Resignationwatch: Oopsie

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 pm, May 2nd, 2012 - 120 comments
Categories: act, john banks - Tags:

ACT Party President Chris Simmons – who opposed the Brash coup that lead to John Banks being ACT’s sole MP – ‘accidentally’ dropped Banks right in it on Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint. He said “[Banks] made the suggestion to Dotcom” to split his donation into two $25,000 pieces and implied the purpose was to have a number of identically-sized donations he could claim were anonymous.

Now, I presume you don’t miss the import of that. Banks has denied any such arrangement with Dotcom. And if he did tell Dotcom to split the cheques into two $25,000 amounts then he can hardly claim ignorance of the identity of the donor when two cheques from Dotcom’s company were deposited with his campaign on the same day.

Simmons then went on to say that Banks had given him bizarrely illogical justification for telling Dotcom to split his donation into two $25,000 lots because Banks was “going to put in $25,000 of his own money and he figured other people should be putting in the same kind of numbers”. Mary Wilson immediately pointed out that was illogical and there are donations that were larger than $25,000. The only purpose I can come up with for trying to get donors to make identically sized donations was so Banks could claim ‘yes, I know I got money from these people, but which $25,000 is which?’

As with Key, Simmons said he hadn’t asked Banks vital questions like ‘did you call Dotcom to thank him?’, why did he want it to look like other donors were matching him?’ and hadn’t asked Banks in “a direct manner” if he knew where he had received money from Dotcom.

Here’s the full quotes from Simmons in the crucial segment

Wilson: Have you asked him if he knew the donations were from Dotcom?

Simmons: Not in that direct manner. I’ve asked him about the process that they used.

Wilson: Why didn’t you ask him directly?

Simmons: Well, he told me that they were an anonymous donation.

Wilson: But he knew they were going to be $50,000; split into two lots.

Simmons: No. That was one of the suggestions he made to Dotcom.

Wilson: Do you know why he made that suggestion?

Simmons:He has given me an indication as to why he made that suggestion. And that was that he initially was going ot put in $25,000 of his own money and he figured that other people should be putting in the same kind of numbers”

Wilson: I’m not quite sure why that makes sense, ’cause there are other donations that are bigger than $25,000.

That raises another interesting question. Did Banks declare his own $25,000 donation? See, there are a total of 5 anonymous $25,000 donations on his return [Can anyone find a copy of his return? I think the Herald or Stuff published it but can’t track it down]

Hilariously, a few minutes later (and presumably after a quick, blunt phone call from Wayne Eagleson) Simmons rang Radio New Zealand to try to withdraw his admission that Banks did tell Dotcom to split his donation into two. He claimed he had never discussed the Dotcom donation with Banks. Right. Read the quotes above again and tell me he was just mistaken.

RNZ naturally reported Simmons’ attempt to withdraw his comments in its news bulletins.

Did Simmons just kill Banks’ career on purpose – with the goal of a by-election bringing in Catherine Isaac who, at this point, is ACT’s one last hope?

Or is he just completely incompetent to the point where he let all the cats out of the bag?

Given this is the ACT Party we’re talking about, I think either is a reasonable explanation.

120 comments on “Resignationwatch: Oopsie”

  1. burt 1

    [deleted for distraction. one week ban. Eddie]

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Not sure why you’re saying that in response to this article: this is just reporting on what Simmon’s said, nothing more or less.

  2. calltoaccount 2

    Heres the link to the return…
    http://www.elections.org.nz/files/2011CR-BanksJ.pdf

    No mention of $25000 from Banksie (and that website price is too much of a steal I reckon).

    In fact the relevant section has a great big line across it.

    [cheers but that’s for the election. looking for the mayoral one.]

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      That’s his return for the 2011 general election.

      We’re interested in his 2010 return for the supercity mayoral race.

