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Many questions left unanswered in Banks affair

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, September 26th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: corruption, john banks, john key - Tags:

“Ignorance gets us nowhere”, it’s National’s new slogan and it certainly applied with Key’s feigned ignorance in answer to questions on Banks’ corruption last week. Key’s behaviour is jeopardising our reputation as a democracy that doesn’t tolerate corruption. And he’s got a lot of questions still to answer.

Two particularly interesting angles are what exactly Banks told Key’s office and the donation from SkyCity.

Key has never been specific about what Banks told his chief of staff other than that he complied with the law – which the Police found to be untrue. Did Banks tell the CoS that he had received no donation from Dotcom and SkyCity, that he couldn’t remember any such donations, or that he had returned those donations but he had not broken the law?

Banks denied having known about the donations at all, and that is presumably what he told Key’s man. The evidence, of course, shows that Banks was intimately involved in receiving the donations – although the focus has been on the Dotcom donation, it was the SkyCity donation that Banks received in person from the CEO. What did Banks tell the CoS about this?

And, then, there’s the questions of the other anonymous donations – there are a dozen or so large anonymous donations, all of them are the same size as at least one other anonymous donation. This was clearly a strategy to hide politically risky donations. Who were those other large donors; whose donations did Banks cover up?

And finally, what is in Banks’ statement to the police? Does Key know, if not why hadn’t he asked or required Banks to make his statement public?


43 comments on “Many questions left unanswered in Banks affair”

  1. ed 1

    If the people asking the questions shut up and let the people answering them answer we might well get some asnwers.
    Key and co get away with too much because the constant interuptions give the speaker the chance to divert instead of forcing the answer.

  2. vto 2

    What astounds me is the easy acceptance, seemingly by all parties involved, that providing a donation will result in help being provided to the donor once the donee is in power.

    That is pure corruption.

    That dotcom expects such means he should resign.
    That banks promised it means he should resign.
    That key and everybody else ignores this means they should all resign.

    What is the difference between this and Taito Phillipfield?

    • Akldnut 2.1

      Fields – corrupt Polynesian – Labour
      Banks – corrupt European – Act (ex National)

      I’m going for Political Party and Race.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      So, what should Kim Dot Com resign from? the human race? The Helensville country club? His library membership?

      Do you have information that proves Dot Com was only donating because he was expecting some “payola” from banks?

      I’m all ears….

      • vto 2.2.1

        Resign from politics silly. And the local library.

        Clearly there can be more than one reason for a donation but if just one of those links to something like expectation of a favour then it is corruption.

        As for direct quotes you will have to go back and find something yourself. I am just going off his expectation that he would get preferential treatment when in the clink and preferential treatment over his residency. In addition, I recall Dotcom saying somewhere that Banks had said to him that it will be easier to help if the donations were split in two, directly implying that the donations would lead to preferential treatment and assistance.

        Over to you now for splitting the hair ….

        • freedom

          late yesterday when i first saw this new line being spun across the vaults of amnesia that decorate the PM’s office, I had to have a good think .. .. .. and I do not recall a single instance where Kim Dotcom has been reported as instigating or expecting preferential treatment and that this was conditional to his donating NZD$50,000 to the failed Mayoral Campaign of John Banks.

          John Banks is the only one wearing that particualar party hat

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Possibly best that Banks does not resign, for then he will continue to make an ass of Key and be a thorn in the side of this Government! I really think that many of Key’s supporters are enjoying the game of “corruption”! He is a great entertainer, but there it stops.

  4. vto 4

    Hear ye. Hear ye.

    Come one and all. Get your political favours here. Only an anonymous donation required. A Minister for $50,000. Get your political favours here.

    (have i got this wrong? after all, this is what dotcom has said he was doing… buying political assistance)

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      Once more…. do you have a direct quote that shows dot com saying his donation was contingent on getting “help”. or was that what he was offered by banks?

      Bit of a difference there….. an important one though….

      • Tim G 4.1.1

        Yeah, he asked Banks to bring him an extra bwankie in Mt Eden remand.

