig the grave of one John Key, and his whole rotten, corrupted government. Bring it on!

    • srylands 3.1

      What do you mean “more” traction? There is no traction. The Collins thing – zero issue. This thing zero issue. It will have no impact. You are deluded or taking the piss.

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        and all the tory acolytes were equally adamant that banks had nothing to fear from mccready, and that it wouldn’t got to trial, that kdc and co weren’t believable witnesses, and that he’d be found innocent…

      • framu 3.1.2

        yes – being found guilty of electoral fraud will have zero impact with the public. Yep, none whatsoever.

        considering people are already getting the details wrong re: guilt/conviction and what triggers expulsion i wonder how you get to that conclusion

        The public arent as concerned with the procedural details as anyone here or on other political blogs might be.
        All they hear is “banks is guilty of fraud, but hes still in parliament and being backed by key”

        whos deluded?

        • LOL, good luck with that. Labour had issues when it cut loose its MP that practiced electoral fraud, and you think the government is gonna slide on by relying on the vote of an MP who was found guilty of electoral fraud on the technicality that he hasn’t yet been sentenced?

          Yeah, that’s practical. LOL.

      • North 3.1.3

        SSLands @ 3.1…….you demonstrate time after time with your seemingly reflexive “zero issue” analyses that you applaud zero standards in public life.

        Yet amazingly you demand that the extravagant utterances of your various fantastical personae be taken seriously. It is glaringly apparent that you are a deranged and thus unfit to participate sociopath. Whose bellicose protestations should be recorded not on TS but rather on the pages of a medical file.

  4. Dave_1924 4

    Yip Banks has to go…. he did the wrong thing and has been found to have breach the rules with his Mayoral Campaign financial return. i’m no Banks fan – though i do respect his rise from the gutters story.

    But really all electoral fraud and malfeasance should be dealt with in the same way. Pledge Card? Tweeting Vote Labour on an Election Day? Also questionable activities and/or breaches of the then law regarding political campaigning, use of public funds…..

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Parliamentary journalists are meant to be outsiders looking in, giving us all the view we don’t get

    A pleasant fiction. Has it ever been true?

    Nevertheless the Right Wing will get away with this because they have true friends throughout the MSM and the MSM’s ownership. And what shots can the Opposition fire back?

    • They’ll try to shield him, sure. I’m not sure that’s going to work with the public though, and honestly, the attempts to shield him will just bring more attention to the issue.

  6. Dale 6

    Wasn’t there a Roy Morgan poll result out today that deserves a mention?

  7. Kiwiri 7

    The nation is breathlessly waiting for the corporatised media and all the right-wing nut blogs tomorrow morning to proclaim that New Zealand has an unstable government! :roll:

    John Key’s leadership has been exposed as weak over John Banks, says National Party Leader John Key.

    “This is a Prime Minister who [is] prepared to cynically cling to power by continuing to exercise Mr Banks’ vote, no matter what. He would have used any excuse to not act against him to maintain his slim one-vote majority. :roll:

    hattip: http://thestandard.org.nz/banks-found-guilty-of-electoral-fraud/#comment-825858

    • Treetop 7.1

      Key needs a reality check.

      Banks is guilty but not convicted so he can still prop up the government. My gut tells me that the date of the trial was stage managed, I can recall a delay and I think that the election date was mentioned during the delay window. I said yesterday, Dotcom was not extradited so he was available as a witness, so plan B was applied, an early election date.

      Key says one thing re Banks and I think he believes the opposite, otherwise an early election would not have been called.

      So I don’t get it in the neck, I am now going to check that the trial was delayed and that the election date was called during the delay.

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        4 December 2013 the High Court upheld the decision that there was enough evidence for Banks to stand trial and the Solicitor-General would prosecute.

        9 March 2014 Key informed the Govenor-General of the election date, this was reported by media the next day.

        Has the Solicitor-General made any comment as to the conviction date being delayed?

        Is it unusual for the Solicitor-General to take over, in an initially private prosecution?

        What is the legal definition of government interference?

        • Treetop 7.1.1.1

          And

          4 December 2013 Banks shuffles towards retirement
          “Act leader John Banks has announced he will quit at next year’s election, but will stand down as the party’s leader in March.”
          (the key word here is March and in March Key announced the election date).

