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Why John Banks is now John Key’s biggest headache

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, June 7th, 2014 - 103 comments
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My initial impression was that delaying John Banks’ sentencing for filing a false electoral return to the day after Parliament had finished sitting was helpful to the Government.  But on reflection this has created one big headache for ACT and for Key and National.

All will be fine if John Banks receives a discharge without conviction.  Then he retains his Parliamentary seat and can finish his term somewhat gracefully on election day.  But I suspect the chances of this happening are not good.

The Sentencing Act 2002 says that a discharge without conviction should not be given unless the court is satisfied that the direct and indirect consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence.

A discharge without conviction tends to have a youth bias.  There are a few law students who after what was going to be a quiet night had a few tequilas and then became involved in an argument with the police indignantly claiming their friend should not be arrested for urinating in public when they were on Queen Street and then were arrested for obstruction.  Believe me, there are a couple of very good lawyers I know who have gone through this particular scenario.  Their only sin was to not understand how compromised their ability to reason was after consuming Tequila.  There but for the grace of god go many lawyers.

The consequence of the wrecking of a future career for a youthful indiscretion is generally out of proportion to the seriousness of the offence if it is at the stupid drunken tequila end of the spectrum.  This is why there are a few Lawyers who have had the benefit of a discharge without conviction.

Conversely a discharge without conviction should not be granted to someone who is in the twilight of their career.  Because the consequences of a conviction are limited.  It is even more difficult if that person has a previous conviction.  And if they are aged 67 and are retiring from politics then it is hard to understand what consequences there would be.  So they wake up in the morning and felt worse about themselves.  This is a natural consequence of what they had been found guilty of and should not result in their conviction being expunged.

The approach to achieving a discharge without conviction is well understood by defence lawyers.  The first thing you do is plead guilty.  The second thing you do is plead guilty.  Our Judiciary is remarkably catholic in its approach and prefers that someone seeking an indulgence fesses up and acknowledges they made a mistake.  Forgiveness is much more likely if you acknowledge that you need it.

Another consideration is that if the offending involves a momentary instance of a brain explosion which has never otherwise occurred then the prospects of a discharge improve.  It is easier to forgive a momentary weakness than to forgive behaviour which is calculated and forms a pattern.

And a further really important consideration is the public interest.  It is in the public interest to make sure that our politicians comply with important laws.

So John Banks may get a discharge without conviction.  But there seems to be a number of potentially insurmountable barriers in the way.

Presuming he is convicted then there are a whole lot of problems for John Key and National.  Firstly Banks will no longer be a Member of Parliament on August 3 or so.  Parliament will no longer be sitting but it is not scheduled to be dissolved until August 14 so under section 129 of the Electoral Act 1993 a by election will need to be called.  A by election need not be held if Parliament is dissolved but this will not have occurred by then.

To stop this MPs will need to be summonsed to pass a resolution by a majority of 75% confirming that no by election need be held. And they cannot do this now.  Section 131 of the Electoral Act talks about vacancies and not future vacancies so the power does not exist until Banks is actually gone.

The situation is far too messy for National.  I am sure the pressure is on now and Banks will be allowed the chance to give a valedictory speech but he will then resign.  A resolution will then be passed confirming that a by election will not be required, who could do anything else, and then life will continue.

And John Banks will become an annoying footnote in New Zealand’s political history and the sense of sleaze surrounding this Government will be more permanent.

ACT’s response has been fascinating.  Jamie Whyte could not see what the problem was with its only MP facing the prospect of being forcibly removed from Parliament because he had filed a false electoral return and Richard Prebble’s comments on Morning Report were just insane.  He originally thought that Banks would be acquitted.  His judgment is, shall we say, questionable.

So essentially if John Banks receives a discharge without conviction, which is really unlikely, he can serve his term out.  Otherwise unless he resigns well before his sentencing Parliament will have to be resummonsed after August 3 so they can pass a resolution confirming that a by election in Epsom is not required.  If this was required the Taxpayers Union should be apoplectic.  And there would be a stark reminder that members of a party which once proudly claimed to be perk busters had engaged in behaviour that had cost the country dearly.

