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Emails reveal Key & Banks’ Dotcom links

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, May 16th, 2012 - 102 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government - Tags: ,

John Key will be regretting his moan about the media yesterday. His reward has been to be shown to be lying in the banks.com affair. Key has previously claimed he first heard of Dotcom (a flamboyant multi-millionaire living in the most expensive house in the country, in Key’s electorate, who had been the subject of several contacts to Key’s office by constituents) the day before he was arrested. A new email, however, shows Dotcom’s staff met with Key personally months earlier over his attempt to purchase the Crisco mansion.

Dear oh dear, this isn’t what Key wanted a week from the Budget. Maybe he’s learning the truth of the old adage about not picking a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

John Banks is further implicated too.

It is revealed he didn’t negotiate a discount during his stay at Dotcom’s favorite hotel in Hong Kong, as he claimed. In truth, he booked a cheaper room and the hotel upgraded him due to his friendship with Dotcom. He also received a thousand dollar gift basket from Dotcom welcoming him and replied thanking him. Banks claimed he re-gifted it, which smells like an excuse for not declaring receipt of a gift worth over five hundred dollars while a minister as legally required.

Banks wrote a note thanking Dotcom for the gift and have him a bottle of whiskey in return.

Which makes Banks’ recall – at least he has one now – of a second approach to Dotcom for money all the more unlikely. The same email that mentions Key personally met with Dotcom’s staff reveals that Banks asked Dotcom for money when he was running for ACT last year. Unlike the supposedly anonymous mayoral donation, which Banks can’t remember anything about, despite having been flown out to Dotcom’s mansion to personally discuss it, Banks remembers his approach last year vividly. He says Dotcom told him to fuck off. Which kind of jars with the warm exchange of expensive gifts just months later.

We know that Dotcom didn’t give ACT any money. But Banks’ approach does raise further questions about whether he really didn’t know that his good friend had previously given his mayoral campaign $50,000.

All of this raises concerns about whether Banks’ behaviour was to an acceptable ethical and legal standard both before and after he became a minister. Not to mention raising questions about whether Key lied about his knowledge of Dotcom. But it doesn’t change the political calculus for Key – unless he has some guarantee that Banks wouldn’t go septic on the backbench or resign from Parliament at an inopportune time leaving Key unable to pass controversial legislation, then Key must leave Banks on as a minister to ensure he had the numbers in the House.

To my mind, the most likely scenario remains that Key will let Banks hold on until the end of the year, then we’ll have a by-election while the House is risen for summer. That will remain Key’s optimal strategy unless something truly horrendous about Banks emerges.

But the political cost of that strategy, and the stink around his government, will keep growing by the day.

[Bunji: added second link]

102 comments on “Emails reveal Key & Banks’ Dotcom links ”

  1. peter 1

    What will it take for Key to do the decent thing and dump this toe rag ?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      to be consistent, he should dump himself as well.

      • Hami Shearlie 1.1.1

        We’ll all help with that CV! I’ve got a nice 240 litre rubbish bin that should be a snug fit!

    • Dr Terry 1.2

      You really think Key would ever do “the decent thing”?
      “Unless something truly horrendous about banks emerges” – my God, examine his record, what else must we wait for to make it horrendous?

  2. Carol 2

    Eddie, some of the claims you make about what is in the latest leaked email, aren’t in the NZ Herald article you link to: e.g. the bit about Hong Kong doesn’t include your bits about gifts being exchanged or Banks room being upgraded as a result of links between Banks and Dotcom.

    But Banks political ethics are further compromised by details revealed in the Herald article. The links between Banks dodgy fundraising efforts with Dotcom and John Key are strengthened. This is drawing Key in, not only because of the indications that Key lied about no knowing anything about Dotcom til just before his arrest, but because it relates to fund raising for Banks’ Act Epsom campaign.

    And it does put Key in a tricky position.

    • Yep not sure about the evidence showing that Key is lying.  We are not there – yet.  But I expect this to happen any time now.

      Tick, tick, tick … 

      • Bored 2.2.1

        I had the same feeling when I saw the paper read “The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister John Key personally to try to smooth the red tape around his mansion purchase”.

        Met as in should meet with OR as in had met. Its not clear unfortunately. Either way I know damn well that Key has baldfaced lied over whether he knew of Dot.com prior to this event, and as you noted he will get caught out.