  3. appleboy 3

    This should be part of the evidence the police use. He was very clearly talking specifically and not in any general sense.

    can you imagine the phone call Simmons got !! Oh to be a fly on the wall.
    Banks is toast.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    Gotta feel sorry for Simmons. It’s not often in a political career you have to apologise for telling the truth.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    “he let all the cats out of the bag”

    and Moonbeam ambitiously leads the way

  6. Did Banks declare his own $25,000 donation?
    Just when it seemed this couldn’t get any weirder – the possibility that Banks has claimed he made an anonymous donation to himself pops up.
    I’m loving this, it’s even better than ACT’s last meltdown.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I think it’s been stated somewhere that he donated $69,000 to himself, or possibly $89,000. So that would indicate that those donations weren’t anonymous.

      • Clearly the donations he declared were not anonymous. However the existence of declared donations does not disprove he made further anonymous donations to himself.
        As a side issue, if a donation is made to a political campaign, is it tax deductible? If it is, does this extend to donating to ones own campaign?

    • Rodel 6.2

      Armchair Critic..
      If Banks made an anonymous donation to himself does that suggest he has two personalities, neither of which knows about the other..there’s a word for that isn’t there?
      Or is it just two faces?

    • Kiwi Pete 6.3

      Perhaps Key is keeping Banks on to provide the country with a bit of humour in these dark days!

  7. SteveW 8

    It seems hardly credible that a business person like John Banks and his campaign team would not have sat down and done a budget on running the campaign and identified from where funding was going to come. In that analysis the sources of funds would be highlighted and any person worth their salt within the campaign team, responsible for securing the funds, would have followed up to ensure the funds were received. A donation of $50,000 would have to be at the high end of any campaign donation. SkyCity, at $15,000, would have to be a typical high ranked donor. however anything higher would have to raise their adrenelin. So you’d have to expect the Banksie Team’s eyes would have watered at the prospect of $50k coming into the account from the Dotcom source and you’d bet it was talked about at campaign HQ. It is disingenuous of Banks and now the ACT President to say a donation of this sort was anonymous.

  8. Balanced View 9

    Banks is an embarrassment, and poison to all those he comes in contact with. I hope that he wakes up to all of this and resigns if for nothing else but his own dignity.

    In saying this, can someone enlighten me as to why in this case, this is such a big deal? Whether it was filled out correctly or not, surely it is the system that’s at fault here? Either we accept anonymous donations or not. Under the current system, to me it is irrelevant whether a donation was anonymous or not, and as such, this whole mess is a storm in a tea cup (no pun intended) and a huge distraction on what should be the real issues debated at this time.

    • fender 9.1

      “In saying this, can someone enlighten me as to why in this case, this is such a big deal?”

      Cant have people who falsify documents in a Ministers role. Because the charge carries a 2 year prison sentence if convicted he has to be sent back to Megaupload Cloud to retrieve his lost marbles.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Bank’s shoddy judgement, lying and obfuscation, and dishonest evasiveness are simply symptoms of Banks being unfit to be in Parliament.

      However, feel free to blame “the system”, “the alignment of the planets” and Banksy’s cat if you wish instead.

      this whole mess is a storm in a tea cup (no pun intended) and a huge distraction on what should be the real issues debated at this time.

      Do you have a problem with corrupt campaign funds management? It sorta strikes at the heart of our democracy.

      Maybe you don’t think that makes it to being a “real issue”?

    • felix 9.3

      “Either we accept anonymous donations or not. Under the current system, to me it is irrelevant whether a donation was anonymous or not”

      This isn’t about an anonymous donation, it’s about an entirely known donation that Banks lied about.

  9. Hami Shearlie 10

    Banksie is supposedly Minister for Regulatory Reform (I think that’s right?). Hardly the sort of person to be making decisions for that portfolio, when this big cloud hangs over him! The pong is getting stronger. Wonder how long it will be before it finally starts to waft up Shonkey’s nostrils! Of course, he probably won’t even notice. Merrill Lynch stank to high heaven for the longest time and he seemed totally O.K. with that odour!!