I suspect that all parties apart from ACT thinks that John Banks should resign.  As soon as possible.

103 comments on “Why John Banks is now John Key’s biggest headache”

  1. Wayne 1

    An interesting point about by-elections. If it does a vacancy does arise (and it may not), it is not guaranteed that 75% of the House would vote to avoid a by-election.

    Could you have a by election on the same day as the general election? And if so, would Epsom votes still get a party vote, since by-elections are only about the constituency.

    I suppose you could effectively had two elections in Epsom, which would not be legally connected as they would for the rest of the nation. So Epsom has a party vote election along with the rest of nation. At the same time there is a constituency by-election. However in this case the by-election would not be part of the general election, so the result would not influence the party vote, i.e. no potential top up. The epsom seat is simply additional to the parliament. I have not actually checked the electoral law on this; no doubt someone will.

    Actually if a vacancy does occur I would hope that Parliament (actually the parties) would not play silly games, and would vote against a by-election.

    • Kiwiri 1.1

      It would be wonderful and so very clever too, wouldn’t it, Wayne, for the Nats to cynically and politically engineer a set of circumstances so that they can blame Labour, as well as the rest of the opposition, for John Banks’ electoral fraud?

    • felix 1.2

      Silly games, Wayne?

      You mean like the silly game of instructing your biggest supporters in your bluest electorate to vote for the candidate of an extremist radical fringe party?

      Or the silly game of engineering a takeover of that radical extremist fringe party and installing obedient members of your own party to stand for and run it?

      Or the silly game of using them to introduce unpopular legislation that you wanted to introduce anyway and saying “We had to vote for it, those extremist nutters made us do it!” ?

      Or the silly game of standing by your man and claiming he’s honest when the entire country including a high court judge have easily picked him as a fraudster, because his single corrupt criminal vote props up your entire administration?

      Have another drink Wayne, sounds like you need it.

    • North 1.3

      Thanks Wayne…….interested in the second sentence of your comment. “If……a vacancy does arise (and it may not)…….”. Your “(and it may not)” can only be a reference to the question of discharge without conviction…….whether or not etc.

      What do you reckon Banks’ chances are, and why ? C’mon Wayne……out with it boyo. Express analysis of how the template in s.107 of the Sentencing Act 2002 applies, in all the circumstances. Please.

      Top marks on your faithful servant (Ret.) attempt to distract there – blinding by science – but the benefit of your honest straight-up analysis is needed. Please. I mean you’re well placed in learning, and……etc etc etc, to have a fairly authoritative view.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      “it is not guaranteed that 75% of the House would vote to avoid a by-election.”

      It requires National and Labour together to vote to avoid a by-election.

      If either party voted to have a by-election, the other party would accuse them of wasting public money.

      Therefore, both parties will vote to avoid a by-election. It doesn’t matter what the other parties think.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        Yeah, there’s absolutely no chance that a by-election will be held.

    • Bearded Git 1.5

      That is interesting Wayne. On this basis it could be that even if ACT win the seat in the by election on the day of the general election and get say 3.2% (some chance ha ha) they would not be able to top up their seats in parliament to 4 seats because they did not win a seat in a general election and so coat tailing does not apply.

      I very much doubt this is the case, but it might be.

  2. karol 2

    Lisa Owen on The Nation has just said she has heard that today Jamie Whyte will publicly ask Banks to fall on his sword.

    • Kiwiri 2.1

      Even Jamie Whyte can’t keep putting off conveniently avoiding contacting Banks anymore!

      • karol 2.1.1

        It explains Whyte’s mumblings on TV3 last night – as I said then.

        • Kiwiri 2.1.1.1

          Indeed. Thanks. And it was quite likely there were dialogues and discussions taking place and some people were either not telling the truth, telling part of the story, or talking through intermediaries. The cynical tactic would be to appear to distance themselves from the criminal while pushing on with the false pretence of Nat-ACT to polling day.