        As I said yesterday it now “Johnnygrad”. And the snow is falling.

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.1

          Johndotfibbed?

        • deuto 2.2.1.2

          Snap. See my 5 below.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.3

          Johnnygrad. I like it. Hey John (both of youse), winter is coming and the guy you tried to fuck with lightning military force earlier in the year has got his strategy and his allies lined up behind him now.

          Looks like its going to be a long hard winter eh.

    • Glenn 2.3

      Hey Carol. Wakey wakey. Why do you still trust the Goldman Sachs controlled mass media? Don’t expect all truths to be told with them.

  3. that cup of tea must be tasting pretty bad now ,eh? couldnt happen to a nicer couple!

  4. Nice to see some of the members of the MSM finding their balls back and beginning to do their job of holding our “elected” representatives responsible for their actions again.

  5. deuto 5

    Eddie, I am a little confused at the opinion in your post that a meeting between Key and Dotcom staff actually took place, as on my reading of the Herald article, it appears to state that Banks suggested such a meeting but does not definitively state that such a meeting took place (apart from what appears to be a typo (met instead of meet) in the first quote from the article below:

    The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister John Key personally to try to smooth the red tape around his mansion purchase.

    …Mr Tempero said Mr Banks had suggested a personal meeting between the Prime Minister and the bodyguard. He said it would give the opportunity to explain Dotcom’s current and future efforts for New Zealand and “Banks thinks the PM will intervene”.

    …Mr Key said he had not been asked by Mr Banks to meet any Act supporters. Asked if he would speak to Mr Banks about the donation claim, he said: “No, this is a matter for Act.”

    I would be delighted if there was irrefutable evidence that such a meeting with Key took place with all its ramifications, but I cannot see such evidence in the Herald article. Perhaps I am being thick.

    Ps – perhaps did not word that quite right – in my first reading of the article I did not notice the “met” and read this as “meet”. Just my opinion, but if this was meant as full confirmation that a meeting had taken place, I would have expected that the article would have focussed much more on this meeting and Key’s lack of truth about when he first heard of Dotcom etc, rather than on Banks asking for a donation to his Act campaign.

    [yeah, I saw the ambiguity too. But it does say Dotcom’s staff met with Key. I took the ‘suggested’ to mean ‘insinuated’ or ‘alluded to’. The later quotes indicate that Banks set up the meeting and Key denies meeting with any ACT supporters – Dotcom wasn’t an ACT supporter. Eddie]

    • Carol 5.1

      Yes, I was confused about that claim, deuto. Part of the problem is in the 1st quote you cite which includes the word “met”. Maybe it is a typo and should be “meet”, which would be more consistent with the subsequent quotes from the article?

      • Chris 5.1.1

        It looks like a typo to me mainly because the sentence the part that they actually quote from the email uses meet rather than met.

        Quite a big difference between John Banks suggesting to Dotcom (not even to John Key) that he meets with the PM to a meeting actually taking place.

        • TheContrarian 5.1.1.1

          Agreed. It should be edited to reflect that

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Yep. And next week when details of Key’s diary leaks it can be changed back to “met”.

          • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1.2

            Here’s the link at the Herald if anyone wants to ask them to change that one word. I imagine C/T have already hit ‘Editor, NZH’ on the speed dial already though.

            • TheContrarian 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Sure, but why not change the error here too? Because Dotcom’s staff met with Key personally months earlier over his attempt to purchase the Crisco mansion. is patently false (as it stands currently)

              • insider

                And only a small irony this post comes just after one about the ongoing tabloid journalism scandal

                [lprent: As we aren’t journalists, I trust you are alluding to David Fisher (I think that he was the journo at teh Herald). ]

              • Te Reo Putake

                Well, I’d wait until the Herald clarifies it before altering or adding to the post. Eddie is only repeating what the Herald claims, which is fair enough in itself. as i said, I’m sure they are already aware that met/meet is kinda vital to the story, because Key has a media team who are paid to moan about stuff like this.
                 
                Of course, if it turns out to be to be true that they did actually meet, then who cares? We’ll all be to busy calling for Key to resign for lying to worry about a missing letter ‘e’!