  10. BLiP 11

    There’s a suggestion from Fairfax that the Mayoral donations returns are not available on line . . .

    . . . Under the Local Electoral Act 2010, all candidates have to file their expenses and donations with the returning officer 55 days after the election.

    The returns – handwritten in the case of Banks’ – are not viewable online.

    They reveal Banks received donations totalling $948,937, including $87,000 from himself. Two thirds of the amount he received was described as coming from “anonymous donors”, with the top single donation worth $30,000 and five of $25,000 apiece.

    Two anonymous donations – $57,171 and $103,926 – were noted as collective totals from individual online contributions and fundraising projects.

    The largest named individual donation was $20,000 from “The Main Trust”, which is not on the societies and trusts register at the Companies Office.

    Controversial rich-lister Peter Huljich donated $15,000. Last year Huljich pleaded guilty to misleading investors in his KiwiSaver scheme.

    “A Gibbs” – possibly multimillionaire Alan Gibbs – gave $5000 and “A and V Gibbs” $1000.

    Banks’ expenses totalled $554,958.74. A hand written note next to the total says: “These expenses relate to the 3 months ‘accountable’ period”.

    Brown received $581,900.95 in donations and spent $390,761.34. Of the donations Brown received, 87 per cent were anonymous, with many of those bundled under the name New Auckland Council Trust.

    Banks could not be contacted yesterday for comment on his fundraising.

    • McFlock 11.1

      “The Main Trust” was interesting. Filing donations from an entity that doesn’t exist? 🙂
         
      There is a company “MAIN TRUSTEES 2010 LIMITED (2503310)” registered at the companies office. Possibly crap handwriting is the least of JB’s issues.

  11. james 111 12

    interesting comment on whaleoil this morning could Trevor Mallards question backfire on David Shearer

    Trevor Mallard raised the spectre of the Pecuniary Interest Register in Parliament as part of his latest bid to smear John Banks and resurrect the Underpants strategy.

    But it reminded me, about the inconsistencies in David Shearer’s own Pecuniary Interests register.

    Bear with me.

    Shearer made the following comments to the Northern Advocate:

    For years, he and wife Anuschka have owned a bolt-hole on the coast north of Whangarei. They looked forward to their family’s summer holiday there, he said.

    Quite rightly, in 2011 David Shearer, listed a jointly-owned section in Whananaki on his pecuniary interest register.

    But that property wasn’t listed in either 2010 or in 2009.

    So has he owned it for years, or is his Pecuniary Interest Register for 2009 and 2010 false?

    • felix 12.1

      Are parts of your comment quoted from somewhere else?

      If so, how is anyone supposed to know which parts are your own comments and which parts are someone else’s?

    • Eddie 12.2

      if you’re going to quote other people’s work, put it in quote marks. you might get away with plagiarism at high school, but not here.

      it was probably solely in his wife’s name until this year. but if he made a mistake he should correct it. hard to see any impropriety about him owning a bach. it’s not a gift from a multi-millionaire he had lobbied for – like Banks’ half price room.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.2.1

        James111’s comment has an anonymous donor? It wasn’t me!

      • Pete George 12.2.2

        The discount claim seems like a nonsensical beatup.
        Has anyone not tried to (or got) a discount for a hotel room? I try for one every time I book, and I’d accept any advice or help on how to get one.

        Mr Banks says he has provided a copy of his wife’s credit card statement showing he paid for last year’s trip to Hong Kong in full.

        He says Mr Mallard’s comments are outrageous and defamatory and challenges him to repeat them without the protection of Parliamentary privilege.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/104856/banks-challenges-labour-mp-over-dotcom-claims

        Mallard is not likely to risk another defamation, but others might try to use nonsense allegations.

        I think Banks’ time is up, scattergun smears muddy the issue rather than hasten his exit (I guess it just reflects on those trying to smear with anything).