          “Banks chose not to plead guilty to a lesser charge of recklessly making a false declaration.”

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9474331/Banks-shuffles-towards-retirement

          Banks had the election date in his hand and he manipulated it for all it’s worth. Justice was served yesterday by Judge Wylie.

  8. Steve Withers 8

    Apparently comments at a local venue on the North Shore were firmly on the side of “Banskie” who – after all – is nice to animals.

    The take-away appears to be: Never underestimate the ignorant sentimentality of a modern voter whose views are, at best, tribal (not talking iwi here) and otherwise based on not much at all, really.

    • srylands 8.1

      ” whose views are, at best, tribal (not talking iwi here) and otherwise based on not much at all, really”

      Bloody hell. Now which bunch of voters on which blog comes to mind?

    • framu 8.2

      which venue and what was the function steve – its important.

  9. fisiani 9

    If losing Banks meant the government was unstable despite getting a record 47% of the vote then John Key should explain that the only way to get a stable government is to give him an absolute majority. This guilty finding will enhance the vote for National.

    • McFlock 9.1

      wow.
      careful with that rate of spinning – john key would privatise 49% of your arse

    • Tracey 9.2

      Field defiant, Clark exposed as weak

      Helen Clark’s leadership has been exposed as weak over Taito Phillip Field, says National Party Leader John Key.

      “Helen Clark’s move tonight to start the process to expel him from the Labour Party only happened after Mr Field told the media today he was jumping ship.

      “This is a Prime Minister who was prepared to cynically cling to power by continuing to exercise Mr Field’s vote, no matter what. She would have used any excuse to not act against him to maintain her slim one-vote majority.

      “Mr Field, by talking to the media on Helen Clark’s big day, forced her hand.

      “This is not a Prime Minister in control, but a Prime Minister in damage control.

      “Helen Clark has shown no leadership. She concocted an expensive, toothless inquiry that she knew would never get to the bottom of the allegations against Mr Field.

      “Then she sat on her hands when Mr Field said he would decline to co-operate with the police inquiry.

      “Today, Mr Field has forced her hand by open defiance in the media.

      “With a motion of no confidence in the Labour Government being voted on this Thursday, Helen Clark should immediately say whether Labour will continue to exercise Mr Field’s vote.” john key 2007 by 2013 he simply refused to read the police report on banks and didnt sack him from cabinet…

      • ianmac 9.2.1

        Excellent work Tracey. If there was justice, Mr Key’s words should be made to haunt him, but of course what Right minded MSM would consider such blasphemy? Imagine that Gower fellow screaming out about the key of hypocrisy?

        • Tracey 9.2.1.1

          especially

          “This is a Prime Minister who was prepared to cynically cling to power by continuing o utlise Mr Banks vote, no matter what. He would have used any excuse to not act against him to maintain her slim one-vote majority…

          Remember when our Liar in Chief said thisabout a donation controversy?

          ” ”
          “Helen Clark must stand [Winston] Peters down, as Prime Minister,” Mr Key said in 2008. “That is what I would do as Prime Minister

          On 27 May 2007
          “I want to make one thing clear. I don’t make excuses for criminal behaviour because I believe every individual is responsible for their actions and must be held accountable for them..I don’t just think, though, that the responsibility for rejecting criminal behaviour falls solely on the police. Ordinary New Zealanders, politicians and government agencies have an important role to play…” john key

          Police report on john banks Key said,

          “I haven’t read that police report and I’m not going to because I don’t need to … It’s not my job to do a forensic analysis. What I can tell you is, the law doesn’t work.”

          “The test is whether they enjoy my confidence, and if a minister tells me, ‘This is my position and this is what I’ve done’, I accept their word in good faith unless it’s proven otherwise.”

          Everyone is entitled to due process, whether in a labour or national party. John key is a hypocrite. He has nowsaid that he has found john banks ” pretty honest”… Is that like being a little bit pregnant john?

  10. Te Reo Putake 10

    It’d be nice if the opposition could move a censure motion next sitting day. It’d be fun watching NACT trying to justify opposing it, what with all those Tory Philip Feild quotes to throw back at ’em.