                • No where in theherald does it say Dotcom’s staff met with Key personally months earlier over his attempt to purchase the Crisco mansion

                  The Hearld says the email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister John Key personally to try to smooth the red tape around his mansion purchase.

                  Two completely different things.
                   

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I think you mean ‘two identical things’ don’t you?
                     
                    Look, if the Herald has got it wrong*, its up to them to put it right. They have made the claim that Dotcom staff met with Key, Eddie has written a post based on what the Herald claimed. Apart from slight wording differences, Eddie’s post repeats the Herald claim as they reported it. Your pedantic whining should be directed at the Herald, not Eddie.
                     
                    If you are that exorcised about it, why not write another whining post on your own site about how mean they to you are over at the Standard. I’m sure it’ll be as fascinating as your last one.

                    *I’m not sure that the Herald got it wrong because they merely repeat what is in the email. It’s Dotcom’s staffer that has got it wrong in his email, not the Herald. Maybe got it wrong, maybe got it right!

                    • deuto

                      *I’m not sure that the Herald got it wrong because they merely repeat what is in the email. It’s Dotcom’s staffer that has got it wrong in his email, not the Herald. Maybe got it wrong, maybe got it right!

                      I am interested in this comment – have you actually seen the email itself, if so where? The Herald article (ie the “email” link in Eddie’s post) does not appear to provide a copy of the email itself (or the other emails it also refers to later in the article). The second para in the Herald article which uses “met” does not indicate that this is a direct quote from the email.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      No, haven’t seen the email. I’m relying on what the paper states as fact. The para from the Herald does specifically claim that is indeed what the email says:
                      The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister John Key personally to try to smooth the red tape around his mansion purchase.”
                       
                      My bold, not the Herald’s.
                       

                    • insider

                      If the email had said they had ‘met’ that would be a really big story. the fact it is not a direct quote but is a paraphrase, and the fact it has not been given any prominence by the Herald tells me it never happened and you are flogging a dead horse. This is basic occams razor territory.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  “Of course, if it turns out to be to be true that they did actually meet, then who cares? We’ll all be to busy calling for Key to resign for lying to worry about a missing letter ‘e’!”

                  Exactly TRP, Key did not know who the big man was? kinda unlikely. Small pond this country and that electorate.

                  Met him? I suspect we are about to find out.

            • deuto 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks for the link. Have sent them an email pointing out that the “met” in the second para could be interpreted or misinterpreted as meaning a meeting had taken place, and suggesting they may wish to edit the online version to clarify.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Remember the great kerfuffle over the ‘meetings’ Sammy Wong wasnt having in Pansy Wongs electorate office .

                It turned out in the end , that Sammy was using an empty office downstairs from the electorate office. So he could deny ‘meeting’ them but ‘greet’ them in the electorate office.

                There is many ways to slice the salami when you want to get around the verb ‘met’ or’meet’

                • deuto

                  Yes, I do remember! I am naturally pedantic unfortunately, but in this instance the difference between “met” and “meet” is quite critical. I am still of the view that in respect of the second para of the Herald article, that the use of “met” rather than “meet” was a typo and/or sloppy journalism/editing, rather than a direct quote from the email itself, which doesn’t appear to have been published in the Herald at least as yet. A later reference in the article to Banks’ suggestion of a meeting uses “meet”.

                  • Bill

                    Depending on where you come from and how you speak, the sentence means the same thing whether ‘met’ or ‘meet’ is used.

                    ‘The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister John Key personally’ might not be grammatically brilliant…even bloody atrocious… but it does mean the same as ‘The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff meet Prime Minister John Key personally’. Both are positioned in the future. (And I guess that it should have have read ‘The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff should meet Prime Minister John Key personally ‘ in any case).

                    If you want to position ‘the met’ sentence in the past and refer to an actual event, the sentence would read ‘It was suggested they had met…at which point the journo would have (presumably) quoted that part of the email since it would have overshadowed all the Banks stuff thus far.

                    (sigh) Where’s Vicky32 when she’s needed 😉

                    • Vicky32

                      (sigh) Where’s Vicky32 when she’s needed

                      Here, agreeing with you Bill! The sentence is a beast, but yes, both ‘met’ and ‘meet’ suggest futurity, which is how I took it…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Disagree, guys. Met is past tense. The past tense of meet, as it happens. The only country I can think of that might allow met to be used in the present or future tense is, shudder, the USA. That sort of imprecise use is pretty much their most noticeable linguistic trait, next to not having ‘u’s where ‘u’s should be.
                       