        • Carol 12.2.2.1

          And yet, Banks DOES seem to have got the room at a much cheaper rate than normal – unless the price has gone up by about 100% since Banks stayed there at the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012:

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803170

          Act leader John Banks last night released a hotel invoice to attack claims he got a discounted deal in Kim Dotcom’s favourite Hong Kong hotel – and showed a room rate about half of the current quoted cost.

          The invoice came from a Christmas holiday taken by Mr Banks, who just two weeks before had been sworn in as a minister, and his wife Amanda.

          It followed claims in Parliament that Mr Banks was given a discount for the hotel stay, which Dotcom helped to arrange.

          The invoice showed Mr and Mrs Banks stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and were charged $678 a night.

          But staff at the hotel’s reservations desk last night said the rate for the room the Banks stayed in was $1303, including a 10 per cent service charge.

          • Pete George 12.2.2.1.1

            a) @felixmarwick
            John Banks’ office refutes NZH claims minister got cheap hotel deal – says they’ve double checked and he did pay full price

            b) I’ve just checked online and Hyatt room rates are listed at $NZ557–1122, but discounted to $NZ251-506
            http://www.agoda.com/asia/hong_kong/hong_kong/hyatt_regency_hong_kong_sha_tin_hotel.html

            c) Who cares about hotel room discounts? They should be more common than paying full list price.

            • rosy 12.2.2.1.1.1

              Apart from the fact that it was the Grand Hyatt, not the Hyatt Regency…
              Rates are up to $NZ3735.99

            • locus 12.2.2.1.1.2

              umm Pete, why are you actually trying to support Banks?

              oh yes you have a habit of supporting the insupportable

              • I am not trying to support Banks (I think it’s time for him to go), I’m just supporting a bit of common sense. Someone gets a hotel at a discount rate, whoopty do, you’re mad if you don’t at least try to get room discount.

                Trying to make a fuss about something that doesn’t matter detracts from the important issues. Like competence.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So you’ve answered the question of whether or not Bank’s secured a discount for his personal benefit (worth over $2000 counted over the 4 day stay) from a campaign donor?

                  How is “competence” an important issue in your eyes but “corruption” is not?

                  • dd

                    Just another example of lying and corruption. Or forgetfulness as Banks like to call it. Or incompetence as Pete likes it to be known as.

                  • I’m flabbergasted how thick you are. Getting a room discount is not corruption, it’s sensible and normal.

                    • rosy

                      I’m flabbergasted that you can’t see the difference between the above board personal negotiation of a discount with a hotel and getting a room at mates rates from a friend.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m flabbergasted how thick you are. Getting a room discount is not corruption, it’s sensible and normal.

                      Even if its a special VIP discount that has been arranged for you by a major political donor?

                      And even if the value of the discount is worth over $2000, but you do not report it in the MP’s register of pecuinary interests, as you are required to?

                      Please explain to me why you see this as “sensible” and “normal”. Is political corruption “sensible” and “normal” to the sensibilities of United Future candidates?

                    • I didn’t realise having a friend negotiate for you was a hanging offence.

                      Is having a friendly website negotiate for you as bad?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pete. have you ever looked at the Pecuniary Interest Register?

                      You’ll notice, almost straight away, that pretty much evry damn thing on there is quite sensible. People own houses, and shares and have all sorts of fingers in pies, and get favours from people and put them on the register

                      What’s up with that?
                      Crazy stuff.
                      What a mixed up old world we live in eh?

                    • Was it an abnormal discount? Or one anyone could have got if they tried for it?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I didn’t realise having a friend negotiate for you was a hanging offence.

                      Ahhh, the cosy world of anonymous campaign contributions and personal favours from donors that you Righties live in.

                      I forget you see none of this as being improper, not even Banks leaving off the details from the register of pecuniary interests.

                      Keep licking the soup off the floor PG.

                    • The invoice released by Banks showed he and his wife were charged $678 a night but the quoted room rate was $1303, Mallard said.