    • srylands 10.1

      Whatever NACT is. You realise that this “fraud” was committed by a well known dill in a local body election. There is no issue. The Government will run as normal. Parliament will be dissolved on 31 July. There will be an election. FFS get a grip.

      • felix 10.1.1

        What are the “” for, rylands? Banks has been found guilty. The fraud was real.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          In fact, the fraud was real before Banks was even found guilty.

      • geoff 10.1.2

        Situation Normal
        all fucked up

      • framu 10.1.3

        why are you defending fraud? – FFS get a grip and a sense of morality – a dash of personal responsibility wouldnt go astray either

        banks has been found guilty of fraud – if convicted he has to leave parliament. Why is an issue which is big enough for you to lose your public office not a big deal to you?

        just how big is your wagon of delusion?

      • minarch 10.1.4

        I wish I worked for you….

        because i could be milking you via “fraud” for thousands and you obviously

        wouldn’t even notice

        or

        congratulate me

  11. felix 11

    No, “foolishness” is right.

    If you’re going to set about defrauding the electoral system with such a calculated scheme as Banks did, you’d be a bloody fool not to get your story straight.

    The crime in Armstrong’s eyes is not the fraud. It’s the getting caught and letting the team down.

  12. Xtasy 12

    Yes, the NZ “left” is again trying to fly its wings and make this a real “issue”, while it is nothing of a damned side show. The “left” in NZ is a total laughing stock, it is a sick joke, you stand for damned NOTHING!

    What about taking resolute stands against social and other injustice, Labour, even Greens and now IMP are never heard or noticed, apart from the odd media savvy announcement. How damned corrupt, hollow and useless is the supposed “progressive movement” here? It simply does not even exist, as my observation is.

    I challenge you ALL to disprove this, and to take a stand, but on the streets there is NO presence of the “left” at all, it is rather a neo fascist correctness movement that is running things.

    I despair, as nobody in this country has any clue about this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSRVtlTwFs8

    New Zealand is a total BULLSHIT SOCIETY, with no real values, just talk, cheap bloody talk, that is all.

  13. Te Reo Putake 13

    Poor srylands, it must be galling to now have to refer to John Banks as a dill, when previously he was an honest, forthright and reliable Mayor, MP and Minister. And that was only as long ago as yesterday. I’m looking forward to sryland’s backhanders to Key, post election. Will he also get the dill treatment?

  14. Ad 14

    Melancholy counterfactual:
    if the Crown had done its job ages ago, we would not have had Banks in Parliament, Key would have had an even more finely balanced government, the coalition more brittle, and some of the policy damage done this second term probably a little softer.

    Note to Solicitor-General: next time do your job.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!”
    Kenneth Williams as Julius Ceasar –‘Carry on Cleo’.

    Banksie joins ACT’s ignominious roll of dishonour. Of course ACT MPs, candidates and supporters not on that list likely constitute the smaller number. Garrett, Awatere-Huata, Rortney, Gibbs, Hillary’s eyes and so forth.

    Banks must go not only for his crime but also for being a bloody nuisance to those of us trying to get out the vote in the various campaigns. ACT has been the ebola of NZ politics for too long. Unaccountable Supercity, charter schools, war on the poor, labour market deregulation ala Chile. Thanks for nothing you selfish ideologues, aka National’s ‘bitch’.

  16. Ant 16

    It’s pretty galling contrasting this coverage with Winston c.2008 where every second editorial was on NZF but with Helen Clark this, Helen Clark that, Labour this, Labout that. John Key has been left strangely absent from the conversation on John Banks.

    • Rodel 16.1

      Ant
      ‘strangely absent’? It’s not strange that Key is absent when his mates are in trouble. He’s busy in the islands buying Samoan and Tongan votes in New Zealand.

      His timing ..to be overseas and camera friendly when Bank’s verdict was due..is well…timely.

      Bet we don’t see photos of the two Johns ‘ tea party ‘ any time soon.

  17. repateet 17

    The moniker “honourable” will still live on. On his letterhead anyway.

  18. Skinny 18

    What is with the rumour that Bent Bankie has stitched up a 50 K TV commercial deal?

    Apparently a 25 k depoist has been paid for a tv commercial promoting porridge. Though i hear negotiations have stalled over the final 25 K payment with the production company insistence that Bent Bankie wear a baby shit yellow (ACT colours) and National blue striped boiler suit. I hear the former Auckland mayor is promoting another former mayor’s product.

