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Banks/Key – water on a stone

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, September 18th, 2012 - 61 comments
Categories: john banks, john key, slippery - Tags:

Get ready for a week of farce – but important farce – in the House.

The Opposition will be peppering Key and Banks on the numerous holes in their position. The lies and contradictions pile on each other every day.

Key will play dumb and do his usual shifting semantic games. But the Opposition has to keep the pressure on. Plug away with persistent, forensic questions. It’s like water on a stone, wearing their defences down one question at a time.

One of them will crack in time. And, until that happens, Key will bleed credibility every day.

61 comments on “Banks/Key – water on a stone”

  1. Mary 1

    Why is Key getting away with his “he didn’t break the law” rubbish? This hasn’t got anything to do with lying. Opposition MPs and the media are letting Key get away with conflating the decision of police not to prosecute because of a lack of evidence with the issue of whether Banks lied to Key and to the public. And ironically it’s the same police report on the matter that proves Banks lied. When is somebody going to put this to Key properly?

    • Tangled up in blue 1.1

      How does the report PROVE Banks was lying? My understanding is that it’s their (Kim Dotcom, his lawyer and bodyguard) word against Banky’s.

      • toad 1.1.1

        Except we don’t actually know what Banks’ word is, because he won’t consent to the release of his Police interview.

        What we do know is that the Police consider he broke the law and the reason he wasn’t prosecuted for that was that the limitation period for prosecution under the offence they considered could be proven beyond reasonable doubt had expired.

      • CnrJoe 1.1.2

        he lied. on tv. everytime he opened his gob.
        do you know dotcom? no
        have you met him? no
        did you ask for money? no
        helicopter? no
        fireworks? no
        birthday party? no
        and hes such an ignoramus he says donator instead of donor.

        don’t you know what a lie is tangled?

        • Tangled up in blue

          Actually iirc all those things he hummed and harred and couldn’t recollect.

          It looks glaringly obvious that he’s lying, but unless a fact finder confirms this; then Key only has to take his word for it.

          As pointed out a few times, Keys lack of ethics around limitations (it ain’t a crime if ya don’t get caught) is the angle to attack on.

      • Mary 1.1.3

        Dotcom’s evidence was in the police file.

  2. Anne 2

    Something I don’t understand is the fact that the media never respond to Key’s claims that the police did not prosecute John Banks etc. with the obvious repost that they couldn’t prosecute because the situation didn’t come to light until after the six months time limitation.

    This is something the opposition should be hammering away at every time Key says it but they’re not.

    No matter it was a Labour government that drafted that law. They’re not clairvoyant. They couldn’t know some little Tory pollie would rort the system in the way John Banks has…

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      It also bugs me that Key repeatedly says that the law was confusing. If it was, how come all the other thousands of mayoral, council and community boards candidates managed to file their returns without lying?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      They couldn’t know some little Tory pollie would rort the system in the way John Banks has…

      But they should have.

      • Anne 2.2.1

        But they should have.

        Easy to say with the benefit of hindsight DTB, but there’s an element of truth to that comment. I’ve long suspected Labour is too trusting of their political opponents. It’s as though they are still stuck in the Holyoake era when, despite political differences, NZ pollies treated each other with respect.

        • Bob

          Anne “I’ve long suspected Labour is too trusting of their political opponents”, if this was true, why would Mike Williams fly to Australia to try to dig up dirt on John Key (and find none I might add)? And why would Trevor Mallard lie about the American Bagman (turns out he was linked to Winston Peters, not National), not to mention the deformation defamation case by Judith Collins that has been brought about by [deleted] (outside the house for a change), these don’t sound like actions of people who are ‘too trusting of their political opponents’.

          [lprent: That is a defamation case not deformation. And I trust that you were expressed your presumption of the facts of the case as your opinion and were not trying to preempt the decision of a current case in front of the court – but you didn’t word it that way. I get irritated by people who try to stir up legal issues for this site and as importantly make me exert effort to adjust their comment. I won’t do it very often. ]

          • Colonial Viper

            Bob. Labour is out of date. And out of touch. “Too trusting” may not be exactly the right description but it is part of the answer.

            • Bob

              I think we are finally in agreeance on something CV

            • Jokerman

              brother/teacher. how are you? awake?