          The other tactic emerging now seems to be having Banks stay on as long as possible, and then using the opportunity to put public blame on the rest of the House for not voting to stop the automatic by-election trigger.

          We truly have a bunch of slime in charge of the government benches. How swiftly is NZ’s political integrity now sinking?! This is just astounding.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            We truly have a bunch of slime in charge of the government benches. How swiftly is NZ’s political integrity now sinking?!

            I don’t think that sinking is the correct term. More that the people are waking up to the fact that NZ is horribly corrupt and probably has been for some time.

    • Chooky 2.2

      shows that the outcome of this court case has had serious implications for Banks and NACT…he is now a very serious liability…whether he s resigns or not, he is damaging to any brand.

      great work Graeme McCready and Penny Bright !!!!!

    • Foreign Waka 2.3

      On the Nation today, Mrs Coddington said that ACT has forgone its party vote and has to win it back. This is not possible with Banks. So really his is not a morality issue for ACT but a party strategic one. As for the rest, listening to Mrs Coddington made so clear how out of touch she is with the times and wishes of the general population. I personally found that listening to her it felt like a 60’s TV show (yes Prime Minister?). Impressive was the young Aucklander (not sure what his name was, he had a Dr), he verbalized so clearly what so many think and feel. In the end the electorate does not want to know what their representative had for dinner but what their vision of a future is and how to achieve it.

      • karol 2.3.1

        The young Aucklander was from Generation Zero.

        Coddington was seriously spinning. But it was clear that Team Whyte want to get rid of non-Randian Banks.

  3. Todd Ross 3

    Personally, putting aside what any politico/lawyer/academic thinks, let it go to to by-election. let the public asses the nature of events & personalities involved. A frivolous, unmitigated by-election process might just lift public expectation, despite any attempt to blame parliamentary opposition.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    It is good that John Key now has John Banks as his biggest headache to deal with heading into election day.

    However, it would be better if Key’s biggest headache going into Sept 20 was David Cunliffe and the Labour Party.

    • nadis 4.1

      Not sure if that comment should be filed under comedy or tragedy – maybe both. Well done.

    • Foreign Waka 4.2

      Must have been all the Tea….

    • The Al1en 4.3

      I’m with you all the way on that last point CV.
      Way back when I remember writing about cometh the man. The man is definitely right, and I mean that in the as is correct way, but the message isn’t being hit home and it needs to. It can’t be left (no pun intended) until the campaign launches, it has to be now and done hard.

      If undecided voters were little birds, and political parties were wiggly worms, it’s the fast moving little things that grab the attention, not the slow moving medium size ones looking a little plump , but unappetising.

      The cartoon writers should do it, but I would be looking for a writers fee if they do.

  5. Graeme Stanley 5

    The stench of big money for influence still hangs heavy over John Keys Government no matter what spin these theatrical players of Members of Parliament put on it. This Government has spun us the gullible New Zealand voting public a yarn that beggars belief from Cabinet Ministers to Prime Minister and the voting public are fed up with the lies, the spin, and the ducking for cover.The Judge believes Kim Dotcom more than John Banks says it all.

    • Kiwiri 5.1

      The Judge won’t be the only one. A significant body of the NZ public would agree with the Judge.

    • Chooky 5.2

      +100

    • Foreign Waka 5.3

      A redeeming feature of NZ….. the law cannot (yet) be bought.

      • fisiani 5.3.1

        That’s not what Crim Dot Con thinks and thas why Mr R Norman wants to give him a Get out of Jail Free card if he pays enough to get Davy and the GIMPS in 2nd 3rd,4th and 5th place ahead of National. Shameful. Greens and Mana the best parties that money can buy.

        • McFlock 5.3.1.1

          Could be worse.
          We could have a government that can only push through its flagship policy with the assistance of someone who committed electoral fraud.

          You want “shameful”? How about a PM who has a cup of tea with an electoral fraudster?
          Did they use oravida milk when they had the cup of tea, I wonder?