                      Personally, I think its a simple mistake. An ‘e’ was left out by the writer.

                    • Bill

                      Ah, thankyou. Wonder if Fran O’Sullivan will now see to it that the typo that was never a typo is restored 🙂

                      I can sense the conspiracy theorists lining up over the “Suspicious Case of the Missing ‘e’ (that was Never Missing in the First Place), that Suddenly Appeared Nevertheless…thus Proving Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt that Something was, is and Ought to Be Amiss”

                    • Bill

                      And what about when someone is writing of a past future from the vantage of the present?

                      I’m certainly not from the U.S. But I would naturally use ‘met’ in the context it was used in the Herald while speaking.

                      I definately wouldn’t use ‘meet’ in that context…not without throwing in some additional words to prevent the sentence losing coherence.

                    • Carol

                      On the “met” vs “meet” meanings discussed below. I think in that particular sentence, “met” meaning a future meeting arises from the suggestion being in the past i.e. hsuggested Dotcom’s staff met Prime Minister

                      So in this case it could mean a suggestion (made in the past) about some possible future event.. “met” is agreeing with the past tense of “suggested”.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Well, you’ve really got me going now, Bill, can’t be long before the poetry wars break out!
                       
                      Had a quick look on google and the definition of ‘met’ everywhere I looked at is ‘past tense, past principle of meet (verb)’. All of them seem to say that. Nothing that suggests its acceptable to use it in the way you suggest. Forgetting the Banks example for a moment, can you put in a sentence for me?
                       

                    • Bill

                      “She had suggested that they met with the police or whoever to sort it out”

                      I’m not saying it’s grammatically correct and I’m not sying I’d write it down like that, but that’s true of many things that trip off my tongue with ease (I don’t write the way I speak). I’m just saying that where I’m from and by the way I’m used to hearing language used it makes sense to the ear and mind. And alludes to (if I hesitate and break it down) a possible future event from the perspective of the people located in the past talking about a possible future that’s now also past.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, Bill. Language evolves continuously, so if that sounds right to you, then no prob. I bet it’s the least of John Bank’s worries tonight!

                    • Apart from the the fact that the term “conspiracy theorist” is a stupid put down here is my take on it.

                      The word “met” is probably a typo which does not warrant the amount of theorising you lot seem to deem it worthy off.

                      The whole Banks/Dotcom/Key connection is just another example of the miasma of corruption surrounding this government. Of course Dotcom, Banks and Key have known each other one way or another.

                      There are not that many people you can hang with if you’re filthy rich and what good is money if you can’t use it to buy whatever you want with it. Big mansions, political influence, helicopter rides, Hawaiian condo’s.

                    • That’s extremely weak supposition – that if they are both “filthy rich” they must know each other.

                      On that basis of assumption you must know all the nutty conspiracy theorists in the country, so must be buddies with Redbaiter?

    • Fran O'Sullivan 5.2

      Eddie – You have interpreted the story incorrectly. It now says suggested “meet” – the “met” must have been an earlier typo. Happens sometimes but it does not prove Key “lied.”

  6. jaymam 6

    johnkeygate

    Can I have plenty of notice for the by-election? I need to print some more billboards.

  7. higherstandard 7

    This is such a shoddy piece by Eddie that he/she should apply for a senior journalists position at one of our MSM outlets.

  8. Bill 8

    An email to Dotcom from a body guard that relays a telephone conversation he had taken from John Banks on Dotcoms behalf that includes the fact that John Banks had suggested that it would be a good idea for Dotcom to meet with John Key over his house purchase is not indicative of a subsequent meeting between the two actually taking place.

    However, John Banks claiming he could use his post electoral position in parliament to somehow aid and abet Dotcom by being “a very good friend for (him) when (…) in parliament” smacks of a high degree of fuckety fuckness.

    The hotel upgrading John Banks’ room at their own expense is… well okay, it probably wouldn’t have happened without the bit of social capital that Dotcom represented for Banks. And he should have refused the upgrade (knowing the ‘whys and wherefores’ behind it) if he wanted to maintain an air of integrity and independence.