              • Colonial Viper

                trying to wake up now, trying to help others to wake up too, mate. Some days impossible to tell the dream world from the real world. Surely some of the stuff we see going on can only happen in fiction?

      • CnrJoe 2.2.2

        not just a pollie – a former Police Minister

    • SpaceMonkey 2.3

      No matter it was a Labour government that drafted that law. They’re not clairvoyant. They couldn’t know some little Tory pollie would rort the system in the way John Banks has…

      Why else put a statute of limitations on this legislation? One thing that can always be guaranteed is that when it comes to looking after themselves, politicians can always be relied on. I am reminded of the Parliamentary superannuation debates in days gone by… I have never seen the House so united.

      That someone would try and rort the system was entirely foreseeable.

  3. Carol 3

    This is what Gordon Campbell calls, John Key’s version of “Don’t ask: don’t tell”. Or, more to the point: “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t think.”


    One can only assume the focus groups must be telling National that the public is bored with the Banks affair, and that National can get away with blaming Labour – and the media – for banging on about it for so long. Unfortunately for National though, the only reason that public interest has flat-lined about Banks is that the country has run out of agnostics and swinging voters on this issue.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    This week is the real opportunity to show the performance of those in opposition. If opposition flounders here, what hope will there ever be? Yes, Key will use the familiar games like playing dumb, but he is sure to wear the “couldn’t care less” smirk, and make smart-arsed put-downs.

  5. Jokerman 5

    Banks is a mill-stone a round Key’s neck

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      How high, the man said, he was going to fly

      (higher standards, still?)

      and now he is falling and failing ….. spinning and sinking

      defending the indefensible.

    • CnrJoe 5.2

      he’s grist. i believe we – the population of new zild are the millstone.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Agree that in the parliamentary forum the opposition parties have to go for broke on this one. Banksie needs to be locked in the trunk of his Bentley by weeks end.

    Meanwhile in the real world the vulnerable are being virtually legislated out of state assistance. Beneficiaries of all descriptions are kiwis, their kids are kiwi kids, unemployed and sick people are not aliens needing to be zapped like “prawns” in the movie “District 9”.

    • David H 7.1

      Whats the bet he will be keeping a real low profile. How long can he keep out of the house before hew starts getting pinged in the pocket for?

    • Carol 7.2

      There’s one for him as Minister of Small Business – but doesn’t relate to issues of his veracity.

      • gobsmacked 7.2.1

        Thanks Carol, I missed that one. A question about compliance … so the opposition might be trying to add a few supplementaries about filling in forms correctly and honestly?

        • Carol

          Ha! Supplementary refers to the Hurlich etc case – can’t remember, didn’t read etc. Stand up Penny Bright!

      • Poission 7.2.2

        The supplementary Q was hilarious,

        Dr David Clark: Should a small-business owner read all statements that they are required to sign under the Companies Act; if they do not do so, how would he describe them: a, negligent; b, careless; or, c, John Banks?

  7. It will be a waste of time, as it will be like water off a duck’s back, and will have no difference to Key’s/NACT’s opinion poll ratings.
    Surely there are more important things to raise in Parliament.
    It is not too far away before Parliament rises for the summer break.

  8. Carol 9

    Yep… Question time – Key hasn’t read it…. repeat and add stand up, “Aren’t I funny” routine… “It’s all Helen Clark’s fault!

    Ha! Turei on “Planet John Key” with his “Don’t read, don’t care” defence!

    And J Key’s idea of Planet Key is where golf courses are always available, plus lots of holidays – aah, yes – that’s called Hawaii.

    • gobsmacked 9.1

      Good line of attack from Turei, Winston did OK, Robertson fine. David Clark got a rant from Banks, so that was a win. Shearer was … Shearer.

      Robertson had Key beaten on the police explicitly saying Banks broke the law, but didn’t follow up with:

      “Does he have confidence in the police?”
      (Key has to say “Yes”)
      “Does he believe the police?”

      Given the ammunition they have, Labour still fell short IMO.

      • Carol 9.1.1

        Well, it’s the steady drip as much as anything. It’s so obvious to all that Banks broke the law (time ran out) and lied/mislead others.

        And Key constructed his own noose, with his oh so funny (?!) description of Planet Key.

        We need a visual: “Let them eat fruit!”, while the PM is off to Planet Key.