          • fisiani 5.3.1.1.1

            The Cunliife broke electoral law on the day of the Christchurch East byelection.

            [lprent: So? And the electoral commission did what? And the police did what? And when are you planning on launching a private prosecution?

            This is about the 4th of this type of unlinked and perfectly meaningless statement with no context of argument you have done while I have been scanning. It is simple astroturfing. They are all about Cunliffe who appears to terrify you so much that you lose the ability to string and argument together. I’d suggest that you either get over your petrified obsession or don’t comment on him.

            If I see you astroturfing meaningless statements in my next scan, then I’ll probably give you a wee ban to illustrate just how boring I find them to be. About a 100 days worth.

            You have the ability to argue here, I’d suggest that you don’t waste it on stupid and damn boring comments. ]

            • McFlock 5.3.1.1.1.1

              really?
              was he charged and found guilty?

              • fisiani

                Are you denying that The Cunliffe broke the law?

                • McFlock

                  not at all, I just can’t find where he was proved guilty in a court of law.

                  Unlike banks.

              • Colonial Viper

                I guess Fisi thinks that Cunliffe got $50K in a plain brown envelope for that tweet

                • fisiani

                  NO The Cunliffe got “anonymous” (stop laughing) slush funds for his secret election trust.

                  • McFlock

                    You’d better prosecute him for knowingly signing an untrue declaration, then

                    • fisiani

                      He has been and will be prosecuted in the court of public opinion. That is why he is polling less than the hapless Shearer just 100 days from the election.

                    • McFlock

                      The court of public opinion? Its next sitting is in september.

                      Banks is certainly no stranger to actual criminal courts of law, however.

                    • fisiani

                      I gleefully await the verdict in September. BTW Banks is a major benefit to John Key’s goal message to reach a new record score under MMP. ” Give us a strong stable government – Party Vote National”

                    • felix

                      I don’t think the court of public opinion cares much what a couple of douchebags from the PM’s office think.

    • Lloyd 5.4

      Unfortunately a large part of the New Zealand population isn’t fed up with the lies and still believes the spin. It is called cognitive dissonance.

      Anything which contradicts the “hasn’t Mr Key done wonders with the economy” line is rejected by these people as being far-left propaganda. Reality is not involved. Once someone have invested in a lie it is amazing how long he/she will believe it. This is how religion works.

      Remember, you can fool most of the people most of the time.

      • Anne 5.4.1

        +1 Lloyd.

        If you try to point out glaring examples of the falseness of their argument (in a nice way of course) you will see their eyes glaze over and you know they have deliberately turned off because they can’t admit to the truth.

  6. fdx 6

    Surely someone has sat down with John Banks and gently broke the new to him.
    “John, it is all over my friend, everyone is laughing at you.”
    But then again his is and always will be an arrogant shithead.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    “Section 131 of the Electoral Act talks about vacancies and not future vacancies so the power does not exist until Banks is actually gone.”

    Parliament is sovereign. There is no reason they cannot pass a specific law or amendment for this specific case so that they do not need to reconvene, prior to Banks being turfed out.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      True; however it is a modification of electoral law and will probably require more than a simple majority. Another consideration is that one off ad hoc changes to electoral law for convenience presents a very bad precedent.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Parliament is sovereign. They can pass a new act with a bare majority that sets out the law in this specific case, regardless of existing legislation. It does not need to be a “modification of electoral law”, just a new law. In any event, Labour would vote for it (see my reply at 1.4 above).
        All the rules around super-majority etc themselves can be repealed by Parliament with a bare majority, because Parliament is sovereign. Parliament cannot pass laws to place restrictions on itself that cannot be repealed by a bare majority. To do this sort of thing would require Parliament to be dissolved, a constitutional convention convened, and then all future Parliaments would operate under the rules created by that constitution.
        This isn’t for “convenience” as much as it is doing the public’s will. No one wants to see Parliament reconvene just to pass this such law.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Oh, I’m not doubting the concept and powers of a sovereign Parliament, and what it could do if it so wished.