    But then, the blatent cronyism displayed by offering to be Dotcoms ‘very good friend’ in parliament and stating he would ‘have the power to do something about it’ (the house purchase) when in parliament, suggests that Banks would just see the upgrade as a bit of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.

    So, in Hong Kong, Banks is making overtures to Dotcom…presumably in the hope of securing donations for ACT going forward… and is hoping the leverage he can offer vis-a-vis the house purchase will be enough to win Dotcom over. And Dotcom responds favourably to the overtures (a gift basket and a little word dropped to hotel management reminding them what a good customer he (Dotcom) is and suggesting they extend some largess to Banks by association.)

    Long and the short of it is Banks was desperately trying to whore his way into Dotcom’s pocket by ‘offering up’ his position in parliament. And his denials of that fact have been reduced to paper thin lies and stone walls.

    But there’s a bigger, more serious picture suggested by all of this and the general ‘Gotcha!’ reactions to it.

    Being realistic, I have no doubt whatsoever that there are more than a few MP’s who are quite happy to be part of a culture of cronyism. There’s only one rule, a kind of golden one.Don’t get caught!.

    The fact that John Banks wasn’t jettisoned from parliament before his feet could hit the floor isn’t simply John Key trying to hold on to a parliamentary majority but suggests a wider and deeper acceptance of the type of behaviour Banks has indulged in. I’ll warrant ‘everyone’ knows it goes on. And that ‘everyone’ is looking at this in terms of someone getting caught out and so dealing with it from that perspective rather than as seeing the whole concept of cronyism as unconscionable.

    And that’s a problem for all of us depending on what expectations we have for the institution of parliament. So. Maybe it’s time to broaden things out a bit?

    edit: maybe we should be asking whether the mere suggestion by Banks to Dotcom’s bodyguard that Dotcom meet with John Key is merely indicative of how fucked up Banks is or whether it’s indicative of how fucked up the culture within our parliament of representatives is.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It seems that corruption is systemic to capitalism and thus to representative democracy as it follows the same hierarchical method.

      • No system is immune to corruption. Corruption is endemic to any political or economic system

        • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1.1

          Oh well we can all piss off home for the day then, TC has made a ruling.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          Corruption is near to impossible in a non-hierarchical system where everybody has a say in what happens. It’s the secretive hierarchies that are inherently corrupt.

          • TheContrarian 8.1.1.2.1

            Possibly, possibly. But you could still have a situation wherein someone  does something/gives something to someone else to change their mind on something that was a split decision…if you follow me

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Well if you were going to split hairs I expect tetrapylectomy might be possible. Who knows?

              On the other hand we could discuss the selling of political influence for $50,000 – the promises made (and broken the moment they were really needed) – and whether this particular practice is indeed endemic, since the National Party is funded by anonymous sources – and not so anonymous ones such as Sky City. Hey, perhaps John Key was simply paying back the bribes he and his party solicited and accepted when he pushed their convention proposal and betrayed the country.

              So, talk about real examples of corruption at the highest level, or split hairs some more?

        • paul andersen 8.1.1.3

          if john banks practised what he preaches, which is self-reliance and not bludging off others, he would have paid his own way into being mayor, or paid his own way into parliament, but since like most right wingers, he is moraly bankrupt, and cannot do himself as he expects others to do, he is (as is the whole act philosophy) corrupt. if he had payed his own way(millionares can, so according to his own philosphy, should), he would not be in this position. contrare your way out of this!!

        • Puddleglum 8.1.1.4

          Which is why a vigilant policy of calling it out is also endemic to any political or economic system.

          Also, people providing discursive apologetics by pointing out the “obvious truth”, as you put it, is endemic to defensive postures about human institutions.

          Of course, you may have been ‘pointing out the obvious’ for some purely abstract reason that has nothing to do with an argumentative strategy and is more like an uncontrollable burp.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    The big man rolls or helicopters on regardless.

    My enemies enemy is my friend? not quite, I don’t like the company he kept or his corporate world view but it is great to see ShonKey and Banksie illuminated for the whole country by the headlights of Dotcom’s ’59 Caddy on hi beam.