  19. bad12 19

    From RadioNZ National, a professor of electoral law,sorry missed the name,(but it wasn’t Geddis),says that even in the time-frame,(obviously carefully thought out by someone), Banks having the conviction entered will still require the triggering of a by- election,

    To halt this by-election being triggered, the Parliament, which will have risen for the election will have to be recalled by the Speaker of the House to pass a vote that the by-election will not occur…

    • mickysavage 19.1

      Yep. John Banks predicament is going to become a greater and greater problem for National.

      The reasoning is:

      Parliament is scheduled to rise for this term on July 31.
      Banks is to reappear in Court on August 1. He is hoping for a discharge without conviction which will mean that he does not vacate his position as an MP but otherwise he is gone. And I do not like his chances. He defended the charge and the Judge essentially did not believe him. To get a discharge the first thing you have to do is plead guilty so that you get credit.
      There then needs to be a by election in Epsom.
      The only way to stop this is for Parliament to pass a resolution by no less than 75% of members.
      Parliament will have to be reconvened for this to happen.

      Imagine the cost of reconvening Parliament to stop a by election because a electoral fraudster member of the perk buster party refused to accept that he had committed an offence …

      • Lanthanide 19.1.1

        No, not really. See my post below.

      • JK 19.1.2

        Mickey, I thought that if an MP resigns/retires within a certain time-frame of a general election, then NO by-election need be held. I assumed that’s why the Judge is delaying sentencing until 1 August – so the Nats need not bother with a by-election in Epsom.

        • mickysavage 19.1.2.1

          It is 6 months JK and a resolution still needs to be passed. Under the Electoral Act:

          “131 Power to resolve in certain cases that by-election not be held
          Notwithstanding anything in section 129, no writ shall be issued for a by-election to supply a vacancy in the House of Representatives if—
          (a) the vacancy arises in the period of 6 months ending with the date of the expiration of the Parliament and a resolution that a writ not be issued to supply the vacancy is passed by a majority of 75% of all the members of the House of Representatives; or
          (b) following the presentation to the House of Representatives by the Prime Minister of a document informing the House that a general election is to be held within 6 months of the occurrence of the vacancy, a resolution is passed by a majority of 75% of all the members of the House of Representatives to the effect that a writ is not to be issued to supply the vacancy.”

        • mickysavage 19.1.2.2

          I have had another look at it and all I can say is that it is not that simple JK!

          If the vacancy occurs after Parliament is dissolved then under section 129(4) EA a by election is not required.

          However Key has announced that Parliament will be dissolved on August 14. (http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/general-election-be-20-september-2014)

          If Banks is convicted on August 1 then the Court has a couple of days to tell the speaker and he is then gone burger.

          So there is still a need for a by election unless Parliament passes a resolution which it cannot do unless there is a vacancy.

          Banks has to resign soon otherwise the constitutional lawyers will be getting really busy …

    • Lanthanide 19.2

      I’m not sure why they get these electoral law professors wandering down the road following the letter of the law and not looking at the practical situation and what is likely to happen in the real world.

      It is fully possible for the government to pass a motion requiring no by-election in advance of the conviction and the seat being vacated. It goes like this:
      “In the event that the seat of Epsom is vacated by the honourable (hah!) John Banks, this parliament moves that in accordance with [law], there shall be no by-election…”

      • mickysavage 19.2.1

        I think under section 131 Lanth that the power only kicks in if a vacancy actually occurs, which it has not yet. To avoid this situation Banks will have to tender his resignation before Parliament rises so the resolution can then be passed.

        • Skinny 19.2.1.1

          Banks will have no choice but to resign shortly. I fully expect the announcement this weekend. The ACT party will be absolutely delighted that they get an opportunity to blood their new Epsom candidate in a by election. I fully expect the rise of the ACT phoenix, when you look at it Banks has been a failure even aside of the fraud issue. Being realistic you would expect ACT to win Epsom easily and for them to go on to win 3.5 -4% of the Party vote. This could be tragic for the Left if the vote doesn’t turn out, and probably forces Labour’s hand to do deals with Mana-Internet party’s.