        • gobsmacked

          Yes, I’d have to check the Hansard but it sounded like he was calling for more holidays? So National will now support the “Mondayize” bill?

          The “golf” comment should become a meme.

        • Anne

          Keys description of Planet Key leaves him wide open to ridicule but will the Opposition parties pick up on it? I hope so, not the least because it’s a massive insult to the dispossessed who are increasing in number on a daily basis.

          • Carol

            Here’s what he said:


            Metiria Turei: Will homeowners on “Planet Key” now be allowed to default on their mortgages and then claim it is OK because they did not read the documents; will business people on “Planet Key” now be allowed to sign illegal contracts under his new “don’t read, don’t care” defence?

            Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not know so much about “Planet Key”, but my expectations are it would be a lovely place to live, it would be beautifully governed, golf courses would be plentiful, people would have plenty of holidays to enjoy their time, and what a wonderful place it would be. But I would expect people on such a place—referred to as nirvana—to comply with the law, and that is what Mr Banks did.

  9. Ariadna 10

    Dear David,


    [lprent: Spam that snuck through. ]

    • Carol 10.1

      My goodness! Which of the Davids are you talking to?

      [lprent: Ignore the odd spambot that gets through :twisted:. It makes it harder to clean out if I leave the replies. This is one persistent bot. ]

      • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1

        Ariadna is apparently channelling Nick Clegg.
        Not sure what any of the comments have to do with this post, though.

        [lprent: Just been back through the comments and found another 10 comments from this bot/nut and spammed them. Unfortunately it comes from a local institution so I can’t simply do what I’d do normally and spam the IP. But a couple of people may find themselves getting moderated for a while while I outwait it. ]

  10. Herodotus 11

    Banks has “form” on the lack of value he places on his signature. I wonder if he is as loose with his own money ???
    “It formed the view that there was insufficient evidence to show that either Dr Brash or Mr Banks would have known that the prospectus contained misleading information.”
    What were they being paid for ?
    And “…elebrities who plug investment products might face stiff penalties under new laws if they are found to have misled mum and dad investors.” So a nice face / good voice or both you could be liable but NOT being a director ????
    “In another instance the person may have been used because their primary employment created a sense of integrity,” Mr Power said in a likely reference to Richard Long, who fronted One News between 1988 and 2003.- So Brash and Banks at the time did not represent integrity. Perhaps Mr Power Did know something !!!!!!

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      The claim that Banks did not read his campaign contributions report before he signed it and therefore is not responsible for its contents is the most bizarre legal opinion I have ever encountered.

      To the public employee who invented this crock of sh*t I say, “You are fired and you won’t get any severance pay because we did not read your employment contract before our representative signed it.”

  11. gobsmacked 12

    The coverage today speaks volumes.

    On TV3 Patrick Gower referred to “the opposition”, and featured Metiria Turei and “Planet Key”. On the two main TV news bulletins, Turei, Robertson and Peters were shown (along with Key/Banks). There was also coverage of the media scrum outside, with Banks looking awful.

    It’s as if Shearer’s questions to Key never happened. We’ve reached the point where the “leader of the opposition” is simply ignored, because he’s just some guy reading a bit of paper, not very well.

    Winston says “rhubarb” off the cuff, and he gets his soundbite on telly. Shearer can’t say anything off the cuff. It’s sad to watch, and so nobody does.

  12. mike 13

    I thought Grant Robertson did the best job today of highlighting the absurdity of Key’s position.


    “Grant Robertson: Is he aware that in paragraph 40 of the police criminal assessment report in the John Banks investigation police conclude that as a result of the return being false the law was breached and the elements for a prosecution were met under section 134(2)?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, and I just point out to the member that there are no charges being laid against Mr Banks. He has complied with the law.

    Grant Robertson: In light of the police finding that John Banks had breached the law and that the elements for a prosecution had been met under section 134(2), why is he arguing that John Banks has done everything in accordance with the law?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Because that fact is not proven.

    Grant Robertson: If the test for John Banks retaining his confidence is that he has done everything in accordance with the law, why will he not read a report from the police that says that Mr Banks breached the law?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Because I do not need to. The test is whether I can rely on the member’s word, and he has given me an assurance that he met the law. The police have quite clearly said there was insufficient evidence. There is a statute of limitations, and he has complied with the law.