  10. Jackal 10

    The stench of corruption

    Not only was Banks lying when he initially claimed that the reports into the undeclared donations were “mostly bullshit.” He in fact requested money from Kim Dotcom on more than one occasion, saying he would “be a very good friend once in government [because Banks] would have the power.”

    Banks is also claiming that Dotcom told him to “go get fucked as your Government has caused me too much trouble,” which the NZ Herald reported as happening in July. Documents show that Dotcom then arranged an expensive upgraded hotel room with all the trimmings in Dec 2011 and gifted the now beleaguered Act party “leader” an expensive gift basket with a note of friendship. The stench from Banks’ corruption couldn’t be worse.

  11. captain hook 11

    leaving aside the invalidity of sayings I would say that it takes one to know one.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    The confusion about the word “met” as to whether it was a typo meant to be “meet” appears to be resolved from this paragraph later in the article.

    “Mr Tempero said Mr Banks had suggested a personal meeting between the Prime Minister and the bodyguard. He said it would give the opportunity to explain Dotcom’s current and future efforts for New Zealand and “Banks thinks the PM will intervene”.”

    This paragraph seems to suggest a possible future meeting rather than one that has already taken place. Assuming this is talking about the same “meeting” alluded to earlier in the article, it suggests a misprint earlier on that should have been “meet”.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Quite possible that Dotcom’s staff got slack and never got round to approaching the PM’s electorate office for an appointment.

      Or not.

      • Treetop 12.1.1

        “Or not.”

        What did Simon Power know?
        Did Banks want Key to over – ride Powers decision?
        Is this why Power left? (Did not like MPs intervening/influencing when some background became an issue).

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Power did not want to be associated with the second term shit fight he knew was coming, and further, the neolibs in the party had made it clear to him that he would never be in the running for the top job.

          Of course, they made his decision easier with a million dollar job in Oz.

  13. tracey 13

    I dont accept key has been proven a liar by this email but banks has… Owen glen and peters affair anyone…?

    • deuto 13.1

      I agree. This is yet another nail in the Banks’coffin. But there are a lot of things still unclear, for example:

      – Both Herald articles re Banks and Dotcom are by David Fisher and both filed at 5.30am. Why two separate articles and why not combine the two issues into one article when they are clearly connected to the same people etc?

      – Why the change in a couple of months from Dotcom supposedly (according to Banks) telling him to f… off in respect of a donation to Banks’ Act campaign in about July 2011* to them being “best friends’ again in Nov/Dec 2011 when Banks asks for a HKG hotel recommendation and gets one plus the special treatment and gifts etc? While Dotcom’s anger at the refusal to allow him to buy the Coatesville mansion may have calmed, was there something else between the two that led to the reconciliation? (And I am not suggesting anything sexual despite Banks’ strange radio interview!)

      *The first article re the email states that Dotcom did not donate.

      All in all, it has the feeling of “watch this space, there is more to come”.

      Will be interesting to see whether Campbell Live has anything tonight. Also had the feeling that there was more to come from that direction, and the Herald articles may prompt TV3 to move with anything else they have up their sleeve.

      • Treetop 13.1.1

        My explanation is that Dotcom did not donate to Act to throw people off the scent as people knew that Banks had advocated for Dotcom and any further influence by Banks (re Dotcom) would not look good for the government as Banks would be part of a coalition government.

        The HKH was off the radar and who would know about this in the government? As well Banks would not have known about the upcoming January 2012 police raid.

      • insider 13.1.2

        Why not integrate into one? Probably because they are replicating the stories in hte paper. Haven’t seen this issue, but often you will have a main story with a separate but connected one lifted out as a highlight. You can do that effectively in print but not so well with Herald online, where things are more sequential.

  14. captain hook 14

    eat your own egg mate.
    the topic under discussion is kweewee and banksee.
    both now proven to be parsimonious with the truth.

    [Bunji: email address corrected]

  15. Treetop 15

    Am I correct in thinking that prior to the last general election Dotcom was in Key’s electorate and that there was a boundary change which then made Dotcom in Bank’s electorate?

    This has been mentioned before, the SIS probably informing Key of Dotcom, but this would be covert information.

    • Carol 15.1

      There’s a big shift from Helensville to Epsom – no way they share a boundary. There was a reference to Dotcom being in Banks electorate when he had live-in accommodation in a dodgy room at Mt Eden prison, and asking Banks for better accommodation I think.

