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If Banks resigns

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, May 1st, 2012 - 70 comments
Categories: act, by-election, john banks, national - Tags: ,

A by-election in Epsom. If ACT or National win, the Right retains 61 votes. But, between resignation and swearing in typically takes 3 months during which the Right would have 60 v 60. Legislation fails on draws. Asset sales, SkyCity, welfare cuts, even the Budget could all fail if the Maori Party wants. And what if the Conservatives win? They’re anti-asset sales and crony capitalism. You can see why Key is turning a blind eye.

70 comments on “If Banks resigns ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    MP have already said they will vote for the budget as long as the asset sales aren’t in it. Exactly how they can vote for a budget that requires funding from another policy they don’t support is a bit of a mystery to me, but that’s the MP for you.

    I think very little would actually change for the government during his absence, except the asset sales could be derailed as the MP have already signalled they won’t support it.

  2. Bob 2

    Yes, just like Helen ignored Tito Phillip Field and Winston with his big but inaccurate ‘No’ sign, no one should let a sideshow derail government, am glad she didn’t let it derail Labour and am glad National won’t let this either.

    As we all know National got 47%, Labour got 27%, so the blue team get to be the boss for now, tough, get over it, Labour will be back at some stage but havent got it anywhere near together yet, does anyone think the Labour Party would want to fight a snap election now?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “does anyone think the Labour Party would want to fight a snap election now?”

      Snap elections don’t bode well for the incumbent. It makes them look desperate.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        Wake up Bob, in the MMP environment Greens, Mana and NZ1 percentages have to be included too.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2

        Yep. Governments with a single seat majority should stear well clear of snap elections, I should think.

      • burt 2.1.3

        So what if the govt fails a vote of confidence after the budget…. That’s a possibility now.

    • A snap election? What a good idea.
      I’m sure Labour would be keen. Why would they want to miss the chance to take the government benches? The current government has the slimmest majority and their popularity has dropped since the election. I reckon it would be a walk-over.

      • Majella 2.2.1

         “…and their popularity has dropped since the election.” Not accortding to the latest poll – if I recall National had (supposedly) added 5.5%

        • Te Reo Putake

          AC is right, Majella. The trend since the election has been a steady erosion of the Government’s support. Note that the Government isn’t just National, and it’s ACT, The MP and UF that have borne the brunt of the disapproval, though the Nats are suffering too.
          The important measure is the blocs, not individual parties, and since the election, the opposition has been on or about the minimum numbers it needs to form a Government.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Ensuring the immediate legislative programme and continued ability for Natz to Trojan Horse ACT policy is the big picture for the right. Banksie’s ‘Charlie Sheen moment’ is fascinating to observe.

    Plus the dropping of his rotund friend like the proverbial may prove to have very interesting consequences for the whole country.

  4. tc 4

    A snap election with all the material on ‘guessing’ asset sales, further croyism and rorting, laws for sale, proof the tax cuts cost billions and generated nada, an ever increasingly grumpy PM with his cabinet elbowing each other around for positioning.

    Bring it on I say, some of the non voters may show up and turf the blue team out on their earr for a labour/green coalition. It’s been wobbly from day 1 push it over I say.

  5. james 111 5

    If banks resigns probably not a biggy for National. As Labour will have tipped out Shearer and be in a State of Turmoil public dont like Cunliffe only the supporters with in the party of the left like him. National can just let a by election take place without a candidate ,and Act will get back in very educated voters there ,and they dont like Labour to much

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Let’s see if it plays out as your crystal ball says it will. Personally I think National is in for 6 months of distraction and damage control here as Banks will never agree to go quietly.

      • james 111 5.1.1

        I agree with you actually its better for Labour the longer it goes on as National will get sucked into the cess pool. The guilty by association tag will stick even if they had nothing to do with it.



        • Kevin Welsh

          Trevor Mallard said on Campbell Live last night they hope Banks stays.

          Nothing like a little rot from the inside.

      • freedom 5.1.2

        we can only imagine the library full of body maps he has locked away

    • framu 5.2

      from memory, labour picked shearer because internally the didnt like cunliffe – but the public or grassroots preferred cunliffe over shearer – could be wrong though.

      but what makes you think that your hypothetical is likely to happen in the same time frame as banks possibly resigning?

      and how do you think not standing in epsom would go down? – sure act would get in but people would be even more put off than they already are by the cosy deal Act and Nat have going in epsom

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        I don’t think it was only about Cunliffe. It was his choice to run with Nanaia Mahuta, someone who I hadn’t even heard of or knew she was an MP until he chose her. If he’d just put himself up for the leadership position I think he would’ve stood a better chance.