        • Foreign Waka 7.1.1.2

          The irony is that the bare majority vote contains the ACT party contribution… whats wrong with the picture?

        • DS 7.1.1.3

          This is an untested and murky area of law. There are certain portions of the Electoral Act that require a two-thirds majority to repeal, however, as Parliament cannot bind itself, there is an argument that a bare majority could repeal any part of the entrenched legislation by the principle of implicit repeal.

          Personally, I prefer the bare majority approach. If Parliament can bind itself procedurally, there is nothing stopping a future Government putting in provisions that repealing any part of its programme requires unanimous consent,

          • Foreign Waka 7.1.1.3.1

            DS, there maybe cases where this fits perfectly, but on issues that affect 1/ the security of the country 2/ the freedoms of its citizen and finally 3/ the guaranty of having justice/law separated from politics, I think any vote needs to have at least 90%. It is my opinion that NZ is in urgent need for a all encompassing, enshrined constitution for all.

    • Bearded Git 7.2

      Voted through with a one vote majority with Banks’ vote the majority? That wouldn’t look good!

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        I’m not sure why it wouldn’t look good for Banks to vote in favour of no by-election in Epsom. Anyway it would be supported by Labour at least (see my reply 1.4 above) so it would not be a bare majority.

  8. bad12 8

    In our system of justice ”deals” are being increasingly struck between the prosecution and the accused in criminal courts,

    Such ”deals” usually at the point of an offenders plea of not guilty usually involve substituting a lesser charge for the one the offender has appeared befor the Court accused of,

    It is not uncommon for similar types of ”dealing” to be apparent at the sentencing of an offender, i have to wonder whether Banks not immediately resigning at the point the High Court indicated His guilt is in fact a ”bargaining chip” being held by Banks in the vein of unless He is guaranteed a discharge without conviction He will happily turn the election into a constitutional nightmare…

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      He may be thinking that but there’s absolutely nothing he can do. Resigning now just means that parliament won’t have to resit to vote not to have a by-election. There isn’t a constitutional crisis – just an inconvenience.

  9. aerobubble 9

    Key has been pretty clear. Metaphorically saying that if a bank robber drops the money before the Police catch them, they aren’t guilty. Key said this when he says Bankies didn’t benefit, though ACt voters who put him in parliament didn’t know of his now guilt.

    Now we hear that Key believes Banks should not be held out to cook, because he trusts him. Banks statement that he didn’t knowingly break the law, just signed a document without thinking it though, is clearly similar to Dunne, who has Key’s trust, whose alleged leaking of a security document caused him to lose his intelligence committee position. Comparing the two, its obvious Banks need to resign, and Key won’t do the pushing.

  10. karol 10

    Jamie Whyte is publicly putting pressure on Banks to resign from parliament. He clearly made it known to Lisa Owen on the Nation that this is what he was wanting.

    Stuff reported in the last hour:

    Fairfax understands ACT leader Jamie Whyte has spoken to Banks and made it clear he thinks he should resign in the wake of a High Court finding that he was guilty of filing a false electoral return.

    In a statement, Whyte said Banks was legally entitled to remain in Parliament but he could also choose to step down as an MP prior to his sentencing on August 1.

    “John and I discussed this option earlier today and we have agreed that he will take the weekend to consider his alternatives.”

    The party is expected to make an announcement next week.

    • fdx 10.1

      So Jamie Whyte has been told to tell Banks to resign. Great. But by whom?

    • veutoviper 10.2

      RNZ also reported this on their Midday News on National.

      I did not watch The Nation but understand that Paul Goldsmith was not there for the Epsom discussion. Patrick Gower Twitter feed is interesting with respect to this – suggesting that the deal has already been done with ACT.

      https://twitter.com/patrickgowernz

      • karol 10.2.1

        The Nation – all were saying today that the deal had obviously been down as Goldsmith didn’t come to the Nation Epsom candidates’ debate.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Banks’ supporters might argue he was only behaving as any politician does after the High Court found him guilty of filing a false return. But the fact that all your mates do it is rarely considered a suitable legal defence.