      • Treetop 15.1.1

        Thank you for clearing up the boundary. I am not familiar with the geography of Auckland. I thought that a person had to live in an electorate for three months before they could be included in an electorate. Possibly the three months residence is for eligiblility to cast a vote in an electorate.

  16. Vicky32 16

    This just in! (As I am writing)… 3News is revealing that Banks has admitted receiving the gift basket and not declaring it…
    I wondered what a $1000 gift basket could contain – champagne and single malt, it appears…

    • Carol 16.1

      bye bye banksie. It’s not just the gift, it’s the favours it was intended to buy.

      • Tiger Mountain 16.1.1

        Phil Heatly, correct me if I am wrong, was sent to the naughty corner for just a couple of bottles of vin ordinaire. Banksie’s basket seems slightly higher status.

        Banksie … well, there is a rather nasty old saying that under 40s may not be aware of–“never trust a man who doesn’t drink”, with a new age caveat nowadays –unless of course they are in stated recovery from addiction. Does Banksie have other vices then? I do not know and am not implying that he does.

        He and his teapot pal sure have surfed the waves so far that the big man has generated. Is there a tsunami still to come?

    • gobsmacked 16.2

      Did you see the note to Kim? Banks should be sacked for his hand-writing alone!

      Anyway, this is more fuel on the slow fire. Banks is going to go, just a question of how much he can damage Key before the inevitable.

  17. deuto 17

    Well, we can all sleep easy tonight – the Herald has amended the second para of Fisher’s Email article to (wait for it) – MEET.

    The email also states that Mr Banks suggested Dotcom’s staff meet Prime Minister John Key personally to try to smooth the red tape around his mansion purchase.

    Don’t know when they did it or if my email to them had any part in it, but it still read “met” when I checked about 1.30pm and now at 6pm it has been changed but not marked as updated.

    • Seem pretty obvious that was what it meant – yet people spent the whole damned day arguing about it and defending the obvious mistranslation here.

  18. Fran O'Sullivan 18

    Eddie – the typo has been corrected – “met” becomes “meet”.

  19. Jackal 19

    Thanks for letting us know Fran O’Sullivan… but I was wondering why you think there needs to be a law change to stop similar corruption when all that is actually needed is for politicians to be upfront, honest and follow the rules?

    Is this some sort of sidestep to try and take the light off Banks and onto the mechanism that is meant to keep politicians honest, a bit like the recent non-event of cyber bullying, which some rightwing commentators have been calling a “crisis” for instance, while global warming, peak oil, the failure to reconstruct Christchurch, increasing unemployment and the failing economy hardly get a mention? How many times can the rightwing blow their dog whistle before it breaks?

    You recently said you believe the biggest breach of privacy in New Zealand’s history and John Banks’ corruption are just “mini-scandals.” Therefore I’m wondering why exactly all the rightwing commentators are preempting the Police investigations into these matters?

    • Jackal 19.1

      I guess it was too much to expect an answer. If there was one, it might go a little something like this:

      I’m a media celebrity so don’t need to answer plebs like you. Only your kind would think that $50,000 is a lot of money and who cares if Banks lied and tried to hide whom the donations came from? As long as I can say it’s the laws fault everybody will buy my “mini-scandal” spin… now if it was $1.57 billion dollars, that would be a scandal.

  20. Te Reo Putake 20

    Weird, this article lost a sentence in a quick rewrite a few minutes ago. In short, it said that Banks was saying he will declare the bung as a ‘late declaration’, which I presume means he thought he could get off on a technicality.
     
    Must have changed his mind. Bye Bye Banksie.
     
    ps. Is it true that Banks and Key are auctioning an autographed teapot, raising funds for an Alzheimers charity?!?

    • Carol 20.1

      3 news reported that Banksie hadn’t realised the gift was worth so much. ie claiming he thought it’s value was below what needs to be declared.

      Yes… surely a joke?

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1205/S00120/a-teapot-signed-by-john-key-and-banksie-up-for-sale.htm

      The auction description states that it is the original teapot from the Urban Café, where all the “hoopla” went down about the two Johns’ conversation.

      50% of the auction proceeds are to be donated to Alzheimer’s Auckland.

      or maybe both those politicians got alzheimers?