        • framu

          yeah – that too. But still totally the opposite of James’ version

      • tc 5.2.2

        Caucus went with shearer because a few of the old hands knew they were safe with DS, Cunliffe represents change and that’s the last thing the duck wanted so he went all out to ensure his position was safe with no regard for what’s best for the party.

        This is the bloke who just engineered their worst result in decades still there calling the shots along with the past his use by date Pagani.

        • Socialist Paddy

          Agreed tc.

          Mallard is an embarrassment.

          Pagani is the creator of some of Labour’s really insane ideas from last time.  Without his influence the party could have performed much better. They could have had a rational progressive policy and a properly costed economic policy.

          But Pagani came out with these really stupid ideas.  

          What was really annoying was when he, while being paid by Labour, misrepresented Cunliffe during the leaders’ campaign.

          Staff members should not do this. If they do they should be fired. 

    • Frida 5.3

      About as educated as you with your great spelling and grammar you mean? Oh, I see. Thanks for the edification lol

  6. alex 6

    Any ideas on who the best compromise candidate for the left would be? Very clear that to slay the blue dragon in Epsom everyone on the left will have to work together.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Doesnt work like that. Greens arent going to sit down with labour to come up with a “compromise” candidate- it smacks of back room deals. Its too silly for words.

      Most likely Labour wont stand a candidate- the place is rock solid tory, and the greens and everybody else will run a side show. More likely Winston will stand as well.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Who exactly cares if it “smacks of backroom deals”. Let’s smarten up and play the damn game without one hand tied behind our preciously principled Left backs. If you haven’t noticed, the public doesn’t care about backroom deals if it delivers the results which have been promised to them.

        • felix

          +1. Do the deal out in the open and be honest about it.

          • alex

            Quite. Possibly a strong independent candidate could be found who would appeal to Epsom voters who are against the govt, and then all the other parties could get behind them.

          • Anne

            +1 +1. After recent events a bit of honesty and openness would seem like a breath of fresh air to the bemused and bewildered voters – and that includes me!

  7. If Banks resigns it wouldn’t be hard to get Goldsmith in at Epsom – I have no idea who ACT would run, if anyone. long odds for a snap election so I think should Banks resign or get pushed it’ll lead to a very difficult few months for National though I am not sure it’ll hurt them in the long run.

    Those are my bets anyway.

  8. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    The conservatives have as much chance of winning Epsom as I have of becoming George Clooney’s lover.

    • felix 8.1

      Statistically speaking we’re all probably more likely to become Clooney’s lover than anyone else’s.

  9. vto 9

    Who on earth would want to stand in Epsom given its poisoned chalice history?

  10. Penny Bright 10

    Am looking forward to standing again in Epsom as an Independent Public Watchdog, and using the opportunity to promote the (draft) ACTION PLAN against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’.

    It will be FUN!


    This time, I predict a lot more interest in these issues – both nationally and internationally.

    In the meantime – on a lighter note …….

    THANK YOU DAVE STEWART! (Hilarious! 😉

    “Police have engaged riot squad tactics and a ‘full lockdown’ of parliament as the squad today arrested ACT MP John Banks for alleged corruption. The riot squad was used after attempts to arrest Bansk wee thwarted by the national Cabinet who protected him by surrounding him and throwing rocks and bottles at the cops.

    Mob leader Hone Key told reporters that they would not give up their man without a fight.

    “If the pigs want a rumble, we are ready” Key said through a loud hailer.

    A police spokesperson on the scene said the crowd was the worst he had seen.

    ” The Urewera raids were pretty tough and we got a pretty hard time when we raided the media after the tea pot tapes, but this shower of sh!t takes the biscuit” said the cops.

    Police used a flying wedge then repeated baton charges to apprehend the minister.

    Several members of the government were injured and many claimed police used excessive force to take down the errant MPs.

    Police said they were just doing their job.

    Police also raided Banks home and business premises and seized phone records and other material said to link the member of parliament with one of the world’s biggest copyright criminals.