      And in this case it means that all of Banks’ mates should also be kicked out of parliament. And, as the article makes clear, Banks’ mates includes the entire National Party.

      • karol 10.3.1

        Deborah Coddington on the Nation today was running the Labour-did-it-too line: she mentioned the Pledge Card, etc.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.4

      But few people would find it credible that politicians are blissfully ignorant of who their biggest and wealthiest backers might be, no matter what method is used to funnel their donations into the party coffers. Nor would most people struggle with the idea that someone who pays $5000 to sit next to the prime minister or a party leader at dinner is motivated by the opportunity to have a word in his ear.

      That is only a problem if the perception that money buys policy and special favours takes root.

      Oh, FFS, that’s not a perception. We know that money buys special favours which is why Collins should be in jail over her relationship with Oravida and Key probably should be as well. And so should everyone involved in National’s Cabinet Club.

      It’s the fact that money does buy influence in politics that makes it imperative that political parties become state funded (all at the same level). IMO, the people who complain about such funding are the ones that want to keep buying influence that they shouldn’t have.

  11. redfred 11

    No chance of a discharge without conviction; key term is gravity. We are talking about a sitting member of parliament found guilty of election fraud; in terms of constitutional law it doesn’t get more weighty than that. The separation of powers between parliament and the role of judiciary plays in upholding the laws set by Parliament is a core democratic principle underlying this case. John Banks is off on his cabbage boat about to crushed by the gravity of messing with democracy.

    • bad12 11.1

      Yes redfred, a perfectly reasonable explanation of the lines fed to us all about the separation of the Judiciary from the State,

      You would have to be tho ‘an eternal optimist’ to truly believe that befor the State became a bastion of corruption the deck chairs of the Judicial ship had not been previously rearranged so as to provide covert protection of such…

  12. risildowgtn 12

    Off Twitter

    RNZ News ‏@rnz_news 24m

    Banks to consider stepping down

    http://rnz.to/1kGY8bW

    • felix 12.1

      “He also said Banks can choose to step down as an MP before sentencing, and he discussed that option with him during a meeting on Saturday.”

      Sounds like Unclecousin has instructed him to either step down or risk being expelled from ACT.

      Also Key has come up with some bullshit about maybe not using Banks’ vote, which it should be noted is not an actual thing.

      Banks is an MP, and as Key and National have gone to great lengths to pretend he’s not beholden to the National Party. He can vote for whatever he likes. Key isn’t in charge of parliament. He doesn’t get to decide that an MP’s vote does or doesn’t count.

      Absolute bullshit from Key, and yet again demonstrating his contempt for our democratic institutions.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Sounds like Unclecousin has instructed him to either step down or risk being expelled from ACT.

        If Act had any integrity they would already have expelled him.

        Absolute bullshit from Key, and yet again demonstrating his contempt for our democratic institutions.

        The rich don’t like democracy – never have done.

  13. dimebag russell 13

    key doesn’t understand what democracy and parliament is all about. somehow he thinks he has been given the keys to the kingdom and he can do or say whatever he likes.
    well the voters are going to have a message for him about ethics and rectitude in September.
    in the immortal words of Hank Williams: Got in this morning ’bout half past four. The key wouldn’t fit the lock no more!

    • Lloyd 13.1

      See my earlier comments about cognitive dissonance.

      There will have to be a significant shift in attitude in several of our news media institutions towards the general corrupt nature of the Key government before a large proportion of the population can see what has been happening. I cannot see this shift happening and therefore I think the crooks have a good chance of still being in power after the next election.

      John Banks will need to be figuratively burnt at the stake as a sacrifice for “that nice Mr Key’s” government and the show will go on.

      • Rodel 13.1.1

        Lloyd.Yes ..It will be interesting to see how the PM’s spinadvisers manage to sacrifice Banks and make John Key appear as the hero of it all.

