Banks’ brand is buggered

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, March 22nd, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, john banks, len brown - Tags: , , , , ,

How much is the Huljich Kiwisaver figure-fudging scandal hurting John ‘the dodgy-director’ Banks’ mayoral chances?

Answer: a lot.

Lord Mayor Banks Of Remuera trades on the fact he is a successful businessman. He constantly talks up his strong business credentials as standing him in good stead to lead the new supercity. The Huljich debacle blows that branding out of the water.

It’s starting to seep into mainstream coverage of the election. At the weekend, Fran O’Sullivan confirmed long standing rumours that the far-right is hopelessly divided over its mayoral candidate.

While slagging off other rightwing-political-retreads-of-the-past (Christine Fletcher and George Wood) for wanting to return to the scene, O’Sullivan plumps for failed 1990s National Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. Talk about irony. Not to mention tragic.

She then floats someone called Bridget Liddell who lives in New York City someone who has no local government or political experience and visits New Zealand now and again. Not the person to put a broken city back together again.

O’Sullivan then explicitly writes off Banks saying he’ll lose to Len Brown – and joins the long list of commentators criticizing the Huljich rip-off and noting it has damaged Banks’ chances. In a prior opinion piece O’Sullivan states, ‘Banks’ cavalier approach does not bode well for a politician who is aspiring to lead the new Auckland Council.’ Too right.

Think this story is only getting play in the business pages? It’s not, I floated Banks’ mayoral candidacy with the guy who owns the local petrol station in Takapuna; he said he wasn’t going to vote for someone who’s happy to rip off people’s retirement savings.

Banks’ highly paid image/media management spin team have had a terrible time trying to keep this story under wraps. Have a look at this terrible news piece where One News has to chase Banks out a door to get an answer from him.

John Banks has desperately been trying to fix his image, however the Huljich rip-off story has put pay to those plans. It has simply reinforced why Banks isn’t the right person to lead Auckland and reminded people why they shouldn’t trust him, not to mention destroying his reputation with the business community. This mangy story is going to dog him until election day.

12 comments on “Banks’ brand is buggered”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “She then floats someone called Bridget Liddell who lives in New York City someone who has no local government or political experience and visits New Zealand now and again. Not the person to put a broken city back together again.”

    Sounds like Key.

  2. The Baron 2

    Sorry “Sam”, maybe you need to get these messages to Conor in the Len Brown camp, cos he seems to be having a pretty torrid time getting anyone to pay attention to these “looming crises” in the Banks camp.

    • If I was Conor and Len I would keep things really quiet in the hope that Banks will limp through the candidacy.

      The day after he is selected is the day to dump the scandal publicly.

  3. toad 3

    I suspect Banks was happy to just pick up the Huljich directors fees and didn’t pay much attention to what was going on.

    Any competent director would have seen what was going on and put a stop to it.

  4. Peter 4

    Competent is the “key” word here, He is not fit to lead our city…

    Nor are the Cit-Rats doing themselves any favours by recycling a group of washed up has beens as potential councillors…

    • toad 4.1

      Problem is that a lot of those washed up has beens have name recognition, and in local governemnt name recognition alone is enough to get someone elected.

      Hopefully if there is anything good to come out of this whole antidemocratic debacle of the supershitty, it will be a higher voter awareness at the election in October.

  5. Mr Banks is indeed sorely wounded and there is a growing sense on the Right that he needs to be replaced, but the Cits and Rats are a long way down the road behind him, and to jettison him now is risky. They are between a rock and a very hard place. My view is that Ms O’Sullivan is pointing the finger at Mr Key, not Mr Hide, for what may become a debacle of national proportions. A Left win in the Supercity the year before the General Election, and the potential for Labour Party and others to build on that success, stares the Right in the face. It’s by no means a guaranteed outcome, but sufficiently plausible to cause loss of sleep in the Cits and Rats camp. Mr Joyce cannot turn this around by being jovially competent, as the image buffers would have it.

  6. I hear the determination by the LGC to split up the Maungakiekie Orakei ward into two caused palpitations for two of the Councillors.

    Doug Armstrong and Kevin Baguely thought they were home and hosed originally. Now one of them will be in the super safe Orakei ward and the other will have to battle Richard Northey in marginal Maungakiekie.

    I wonder if they will toss a coin?

  7. BLiP 7

    Keep up the good work Banksie – you’re “potentiating” Len Brown’s chances every day.

  8. You are correct Robert.W. and there lies the danger, The Right are well aware that if the Left win the Super City elections it could well carry on to the General election.Im betting that the Nats “Dirty Tricks Brigade” are hard at work to find some mud to fling at the Left.
    People of the Left like me must be fully alert to any sleazy moves by National and their mates in big business. The trouble they are experts in mud slinging ,that in the past has sometimes won elections for them.
    However its a fact that at this time its the political Right that are being found deep in a number of sleazy deals. Key, McMully in doubtfull deals ,
    Brash and Banks, and McClay hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons.
    So,lets watch our backs the Right is likely to get desperate.

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