    Grant Robertson: Is the Prime Minister telling the people of New Zealand that his test is not whether a Minister broke the law, but whether the Minister got away with it?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, the test is whether the member complied with the law. The member did.”

    If only he had followed it up with something like, “So you are saying you are happy to accept the word of the man accused ahead of a police report that contradicts him?” (I’d love to see someone try that in a court of law: “Look it doesn’t matter if that police report says I did it, because the thing is I’m telling you that I didn’t. I rest my case.” Good luck with that.)

    Or “Would you advise an employer to not bother to read a police report that you knew had as it’s conclusion that his employee broke the law, and lied to him and his customers about it, if that employee simply assured him that he didn’t break the law?”

    Basically Key is arguing that no charges means no law broken. Which is of course retarded. People break laws without getting charged every day. “Don’t break the law” is already a pretty crap standard of ethics, but “Don’t get charged” is far worse. That’s the point that the opposition needs to target. A statutory time limit for laying charges expiring doesn’t suddenly mean that you didn’t break the law, just that you can’t get charged for it. But the former is what Key is trying to claim. It’s a joke.

    Also that the PM has a damn duty to the public to read a fricken police report that says his minister lied to us and (apparently) him about breaking the law. “Nah John Banks told me it’s all gud so I’m not bovvered,” just doesn’t cut it. If the opposition can’t get Banks fired over this… (Although Lockwood Smith should stop letting Key get away with simply standing up and saying “There are no charges,” when a real answer would contradict himself.)

    It’s not rocket science, Key’s argument is quite simply ridiculous. Is there not one member of the opposition with the argumentative skills to take it down?

    • gobsmacked 13.1

      Is there not one member of the opposition with the argumentative skills to take it down?

      Only Labour have enough supplementary questions to do it. The Greens and NZ First are minor parties, with fewer MPs, so they are quite restricted in the number of Q’s allowed under the rules (does anyone know the exact number?).

      For four years Lockwood Smith has told the opposition how to ask effective questions, Labour just need to allocate those questions to people who have listened.

      It would be fantastic if they did something totally unexpected – like give their supplementaries to the Greens. That would be a headline-grabber, original and imaginative and bold … i.e. something the Labour caucus would never accept.

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        Some should remember Lockwood Smith and what he did to unravel & expose Field and those who were protecting him. It is a long battle and it is how this initial question time is followed up over the next few weeks, I hope that there are some within Labour who have been delegated this one topic and have a debriefing and planning season each night. Unfortunately, I have my doubts regarding Labour’s ability regarding strategy and planning.

        • mike

          Smith was in opposition at that time, so I’m not sure I see the relevance.

          In hindsight re Lockwood’s performance in the above I don’t see that I can really complain. Key answered the questions, it’s up to the opposition to dismantle his pathetic responses. However I did see him allow Banks to offer a lame tirade against Labour policies instead giving an answer to one of David Clark’s ‘Signed anything lately John?’ questions.

    • Tangled up in blue 13.2


  13. Barry 14

    Question for Prime Minister: Has minister banks signed any documents this wek?
    Supplementary: Did he read them?

  14. Dr Terry 15

    On TV3 News tonight the only “opposition” I got to hear was from Winston! Or did I miss a fleeting glimpse of something?

    • Carol 15.1

      Well, Turei’s bit on “Planet Key” and “Don’t read, don’t care” is in the ondemand video of it. Plus Key describing Planet Key – golf courses and holidays.


      Shearer has got some quotes in many of the latest print stories available online on Banks.

      And there is this interesting bit at the end of TVNZ’s article on it:


      During question time Dotcom took to Twitter to express his feelings on the subject.

      He said: “John Banks bigmouthed “Full disclosure” & “Nothing to HIDE”. Yet his police interview remains undisclosed & hidden.”

      • mike 15.1.1

        Take a look at Banks in Carol’s 2nd link. He looks well rattled. Especially at the end when he’s getting into the lift and he says to a reporter “Did you hear that? Everything there is to say has been said.” He looks like he’s going to lose it right there, heavy breathing and all.

        Smug “I’m playing all youz foolz” look – gone. Hello “I said STFU” tantrum look. Like I said, the man is a huge narcissist, and as such, he’ll keep trying to shout everyone down until the end.

        Even when he’s sacked it will be “I’m the victim of this outrage.”