          • Ed 19.2.1.1.1

            The ACT “Leader” sees no problem with Banks staying in parliament “in accordance with the law”, has not spoken to Banks, and sees no reason to. That may be code for – ACT is not ready for a by-election, and besides ACT needs to distance itself as much as possible from Banks – it suits them to have him seen as a National stooge . . .

            My pick is that Banks will resign on the last day he can (23 July) to assist both National with his vote, to have the record show that he resigned rather than was forced out by a conviction, and to maximise personal benefits on leaving the house.

            Contrast that with a normal employment situation – being found guilty in a matter relevant to his current job would normally see a very quick sacking – but National and ACT are being very careful to avoid any suggestion of taking personal responsibility . . .

            • ianmac 19.2.1.1.1.1

              Ed. The Act Leader seemed so unsure on Nat Radio this morning and I am not too sure he knew who Mr Banks was and what had happened to him.

              • veutoviper

                Well said, ianmac. That interview and Whyte’s lack of knowledge and engagement was astonishing. Suzie Fergusson was struggling to keep herself under control.

                The later interview she did with Richard Prebble and Mike Williams was also gobsmacking. Prebble was also on another planet – or drunk. Well worth a listen if you missed it. For once, Mike Williams came across as rational and on message.

                I suspect that Suzie Fergusson would have been happy when 9am came around – and today being Friday.

                Links to both interviews for those that did not hear them.

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2598638/act-leader-surprised-by-banks-verdict

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2598654/political-commentators-discuss-banks-case

                • veutoviper

                  And further to the above, my gut feeling is that Banks will resign – not immediately but well before 31 July. This will allow him to resign rather than being required to step down if a conviction is entered (which IMO will happen). It will also allow Parliament to meet the letter of law in holding a 75% vote to not hold a by-election in Epsom.

                  I have no doubts that ACT and National people are working behind the scenes to look at the best options to save face for both parties – and will work on Banks to agree to resign, probably with John Boscawen, for example, acting as the go-between.

                  • McFlock

                    Isn’t it so close to the election that they don’t need a byelection anyway?

                    • mickysavage

                      As I said above McFlock if the vacancy occurs after Parliament is dissolved then under section 129(4) EA a by election is not required.

                      However Key has announced that Parliament will be dissolved on August 14. (http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/general-election-be-20-september-2014)

                      If Banks is convicted on August 1 then the Court has a couple of days to tell the speaker and he is then gone burger.

                      So there is still a need for a by election unless Parliament passes a resolution which it cannot do unless there is a vacancy.

                      Banks has to resign soon otherwise the constitutional lawyers will be getting really busy …

                      Key must be cursing the timing.

        • Lanthanide 19.2.1.2

          I’d give you 10 to 1 odds in the event that Banks doesn’t resign and does vacate his seat on or after 1st August, there will be no recall of parliament and also no by-election.

          • Treetop 19.2.1.2.1

            A health condition e.g. stress, or a family matter would buy Banks time.

            Whyte could cook something up psychologically for Banks e.g. a phobia, palpatations…

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1.2.1.1

              Anything Whyte cooked up would probably be a tasteless mess; the man’s an idiot.

          • mickysavage 19.2.1.2.2

            It is the sort of scenario Lanth that Constitutional lawyers dream of …

  20. From Don Brash: “They have the potential to damage the reputations of ALL members of Parliament. I call on Helen Clark to initiate a process for inquiring properly into these serious matters,” when the allegations of corruption against Taito Phillips appeared.

    Where is Don Brash Now?

  21. Tracey 21

    Did john banks die overnight???????

    • Tracey 21.1

      i only ask cos john armstrong and co seem to be writing euologies…

      I hope someone leaks their copy intended for when they thought banks would be found not guilty and dotcoms evidence not credible…

  22. Cancerman 22

    Can anyone explain why his sentence was given yesterday as this seems to be the main reason National is happy to and can sit in this limbo?

    • Anne 22.1

      Don’t forget the apparent cowardly behaviour of the NZ police. If every reasonable person was able to recognise that the available evidence right from the start pointed to John Banks being guilty of fraudulent behaviour, then it beggars belief that the police were unable to recognise it too.