    Banks was in custody and said to be sharing a cell with other gang members, and not enjoying it very much.”


    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      The conservatives have as much chance of winning Epsom as Penny Bright has of becoming George Clooney’s lover.

      • Maui 10.1.1

        Why this sudden obsession with a fading Hollywood movie star ?

        • Chris

          Fading? Hardly, clooney’s been on fire recently.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            1. The obsession is longstanding.
            2. Fading. My arse.

  11. Dr Terry 11

    With all this enormous concentration on the “Banks affair”, keep a careful eye upon other issues which might pass attention unnoticed.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Media’s suggesting increased mandatory student loan repayments in the budget. 50% increase, from 10% to 15% over the thrashhold.

      • Uturn 11.1.1

        It seems that most relationships with government anything resembles a “thrashold”.

  12. David 12

    This is interesting reading: from the Herald… 🙂



    Late last week, RadioLive rang John Banks to see how well he knew Kim Dotcom – and his response was extraordinary.

    Banks: “Are you saying that Dotcom’s at SkyCity?”
    RadioLive: “No, no – that you had donations to your mayoral campaign from SkyCity and two from Kim Dotcom.”
    Banks: “Oh, look, look, look, look, look, look, look [pause] this matter. I don’t know if you’re caught up with it … I have never been to SkyCity with Dotcom.”
    RadioLive: “And what about donations to your campaign? Did you have a relationship with Kim Dotcom?”
    Banks: “What’s your relationship? This is offensive! He’s a married man, what are you talking about?”
    RadioLive: “[Laughs] Not a relationship like that.”
    Banks: “No, look I don’t want to go down … I’ve had no relationship with Dotcom – he’s got a wife.”
    RadioLive: “Not like that, a business relationship.”
    Banks: [hangs up]
    RadioLive: [calls back]
    Banks: “Hello?”
    RadioLive: “Hi, I was just wanting to clear up something, I wasn’t meaning to …”
    Banks: “Just a minute, just a minute – I have never had a relationship with Dotcom, he is a married man. And I have not been to the SkyCity with the guy. So thanks for your time, thanks for your call.”

  13. Nick 13

    What happens if Banks is sacked as a Minister and DOESN’T resign as an electorate MP? i.e., If Key finally mans up and decides that high ethical standards are required of his ministers and sacks him but the police investigation / case drags on for a long time or doesn’t reach a conclusion.

    I don’t know if Banks is the type to cause trouble for being sacked or just continue to support the Government as a back bencher…

    • tc 13.1

      Ideal scenario for shonkey, look all high and mighty, banksie rolls over in the trough and gives his vote, the inquiry drags on and on to come to the conclusion that he’s just a mixed up old duffer.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    I think Key will have to sack him as a minister.

    Whether he resigns/is ejected from parliament is another matter. I was surprised to hear on the news that candidates can instruct their staff not to inform them of the identity of donors, and as a result declare donations to be anonymous. Under this scenario, Banks could well have asked Dotcom for money and not known that it had arrived, because his staff didn’t tell him.

    So, it might well be that Banks has complied with the law, and as such, won’t be forced to resign as an MP.

    • mike e 14.1

      tsm i’ll just wait 7 months and thank you for your pathetic argument.

    • felix 14.2

      True, he could stay on in disgrace with zero credibility until the voters “force him to resign” at the first opportunity.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.3

      I was surprised to hear on the news that candidates can instruct their staff not to inform them of the identity of donors, and as a result declare donations to be anonymous.

      Ideally that’s how it does work. The candidate doesn’t ask people for money at all, and if someone starts talking about donations to them, they cut them short and point them to the campaign manager, or party president, or whoever. This way, the donation is anonymous.

      Under this scenario, Banks could well have asked Dotcom for money and not known that it had arrived, because his staff didn’t tell him.

      You kind of skipped the part where dotcom offered the money, and Banks asked him to split it into two deposits.

      So fifty grand arrived soon after, Banks knew that Dotcom had donated fifty k, but he couldn’t with absolute knowledge claim which 2 25k donations listed as anonymous came from him. It hasn’t anonymised the donor, it’s just anonymised the numbers in the, erm, bank.