  14. yeshe 14

    When asked this morning on The Nation re Banks and his seat, Stephen Joyce replied he couldn’t possibly comment on a matter that remains before the courts !! I took it as a preview of exactly what will happen in the House no matter how the questions are posed … Nact cowards, all of them.

    and + 100% for the coming September rectitude lesson as mentioned above by dimebag russell :smile:

  15. Ad 15

    Gone by Tuesday.

  16. Graham 16

    All national have to do is call an early election problem solved
    Labour need more time before the election not less
    A mid July election will stop that missing 1 million from voteing
    Do you REALLY want that?

    • McFlock 16.1

      lol
      “we need a snap election because one of my coalition partners committed electoral fraud”.

      I would like to see that, yeah

  17. Graham 17

    Months of attacks on Judith didn’t shift the polls
    Most non beltway people think all mps are no better than used cardealers
    A early election won’t hurt national

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      Not sure if you’ve actually realised it, but we are having an early election already. And the reason the election is early is precisely because of John Banks’ court case.

      • yeshe 17.1.1

        and I think the KDC is not separate from this timing either … “I know that you know I know, Prime Minister” and all that … Key can yet be proven a liar and it will be in the High Court, not his parliament where he likes to rule … can’t wait.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    We all know Banks is going to quit in a day or two, it’s just a question now of damage limitation for Key/National, and how slow Banks is to get the message (pretty slow, it seems).

    What Jamie Whyte or Prebble or anybody in ACT thinks is irrelevant. ACT = Epsom = Key’s permission. They will do what they are told by their owners, and chances are Steven Joyce has already told them.

    The public’s view will be straightforward – Banks must go immediately, no by-election needed, hold September general election as scheduled. Anyone who plays silly buggers with this obvious course of events will be punished by the voters.

  19. Skinny 19

    Get real Mickey!
    Banks is a gone, I expect the announcement of a by election shortly. ACT need to rebuild and quickly. There is no value whatsoever in keeping Bent Bankie around, the man is a poison chalice to both ACT and National. While their current candidate lacks charisma, he does appear to be no real liability.

    The problem the Left have is the Labour & Green candidates, and their supporters campaigning for the party vote only and encourage a Goldsmith vote. This will get the backs up of the National supporters within the Epsom and they will vote in strong numbers ACT candidate in spite.

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      “I expect the announcement of a by election shortly.”
      :roll:
      And you’re telling Mickey to “get real”?

    • Kiwiri 19.2

      “The problem the Left have is the Labour & Green candidates, and their supporters campaigning for the party vote only and encourage a Goldsmith vote.”

      Will David Parker be running for Epsom again?
      Perhaps he should be the one to run for ACT in Epsom. That way, he can very credibly push for the retirement age to be lifted.

  20. Te Reo Putake 20

    In Epsom, enjoying a kiwi hot Ruby Murray in a Newmarket restaurant when I find myself chatting to would be ACT MP David Seymour. David tells me that Banksie will do the right thing and resign. David and I agree it’s ironic that if Banks had simply not put it an electoral return at all and just copped the minor fine, he wouldn’t now be in the shit. It’s his personal integrity that’s bought him down. Or something.

    • Skinny 20.1

      The old saying “you can trust a thief but not a liar” rings true. Bent Bankie insulted the whole nation with the likes of his horse shit that he could not remember flying to Dotcom’s Coatsville mansion in a helicopter. He totally lost the plot thinking people would be that gullible to swallow such a lie. He lost all credibility right there and then.

      • Kiwiri 20.1.1

        Well, his campaign adviser, the Lady Macbeth of the National Party, should probably cop it as well.

  21. dimebag russell 21

    so who is the green candidate in epsom?

    • Skinny 21.1

      The very capable MP Julie Ann Genter. The Green have 2 former NACT party votes from my family in Epsom. Hopefully talking them into a candidate vote for Goldsmith won’t be to much of a bother. Ha ha I will invite Julie Ann (a friend) to reason that one.

  22. dimebag russell 22

    bty. banksie would be
    enough to give anyone a headache.
    even hinself!

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  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
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