                      “My understanding is that he talked to Dotcom’s team, (bodyguard Wayne) Tempero, and there was a recommendation made on his behalf.

                      “It is certainly my understanding that an arrangement was made and that he got a better deal as a result of it.”

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6849634/Labour-stands-firm-on-Banks-claims

                      I’ve shown above that I could get a similar discount this weekend:

                      Through Agoda their list rates are $NZ1237-1520, but I could book for this weekend at $NZ557-685.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Ask for that discount between Christmas and New Year and tell us how you get on.

                    • Any discount is okay so long as it’s bloody disclosed, and any discount is okay as long as it’s obtained when the purchaser does not know you’re an MP. (legal tests notwithstanding) Banks had two ways to avoid a perception of corruption there and chose neither. It is not actually as hard as right-wingers like to paint it to follow these rules, so long as you or your staff take an interest in learning them.

                  • Markm

                    Obviously the fat one dosent have much sway at the Hyatt if he can’t get a discount below the ” standard ” wotif rates

                • Reagan Cline

                  Pete George, am I correct in thinking you think it is “time for him to go” because you doubt his competence ?

                  He has not had a chance to show compteence or incompetence as “Minister for Regulatory Reform” What the fuck is that all about !!!!

                  Where he has been incopetent obviously is in not getting the Mayoralty and now in handling the Dotcom issue badly – letting down the people who backed him.

                  Let’s not forget that Archibald John Banks is a minnow. Years of speculation and dissembling have not hoisted him up where he thinks he belongs.

                  He is discardable and about to be discarded – poor fuckin’ idiot !

            • freedom 12.2.2.1.1.3

              Pete, it is always good to go to the source then sometimes you don’t have to make up defensive blither blather and get yourself all worked up

              if anything he got ripped off as the xmas rates for this year show HKD $3550 = NZD $565
              http://hongkong.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/reservations/flow6/propSelectedHotelRates.jsp?xactionid=1370f79de66&_requestid=40462

              And besides the fact there unfortunately seems to be nothing untoward with this little detail in the story, the Grand Hyatt Hotel has a specific Government rate and are hardly going to offer a discount to a political nobody (internationally) like John Banks.

              • Colonial Viper

                However, it’s also not likely that Banks stayed in the closet studio room above the laundry, is it.

                • freedom

                  the rate is for a Grand Harbour View King, which is the room type quoted.
                  I think people forgot to look at the rate denomination which is in HKD on the Hotel site. Hence the included currency conversion into NZD.

                  Mallard et al should wipe the egg off their collected faces and fess up to an honest mistake sooner than later or it will be a sideshow that risks derailing the public animosity that is showing great potential for seriously damaging the government.

                  i am loathing the reality that forces me to defend Banks but in this singular instance he seems to be telling the truth, someone should call Ripley!

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Cheers, freedom (and good on you for acknowledging that you are defending Banks, there’s others doing that here that can’t bring themselves to admit that).
                     
                    From my perspective, the issue isn’t the rate paid, it’s the question of who organised the discount. If it was done on Banks’s behalf by Dotcom’s organisation, then that should have been reported by Banks in the register. Presumably if Banks (or Mrs Banks) organised the discount, there will be some evidence of that, such as phone records or, more likely, emails.
                     
                    The striking thing for me is that Dotcom claimed a discount was organised and Banks, by showing the receipt, has confirmed that he did get a good rate. How would Dotcom have known about the discount, if he wasn’t involved in arranging it?

                    • freedom

                      i hereby declare i am only defending Banks as pertaining his statement about paying $678 dollars for a Hotel room. I know nothing about any discount Banks may or may not have gotten or who may or may not have arranged said discount. I only went to the Hotel referenced, used their booking table, put in a late December room request for a Government rate Grand Harbour View King and quoted the HKD price then converted the quoted price into NZD.

                      It appears completely in line with what Banks is saying he paid.