    • Jokerman 15.2

      despite his Short-comings, Winston is very alert and Clever

  15. Carol 16

    And here’s a video of all the opposition questions in Question Time today. People should replay the Planet Key description whenever poverty and unemployment is discussed.

    I downloaded a copy in case it mysteriously disappears from YT:

    Oh dear. An opposition leader who stumbles over reading question, and a PM who sounds half cut in the House – “Ecshishting legishlashin”.

  16. Chris 17

    What really annoyed me at question time today was lockwood smith referring to banks as honourable. I know he has to but, what a laugh. Honourable-Banks-oxymoron.Or just a moron. Take your pick.

  17. Carol 18

    #Planet Key – trending on Twitter NZ:


    toad ‏@toad001
    @_jjw_ #PlanetKey has pink air All the trees are red No one ever dies there No one has a head Apols to the B52s.

    20m changetheworldetc changetheworldetc ‏@CTWetc
    @LewStoddart @GraemeEdgeler @publicaddress @keith_ng point of order 2nd’d Mr Speaker. Comment must be seen in context of #planetkey physics

    20m Jackson James Wood Jackson James Wood ‏@_jjw_
    “This is major John to #PlanetKey, I’m stepping through the door and I’m floating in a most peculiar way.” — David Bowie on #PlanetKey again

    20m toad toad ‏@toad001
    @Inventory2 They could. But why keep a corrupt Minister when they could be rid of him and have one of their own in Epsom? #PlanetKey #nzpol

    32m toad toad ‏@toad001
    Can’t figure #PlanetKey strategy. Does Key dread Aaron Gilmore coming back on Nat list so much he has to support a corrupt Minister?

    5h Radio One Radio One ‏@RadioOne91FM
    On #PlanetKey Nobody Can Hear (Beneficiaries) Scream
    Retweeted 11 times

    35m Martyn Bradbury Martyn Bradbury ‏@CitizenBomber
    What does Planet Key look like? #PlanetKey http://pic.twitter.com/2eWu4mUz
    View photo

    4h Jackson James Wood Jackson James Wood ‏@_jjw_
    I won the #PlanetKey troaty for three-way handshakes.

    4h Michelle Langstone Michelle Langstone ‏@bookish_awkward

    4h Bounder Bounder ‏@DawgBelly
    I bet #PlanetKey has a sewerage problem, because of all the arseholes.

    5h Idiot/Savant Idiot/Savant ‏@norightturnnz
    What’s missing from #PlanetKey ? Jobs.

    5h Martyn Bradbury Martyn Bradbury ‏@CitizenBomber
    So #PlanetKey is populated by smug rich clowns who like playing Golf? So it’s like Epsom, only whiter?

    5h Jackson James Wood Jackson James Wood ‏@_jjw_
    “#PlanetKey is blue and there’s nothing I can doooooo” — David Bowie on #PlanetKey

    5h Gareth Hughes Gareth Hughes ‏@GarethMP
    NASA has announced they are still searching for signs of intelligent life on #PlanetKey

    5h Gareth Hughes Gareth Hughes ‏@GarethMP
    Today in Q time John Key said on #PlanetKey it’s nirvana (Golf and holidays) what do

    5h Metiria Turei Metiria Turei ‏@metiria
    #PlanetKey “it would be beautifully governed, golf courses would be plentiful, people would have plenty of holidays to enjoy their time”

    5h Metiria Turei Metiria Turei ‏@metiria
    @chipmatthews on #PlanetKey prisons are the housing pens for golf cart drivers and drinks servers. And for making nice maari carvings

    6h Richard Hills Richard Hills ‏@richardhills777
    John Banks press release: Tiger Woods to be a teacher at the Charter School on #PlanetKey

    6h Metiria Turei Metiria Turei ‏@metiria
    @chipmatthews yep, #PlanetKey has infinite cash flow from kids giving up their breakfasts and women cleaning his toilet for pin money

    • Jokerman 18.1

      u on to it Carol. when he said ”Nirvana”‘ i thought ”Heart Shaped Box”. Rock On and Disseminate C.

  18. Tom 20

    James, is this not a bit like telegraphing your punches ?

    The National Party’s taxpayer-funded researchers will be sending you bouquets of flowers filched from the Begonia House at the Bot Gardens for making their job easy.

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  • Budget 2020 date announced
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  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
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  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
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  • New grants for seismic strengthening of heritage buildings
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