      It might be a loophole, ( in the proper sense of the term rather than the looser idea that aloophole is a deliberatly left exemption to a rule), and so he might possibly skate prison. And I certainly agree that ‘proven beyond reasonable doubt to have broken the letter of the law’ is a very good benchmark for going to prison.

      • vto 14.3.1

        P’s b “Ideally that’s how it does work. The candidate doesn’t ask people for money at all, and if someone starts talking about donations to them, they cut them short and point them to the campaign manager, or party president, or whoever. This way, the donation is anonymous”

        Chinese walls just do not w o r k j u s t a s k t h o s e w h o u s e t h e m t h e m o s t – b a n k e r s

        It is clear to us all that another way is going to have to be found to fund the electoral process because the existing way has failed spectacularly yet again.

        • Pascal's bookie

          yeah, the ideal isn’t met.

          I reckon the least bad option is state funding. the problem with that being of course that pollies control the state.

          But it’s not an unfixable problem, and it will get easier to fix as time goes on, with the computers and what not.

          Right now, it’s illegal not to be on the electoral roll and we spend a truck load of money keeping it up to date.

          At a marginal extra cost, at the same time citizens reaffirm that their details are correct, they could direct their share of the public funding to whatever party they like. $10, $20, whatever it is.

          If they don’t want to give that money to a party, fair play, it just goes back into the consolidated fund.

          Now that’s not perfect, but I genuinely think it’s better than what we have, and better than other public funding systems

          • vto

            Well my instant reaction to that idea is bleeaargh. That is a type of voting at registration for a start. Conceptually traction but …

            The key problem is transperacy. For a start it should be that every single donation is allocated to a known human person. It may be that this process of finding a good solution to this takes some time. True democracy in New Zealand is not that old after all.. So a start is complete and utter transperancy. And of course that involves not just the donor, but the donee. So every current, potential, and past MP must declare. Bit of an exercise but so be it. If, after an election or two, it is found to be wanting in some area then amend from there.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    I think what this whole scenario has highlighted is that local government rules for donations need to be tightened up considerably.

    Brown has had much of his donations routed through a trust. Apparently, he could know who donated to the trust, but declare the donation to his campaign funds as from the trust, thus achieving the same end as Banks.

    The rules seem to be very slack, and gaming them seems to have been an accepted practice. So, given that context, the police may well not charge Banks, hence he might not be forced to resign from parliament. Remember, they have been very reluctant to charge politicians in the past.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      Cute how you go from a hypothetical (“Apparently, he could…), to a “seems to have been an accepted practice”, but yes the rules quite obviously need tightening up.

      Luckily, the Greens have members bills all drawn up and ready to go, they asked leave to get them kicking off today, but someone, (named by some to have been John key) shouted and “nay” and denied leave.

      bugger eh?

  16. xtasy 16

    Banksy will most likely NOT resign, he will also most likely (under present circumstances) NOT be RESIGNEd by the PM. So all may hinge on the result of the Police investigations, but as we learned by experience, the boys in blue are not keen on getting too involved in politics (apart from using politicians helping them cover up their own failures), so it is unlikely that they will see sufficient reason to prosecute Banksie under the presently too ambiguous and flexible electoral legislation.

    The only way to get this sorted is to get more evidence, and that may require more research, which luckily (for a change) TV3 are keen on doing, and it may most likely involve more clear evidence to be provided by Dotcom and staff.

    I am getting more confident now, that there will be more coming to the surface soon. There are also indications that dear old “virtuous” Banksie may have also made other questionable deals and appeals for money and so forth in other quarters. We are talking of a heck of a lot of money by the sounds of it, which was made available for his mayoral election campaign. That is a pandora’s box, I feel, and let us wait and see, what more will come out of it and his closet shortly.

    NZ politics is definitely not what the majority of the public think. Business and politicians socialise all the time, make exchanges, hints, suggestions and certainly seek to meet each other’s ends. Look at projects promoted and funded in the past. Who believes there was no favouritism involved is an idiot.

    Let us open the can of worms really wide now, I have aquired a real taste now for more rotten crap to come about. It is time to get the barstards exposed, no matter what party, and get them sacked by a dozen, if possible. NZ is rotten I am sure! Otherwise things that go on would not be able to be explained.

    Go about it and deal to it NOW!

    • ianmac 16.1

      John Campbell promised more revelations tomorrow night on Campbell Live.