      The answer is obvious. They were well aware there was sufficient evidence, but were either told directly or instinctively knew that any proper investigation would be frowned upon by their police and political superiors. There are potentially three politicians who may have interfered with the process behind the scenes – John Key, Judith Collins and Anne Tolley in that order. In other words, the word went down the line…?

      That this scenario (which would of course be vehemently denied by both police and politicians) is highly likely, speaks volumes about the ever increasing evidence that the NZ Police are no longer acting independently of political authority in this country.

      If allowed to continue unchecked then God help us!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1

        I suspect the police acted from tacit “understandings” and misguided loyalty rather than direct instructions. Still need their arses kicked but.

      • Tracey 22.1.2

        john banks was a popular minister of police, with the police.

        • Anne 22.1.2.1

          Never understood why he was popular? I don’t recall him doing anything spectacular in his role as Police Minister. Unless of course they identified with his conservative and simplistic approach to politics and the rule of law – lock up all the bad guys and throw away the key kind of thing.

          Well, he’s a bad guy now so maybe he’ll have a re-think…

          • Tracey 22.1.2.1.1

            he believed that the police were judge and jury, whatever it took to get the “ratbags”. Remember the police culture he would have been residing over.

            My dealings with e and the police were defined in 1991/1992 when i acted for a young blabber mouth guy against citibank.

            Behaviour by the police, inaction by minister and shady involvement of sis all shattered any thoughts i had of new zealand being clean and honest.

            • Anne 22.1.2.1.1.1

              I had a similar experience during the late 80s and early 90s. Went to the police five times and reported criminal acts conducted against me. They did nothing because there were political connotations to the story. I have held the police in contempt since.

              The oft repeated phrase that NZ is corruption free is so much hogwash, but while those in the know continue to keep their mouths shut it will never be exposed.

          • Tracey 22.1.2.1.2

            judith is probably drafting a bill right now to remove seperation of the executive and judiciary…

      • Treetop 22.1.3

        https://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/24168147/banks-donation-return-a-timeline/

        July 2012 the police say Banks will not face criminal charges.
        December 2013 Banks is to face criminal charges.

        A lapse of 17 months and the amount of stalling tactics that went on by Banks at every oppertunity to not be answerable and he still won’t stop appealing…

        Doesn’t wash with me that the police did their job.

  23. tsmithfield 23

    From the governments point of view the best result would be for Banks to resign. As it stands, they don’t need his vote to get through to the election, and having him there is an unnecessary distraction.

    The problem is they can’t force him to resign.

    • ianmac 23.1

      Ah ts. What if the ACT Caucus rebelled? Imagine the scene as a tearful Mr Banks tries so hard to convince his caucus that he has a wrongful conviction and should stay as an honourable example of honesty and credibility.

    • Lanthanide 23.2

      They need his vote to pass legislation. I have no idea if they had any scheduled before the election that was non-budget related, though.

  24. Cancerman 24

    I think ACT Party needs to be attacked as they are doing nothing to remove John Banks from their party which they should do. Ok they would no longer have an mp in parliment but at least they would be morally right and might get credit for this next time. Essentially ACT is saying they are help with guilty criminals representing them. People should forget attacking National and John Key and attack ACT. This could very well finish off the party if we make it “beyond the pale” for the people of Remuera to vote for a corrupt party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      Spot on CM. Jamie Unclecousin exhibited no concern whatsoever at Banks’ criminality, wittering about ‘due process’ instead, and scoffing at suggestions it had anything to do with ACT.

      Personal responsibility means you need a lawyer to screw your trousers on.

  25. Will@Welly 25

    The ‘great’ Peter Marshall – NACT’s lackey who was in charge of the Police. Don’t say corruption doesn’t exist in New Zealand.
    This whole case goes to the heart of the New Zealand Parliamentary system – it defines just who is and who isn’t fit to sit in Parliament. National, and it’s cohorts show themselves to be nothing but absolute trouts. John Key now sits alongside the likes of Poppa Doc, and every other corrupt politician that has lead a benign government.

  26. TheContrarian 26

    He should have resigned earlier.

    • Skinny 26.1

      For his latest immoral ‘act’ of considering applying for a sentence without conviction. Bent Bankie needs to be marched through his Epsom electorate in chains where his constituents can boo & heckle, sling mud and throw rotten fruit & veg at him.