                      I believe an honest mistake was made during the original research and the HKD value was misread as NZD.

                      If the rate is correct though, did Banks claim a Government Rate for a non-governmental visit? That certainly deserves a closer look!

                    • Too late, you are condemned to being a Banks backer. You have to understand that round here less than 100% adherence to “the cause” makes you a permanent traitor.

                      Re your claim of “honest mistake”, that would have been a fairly basic mistake. By Mallards researchers, a bunch of wallies here and by all journos? Do none of them know any thing about Hotel Booking 101? Is everything done at asking rates on the expense tab?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not bad work Freedom. Now you have some facts PG, please launch a credible defence of Banks.

                      BTW one common way for hotels to give discounts is to give a customer a superior room, while only booking and charging for a lesser room. That way the hotel’s books maintain the % profit margins required.

                    • I already did some simple research and provided facts:

                      Resignationwatch: Oopsie

                      I still call bullshit on the room rate nonsense, I’ve not seen anything yet that seems out of order.

                      And I still call Banks on all the bullshit he has been talking over the last week. He has not looked credible over donations.

                      And the Chris Simmons interview and rapid retraction added to an already severely damaged Act reputation.

            • felix 12.2.2.1.1.4

              Pete:
              “John Banks’ office refutes NZH claims minister got cheap hotel deal – says they’ve double checked and he did pay full price”

              Banks’ office says? Oh well that’s that then. Beyond reproach.

            • Chris 12.2.2.1.1.5

              So. He double checked and confirmed that he was paying full amount. Now according to Herald he did get a discount but he negotiated it himself.Con Key still backing him? I hope he(banks)
              doesn’t still have his helicopter license.He would be a menace in the air given that he never knows where he is going, where he has been and probably forgotten how to fly the damned thing!Chopper down!

              • ianmac

                I wonder if Dotcom had a word in the Manager’s ear. Arranged the discount but Manager discretely said nothing about it to John. Stretching it a bit but if that was so, then John is innocent as he was in blissful ignorance. Oh well 🙂

              • I think Banks has stuffed up again on how he’s handled it. If as son as the ludicrous accusation had been made Banks just said “I always negotiate the best deal I can, I paid a fairly standard rate for the hotel” then Mallard’s smear would have been a dead duck.

                Instead Banks “misexplained” and then far too late, this afternoon, explained hotel booking 101.

                I wonder what David Shearer thinks of his devoted followers deep in gotcha politics? He’s been sidelined, again.

                • Hell I have negotiated low rates on hotel rooms, hire cars even backpacker dorms. 

                • Te Reo Putake

                  What does Shearer think? I imagine when he’s not joining in the laughter, he’s thinking ‘I’m going to be PM, I’m going to be PM!’.

                • mike e

                  I don,t know why your defending the man and the party you claim ‘you don’t even like ‘ When labour and the left win the next election first cad off the Rank will be your glorious leader.

        • Frida 12.2.2.2

          Pete, isn’t the point about the discount not so much whether he got it or not (and there seems to be two conflicting stories there – Herald research this morning vs what Banks says and your research) but rather the fact of the allegation that DotCom had some involvement with Banks staying at the Hyatt. Nothing I’ve heard suggests that Banks is denying that aspect of the holiday. So, it further undermines his “memory lapses” about the nature of his relationship with DotCom. Add it to the helicopter ride, the birthday toast, the vists to the Mansion and it all stinks to high heaven.

          • Pete George 12.2.2.2.1

            I agree that building a picture of the degree of relationship is relevant. Room rates seem to be a stupid diversion.

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.2.1.1

              Even though Dotcom’s VIP room rates saved Banks over $2000?

              How is a $2000 value given to a Minister by a political donor, which is subsequently left off the Register of Pecuniary Interests, “a stupid diversion”?

              Man your standards are so low you must eat meals off the floor.

          • Ross 12.2.2.2.2

            the fact of the allegation?

            An allegation is an allegation…it is not a fact until it is proven.