        I’d have done that for $50k (if I could find a blanket big enough), even if it meant flying back to NZ (shudder), probably could have got a stop over at HK and Dotcom’s suite while I was at it, too.

      • felix 4.1.2

        Not sure why you think it matters whether the donation was contingent on him getting help, but the relevant quotes you seek are in the sworn witness statements and affidavits from Kim Dotcom, his lawyer, and his security people.

        No-one is going to show you a quote where Banks says “Give me 50 grand and I’ll do you these favours” because while Banks is several flavours of fuckwit he’s not a complete idiot. Experienced crims don’t talk like that.

        However according to those sworn statements he did say

        “I want to help you Kim and I can help you more effectively if no-one knows about this donation”

        and that’s as close as it gets in real life.

  5. calltoaccount 5

    Just wondering, a wild “smoking gun” in the dark…

    This Dec/Jan spying of Dotcom, would Banks have called during this time? Would it be on tape, will it be revealed?

    It would be the “…gate” to end all “…gates”! 🙂

  6. ianmac 6

    Q6 today: GRANT ROBERTSON to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement to the House yesterday, “The police statement quite clearly said that there was insufficient evidence, that there is a statute of limitations, and that he has complied with the law.”; if so, where in the police statement do they say that Mr Banks complied with the law?
    Wonder if the PM will be in the House today?

  7. Balanced View 7

    This post is tagged to “corruption”

    Can someone explain to me where the corruption is?

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      You can find “corruption in any dictionary you choose to open…. remember those? they’re the books with no plotline in them, and everything is strangely alphabetic…

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      Receiving $50k and later offering to ‘help’, if it’s kept secret. Hiding the $50k and then lying about it. Being in ACT.
      That’s all I can come up with in 2 or 3 seconds. You may want to add to the list yourself, BV.

      • Balanced View 7.2.1

        “Receiving $50k and later offering to ‘help’, if it’s kept secret.”
        Where is the proof of this taking place?

        “Hiding the $50k and then lying about it.”
        This is dishonest – not corrupt

        “Being in ACT.”
        OK – I’ll give you this one

        • McFlock

          “Receiving $50k and later offering to ‘help’, if it’s kept secret.”
          Where is the >The order is quibblable, but the substance seems well-supported.

          “I want to help you Kim and I can help you more effectively if no-one knows about this donation.”   

          “Hiding the $50k and then lying about it.”
          This is dishonest – not corrupt

          Public dishonesty about a public official offering help when requesting tens of thousands of dollars is pretty fucking corrupt. 
          Fail your ethics class, did you? Or did you never take one? Or if you passed, did you cheat in the exam?
          Typical tory. 

          • Balanced View

            “Public dishonesty about a public official offering help when requesting tens of thousands of dollars is pretty fucking corrupt.

            Completely agree. But where is the proof of this offer to help – and this time don’t use a quote of a man so obviously angry that his $50,000 didn’t get him “help” when he wanted it.

            There is no corruption in this case, just an instance of a dishonest and foolish man crossing paths with a larger than life German so used to buying favours.

            • Te Reo Putake

              “a larger than life German so used to buying favours.”
              Well, clearly then, you think that Dotcom believed he had ‘bought’ Banks. Doesn’t that trouble you? Doesn’t a senior politician getting himself into a position where a rich man feels he has him in his pocket, and then lying about it, evidence of Bank’s unsuitability for office?

              • Colonial Viper

                Damn you’re good.

              • Balanced View

                And let’s be honest – most political donations are designed to provide the donator some sort of benefit.

                We don’t need this pathetic carry on to provide us with evidence of Bank’s unsuitability for office.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Well, clearly you have a high tolerence for corruption, BV. No wonder you can’t spot it in this case. There is a huge difference between trying to influence a polly and trying to buy them. It’s the difference between lobbying and criminality. But you’re Ok with the latter apparently.
                  ps The donator? The donator!? The word is donor.