  27. Marius 27

    So much fun listening to the revolting Boag trying to baby step Plunket into a ‘he’s not guilty because everyone else does the same thing, Sean’ corner regarding Banks conviction. Even that thicko Plunket wasn’t buying into it.
    Then Michelle decided to change tack and have a go at the greens for being nasty backstabbers as she promptly set about ridiculing Tariana Turias dress sense. I’ve actually find Boag even more distasteful over the years than Banks. Banks is just your garden variety psychopath. Boag is garden variety something else.

    • Cancerman 27.1

      What a lame comment from Boag. I’m not guilty of x because everyone else does it. If everyone else does it fine do your own private prosecution of everyone else. It doesn’t excuse your own crime. What disgusting morals.

      • Skinny 27.1.1

        Did you see po po face Boag floating around in the background outside the old bailey, she looked like a stunned mullet once the tv camera panned in her direction, she pretty much pushed people out of the way to slink off out of camera shot.
        No doubting Boag was there in support of Bent Bankie. What this clearly illustrates is that ACT is a puppet regime, Banks is as blue ribbon National as you can get. I bet Key and his National cronies will be most annoyed with any association linked between them and busted Bankie.

      • Tracey 27.1.2

        that fits the definition of honest that is used by boag banks key et al

      • Weepu's beard 27.1.3

        “I’m not guilty of x because everyone else does it”.</>

        Classic whataboutery. The Prime Minister is a heavy user of this practice. When asked about John Banks he brings up David Cunliffe.

  28. Naree 28

    It’s not the failure to declare money that I find disturbing, it is the fact that the judge has effecively called John Banks a liar. I think that parliamentarians have got so desensitised to lying that they no longer consider it a hanging offence. But try lying to the IRD – or any public department for that matter, and you will see different standards being applied.

    • Mary 28.1

      When Key gets away with lying his support goes up.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.2

      Banks clearly deserves a custodial sentence; he lied in court and – through his lawyer – leveled false accusations at witnesses.

  29. Mary 29

    It’s good he’s not accepting the verdict and not standing down because now his legacy will include being the MP who was allowed to stay in Parliament despite having been convicted while in office of an offence that carries a jail term. Nice strategy, John. Reflects the kind of guy you are through and through. We don’t want the public getting the wrong idea about you, now, do we?

    • McFlock 29.1

      just found guilty, not yet convicted.
      Although the dishonourable jerk might well “resign” on july 31st so he avoids being the first mp in a century to be kicked out due to a conviction.

  30. Marius 30

    hahahaa a custodial sentence. oh god that would be delightful. they could put him in the unrepentant graham capill’s old cell.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 30.1

      Unfortunately I expect it will be the domestic variety of custodial.

      On the other hand Banks continued denial of the offence and mockery of the court – singing on the steps – might help smooth the path :)

      Put him in with Titford.

  31. Tracey 31

    so much for the ACT mantra of peple need to take personal responsibility for tgeir actions…

  32. Glenn 32

    Bugger he will probably be back on talk back within 6 months polluting the airways.

  33. Peter 33

    When I left NZ in 2004, politics was still relatively stable. I don’t really follow what goes on in NZ very much from London, but I do see Rodney Hide ‘perkbuster’ cheated the system with a trip to Hawaii with a call girl, and now John Banks ‘Mr Hardline Law and Order’ is just another corrupt pol too. Meanwhile the PM seems to be a guy referred to as a ‘Paparazzi Prime Minister’

    • felix 33.1

      Call girl? lolz that was his girlfriend, now wife I believe and mother of his Ferengi child.

      • Colonial Viper 33.1.1

        Have to clean up my bloody keyboard and screen now, thanks

      • veutoviper 33.1.2

        LOLZ – she was also a top NZ sportswoman (cannot remember offhand wher name and hich sport) and I think they now have two children.

  34. Weepu's beard 34

    And what about the people of Epsom? I know they are well off and everything but are they really happy to be the laughing stock of the country, being used as pawns again. I’m certain most of them would prefer just to vote for Goldsmith.

  35. Mike the Lefty 35

    John Key basically staked his political reputation on Banks’s honesty and integrity. Both of these men now have no credibility and their continuing to cling desperately to the vestiges of power shows their utter contempt for New Zealanders and their belief in democracy.

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