    • Carol 20.2

      Actually, I don’t think it’s the 2 Johns that have put it up for auction.

      • Te Reo Putake 20.2.1

        In which case, the cafe owners appear to have a sense of humour!

    • Chris 20.3

      Saw it on TV last night,DON’T RECOLLECT where.Or in fact if I really did see it.Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. …….Oh the irony!

  21. Phil 21

    Will Banks be charged with perverting the course of justice if found to be in receipt of the “hamper”, or is it just possible that he was in receipt of a “hamster” and could therefor be charged with simply perverting? Harold?

  22. Bob 22

    Dotcom had better hope the US decides to give up on extraditing him, if it ever reaches a ministers desk for sign off he will be on the next flight out, won’t be able to get rid of him fast enough!!

    (does an extradition have to be signed off by a minister or is it all upto the courts?)

    • deuto 22.1

      I could be wrong, but I think extradition is entirely a court matter. I know this not necessarily a definitive source for accuracy on this, but iPredict has book on “NZ courts to extradite Kim Dotcom to the United States before 1 January 2014 (currently running at 34.2%).

      The long description of this is:
      The contract refers solely to the extradition case filed at the North Shore District Court on Friday 2 March 2012 referred to http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/us-files-kim-dotcom-extradition-papers-4758850, and not to any other extradition case against Kim Dotcom that may be filed after the launch of this contract.

      The contract pays $1 only when all possible appeals have been heard and judgments delivered. For example, should one court rule that Mr Dotcom should be extradited to the United States, the contract would not pay out until the other party or parties announced definitively and finally that there would be no further appeal or until all avenues for appeal available under New Zealand law had been extinguished.

      The contract pays out based on a final court judgment, not the date that Mr Dotcom might leave New Zealand under an extradition order. That is, should the highest possible court rule on 31 December 2013 or earlier that Mr Dotcom is to be extradited, with no possibility of further appeal, but Mr Dotcom is still in New Zealand on 1 January 2014, the contract shall still close at $1.

      Traders should note the long timeframe on this contract. All dates and times are in New Zealand time.

      CLARIFICATION (in response to a trader): The contract is about whether or not Mr Dotcom is extradited as a result of the proceedings begun at the North Shore Distriuct Court on Friday 2 March 2012. It does not say that he has to be extradited under all the extraditable offences which may form part of those proceedings – just that those proceedings lead to him being extradited. (April 12, 2012 05:41AM)

      I had a bit of a laugh to see the IPredict at 1.16pm today launched “NZ Herald to run a front page story on Kim Dotcom and John Banks on Budget Day 2012”.

      No, I don’t participate in iPredict or take it particularly seriously but from time to time it provides a bit of interest/amusement.

    • harriaway 22.2

      maybe its time to look at the last election and see the true reason that the vote count was the way lower than is usual.

  23. Bankzee 23

    Leave me alone, leave me alone, I am a much loved man, I have nothing to declare, I am innocent, I am all clear, I am immaculate, I get gift baskets every day, so how do I know, where they come from? Get fair, get real, I am only doing things good for NZ and my country. A hotel room is accommodation, nothing else. We need to sleep, wash and shower somewhere. That is what we did in Hong Kong. We only did the best at all times. I never remembered anything, so please be respectful, or I will involve the Alzheimer’s Society. How can people in NZ be so resentful and mean to others? PHEW! Bankzee

  24. Bankzee 24

    Hate to come out of “exile”, never agreed with some rules, but anyway, read up on Dotcom, and see following video, if anyone understands German or can perhaps translate. It is provided bys Spiegel TV one of Germany’s more independent, renowned and respected media outlets:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfv1UGPUah8&feature=related

    But who here, in little NZ ever knows much about what goes on in the rest of the world? Sorry, some here are lost!

    Bankzee may regret his actions.

  25. Vicky32 25

    “She had suggested that they met with the police or whoever to sort it out”

    I’m not saying it’s grammatically correct and I’m not sying I’d write it down like that, but that’s true of many things that trip off my tongue with ease (I don’t write the way I speak).

    Agreed… I wouldn’t write it that way either, but it’s the way people speak! I’d write is as ““She had suggested that they ought to meet with the police or whoever to sort it out” – however, many would say ‘met’…
    I encounter much worse every day!
     

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