                  • Balanced View

                    I’m glad you recognise the difference TRP – so you will understand that Bank’s wasnt bought – hence why Dotcom went public.

                    I’ll bet that many returns wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny that Bank’s has. The law is as much of an ass on this as Banks himself. But corrupt – no.

                    Donator – I’ll give you permission to use my made up word for 24 hours.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nope, Banks was bought, but he bottled it when Dotcom was jailed. All irrelevent anyway. Simple question: given what you believe about Banks, should he be sacked?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m glad you recognise the difference TRP – so you will understand that Bank’s wasnt bought – hence why Dotcom went public.

                      Dotcom went public to expose Banks’ lies over anonymous donations. Dotcom’s recorded evidence showing Banks’ corrupt nature was nice to have.

                    • Balanced View

                      TRP – Simple question: given what you believe about Banks, should he be sacked?

                      If I was working on gut feelings – gone
                      If I was working on hard evidence – private warning
                      If I was working on personal preference – gone, in fact he wouldn’t be there as I wouldn’t have had a cup of tea

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Balanced View – you have better judgement than our Prime Minister.

  8. karol 8


    GRANT ROBERTSON to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement to the House yesterday, “The police statement quite clearly said that there was insufficient evidence, that there is a statute of limitations, and that he has complied with the law.”; if so, where in the police statement do they say that Mr Banks complied with the law?

    Key’s reply was that it was he, JK, who concluded: that he has complied with the law not the report.

    • mike 8.1

      Yep, Robertson got Key to retract his statement.

      • karol 8.1.1

        Transcript here – Key dancing on a pin:


        Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : Yes, I stand by my statements that the police statement quite clearly says that there is insufficient evidence and that there is a statute of limitations. What I should have said was that I believe that Mr Banks complied with the law.

        Grant Robertson: How does submitting a false return, which the Prime Minister acknowledged Mr Banks did, constitute complying with the law?

        Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, no charges have been laid against Mr Banks.

        …. and on it goes. But ultimately no big hit.

        • mike

          I saw. Either he’s not answering the question, or his answer to that question implies that he thinks not getting charged means you didn’t break the law. Which is absurd, people break the law everyday without getting charged. Rhubarb indeed.

          And when Robertson later asks whether submitting a false return is against the law, Lockwood gives him a faceplam by saying he’s asking for a legal opinion so Key doesn’t have to answer.

          Why doesn’t the opposition ask Key why he puts his personal trust in the word of John Banks ahead of his duty to the public to read a police report which contradicts the word of John Banks?

        • Poission

          Grant Robertson: Why is he continuing to protect Mr Banks when sworn statements from the chief executive of Skycity and a senior partner at Simpson Grierson show that he lied to the New Zealand public while he was a Minister of the Crown?

          Lied Then it gets better as Peters asks why no one in the house (including the speaker) defended banks.

          not a whisper

          • karol

            Actually I thought Peters asked why Robertson was allowed to accuse a minister (Banks) of lying because he thought it was against standing orders. Yet Lockwood defended Robertson saying that because he had said it nicely he could ask about Banks lying – or something like that – strange indeed?

            • Poission

              He had 2 points a to windup lockwood ,and to entice someone to defend Banks,which no one was prepared today,

              • karol

                OK. Gottit, Poission.

                And the Nats behind John and Bill in the House have been looking quite glum the last couple of days. The cheer seems to have gone out of the cheerleaders, except for a couple of odd moments when Key tried his stand up, blame-the-opposition routine.

                • Poission

                  No one wants to hug the Leper, death by association ,A cynic might suggest the word association connotations with National is the coincidental reason for ANZ rebranding today as well.

  9. Poission 9

    Corruption is defined in wiki say for the police is .

    Another example is police officers flouting the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of suspects — for example, through the use of falsified evidence.

    This is relevant to the intentional lie that Inspector Wormald supplied on Oath in the DC case.as observed by Davison.on RNZ.

    Do the police have zero tolerance for perjury ? There was a nice moment on Campbell live where Wormald reached for a cup of water to help swallow his tongue.

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