      • xtasy 16.1.1

        What Campbell has presented tonight is a good overview of all the connections with Dotcom, who knew about him, had dealings with him, had to make decisions about his applications, had to do some background research about him and then base decisions on what they were presented.

        Also did he present a contractor or developer of sorts, who worked on the Dotcom Mansion, had dozens at least employed, saw economic benefits for the area, and who was set back with owed moneys after the raid on the complex, caused by FBI and so forth.

        There were also numerous submissions AND complaints made about Dotcom to John Key’s Electoral Office over the years, and astonishingly Key claims to not have heard (much) about Dotcom until a day before the police raids early this year. Now that is totally exposing now, because also he has NOT told the truth at all. He must have known about Dotcom and his mansion, projects, as well as related matters well before, at least back to 2010!

        Why then is John Key lying to the public? Has he more to hide? Campbell asked numerous involved persons to come on the program to answer questions. While Key was prepared to throw a barrage of misleading arguments at Campbell re the SkyCity Casino bid for a Convention Centre weeks ago, he seems to be mighty shy now to answer to these new bits of info.

        Remember: Dotcom and family live in the Helensville electorate. What about the donation records for Key, perhaps? There was an election late last year! Was Dotcom not interested in assisting Key and his mates?

        Maybe he was not, but how can the MP for that electorate claim, he knew nothing or nothing much about Dotcom until a day before the raid.

        As Crown Law was involved and informed, what about other agencies, perhaps the SIS, then? The police had built their case, merely on some claimed info from the US FBI, but that would have involved Collins, I am sure, as it was such a high level issue involved.

        Not that much can and would go under the radar in such a case, I am sure. Key, Collins, Coleman, Williams and last not least dear old Banksie have LOTS more to answer now. Get out with the truth.

        While Banksie may have got away claiming he was “as clean as” before, he is now “as clean as a sticky and stained toilet brush”!

  17. captain hook 17

    what I cant understand is how the voters of Epsom elected such a little creep anyway.
    why would nice people do that I wonder?

    • xtasy 17.1

      captain hook: Maybe a lot of Epsom voters are abit “creepy” themselves? Hoarding wealth, investing in expensive housing, sending kids to elite private schools and colleges, asking for CTV surveillance and possibly have undesirables removed from elite Newmarket shopping centres that is not necessarily a very warm huggy kind of approach to human and societal needs and issues, is it?

      But of course there are some in Epsom who are very different and respectful. Sadly they are the minority of voters there.

  18. Jenny 18

    …… what if the Conservatives win? They’re anti-asset sales and crony capitalism.


    In the Epsom electorate, the number of votes that Labour’s David Parker took were very close to Banks margin over Goldsmith.

    If David Parker had not have stood, Banks would have not got in.

    The only hope the Conservatives have of taking Epsom from the ACT/Nat jack up, would be if Labour stood down. Could Labour forgo their sectarian interest to stop the Asset Sales?

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      That is a very good question.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1

        I’m not following this.

        If the argument is that had parker not stood, all his votes would have gone to Goldsmith, then that’s thin enough, but it really doesn’t follow from that to say that in a conservative/national face off the conservative would pick up all the votes that Goldsmith and Parker got in 2011. Likewise, I don’t see any reason to assume that the ACT votes would shift to the consrvative candidate. Most of them were national party voters doping as they were told.

        Where are the votes for an anti assett sales candidate? They are just not there.

        • Jenny

          Goldsmith is a damaged brand and a weak candidate to boot. Not only that, but he is already in parliament.

          A left candidate cannot take this seat away from the Nat/ACT axis but an independent conservative candidate might.

          ACT have no one.

  19. Penny Bright 19

    Do NOT be sucked in by the Conservative Party.

    Colin Craig was NOT opposed to water privatisation during the 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign.
    He was opposed to 35 year private water contracts – but not 5 year private water contracts.

    How do I know?

    I asked him.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Primary goal is to stop the sale of our strategic power assets. The Conservative Party has a very clear position on just that.

      Craig’s position on the short term leasing out of Auckland’s water assets is neither here nor there IMO.

      • Penny Bright 19.1.1

        And Colin Craig and the Conservative party’s proven TRACK RECORD on fighting asset sales and privatisation is……..????

        Ask if Colin Craig supports a CAPITAL GAINS TAX.

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

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