        • deuto 12.2.2.3

          In one of the earliest reports on the Banks/Dotcom saga, there was mention of Banks asking Dotcom for a recommendation on hotels in HKG – and if I recall correctly it was also reported that Dotcom’s limo collected the Banks from the airport and was also used for another trip.

          Might have been in the first of the Campbell Live’s report last Friday, but cannot be bothered searching it out as IMO the whole hotel discount issue is a tangent that detracts from the real issues of the Banks “situation” – namely honesty, credibility, cronyism and suitability (or otherwise) for Banks to remain a Minister of the Crown – and Key’s continuing refusal to stand him down in the meantime at least. OTOH, I am pleased he hasn’t stood him down as it digs a bigger and bigger hole for Key and his credibility.

          Of much more interest IMO is last night’s Campbell Live report and diagram linking Key and many of his other Ministers as well as Banks to the whole Dotcom situation which raises a whole other set of questions – particularly in relation to Key’s supposed lack of knowledge about Dotcom hinself, and the police raid until the day before it took place.

          http://www.3news.co.nz/Who-knew-what-about-Kim-Dotcom/tabid/817/articleID/252734/Default.aspx

          • Kiwi Pete 12.2.2.3.1

            Wow! That is a great piece of journalism. How come Key had never heard of Dotcom until the day before the bust when so many others had and he lived in Jonkeys constituency in one of the most famous mansions in the country? Something doesn’t add up.

        • Georgecom 12.2.2.4

          I heard that allegation on the news Pete and laughed. I found it highly ironic that a relatively minor issues, a small bit of mud, was being thrown at Banks. I laughed because the ACT Party is getting back what it has for years given out. Banks is the current ACT custodian who is paying for the years of mud and smears ACT threw at people. Some might call it retribution. What goes around, comes around and Banks and other ACT supporters simply have to acknowledge that fact.

  12. Frida 13

    Heard all this unfold as we were driving home last night. It was HILARIOUS. After the backtrack, I said to hubbie ‘obviously he’s got off the interview to irate call from Key’s chief of staff.’

    We were cracking up and Mary W was clearly loving it. ACT is the biggest bunch of losers.

    Pack of liars the lot of ’em. Still, the longer he stays, the more that hopefully will come out and it can only harm Shonkey etc

  13. marsman 14

    Will Banks be ‘gone by lunchtime’?

  14. rosy 15

    And now dinner with the boss of Natural Dairy where $50,000 may or may not have been offered, seeing as Banks “can’t recall’.

    The latest developments came as Banks admitted he had dinner at the home of former Natural Dairy boss Jack Chen with bankrupt May Wang – who are now facing corruption charges in Hong Kong.

    A source close to Banks’ mayoralty campaign team believed Chen had offered up to $50,000 at the dinner.

    Banks says he did not recall either Chen or Wang “offering to give him support or a donation”.

  15. Bill 16

    Didn’t actually hear the interview.

    But from the quoted text, looks like it could be claimed a simple slip of the tongue…and yup, could be a fruedian slip…where Simmons says ‘to’ instead of ‘of ‘has led to things being misconstrued.

    Except it would mean that Simmons had talked to Dotcom and Dotcom was claiming he thought all donations should be around the $25 000 mark.

    (And Banks awakes to hear the rattle of dirt dropping from the top of the hole on to the box he’s lying in…)

  16. While Labour MPs (and some here) chase ridiculous smear attempts others do some real checks:

    Geoffrey Miller: Has John Banks breached the Act Party constitution and rules?

    As an Act member of parliament, John Banks remains on the Candidates Register. Banks is the party leader. This means he would have needed to advise two of John Boscawen (deputy leader), Chris Simmons (party president) or Barbara Astill (vice president) if he had “any information which is adverse to him…which would embarrass the Party”.

    The threshold at which information becomes “adverse” is of course debateable. But even if Banks believes the donations from Dotcom to his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign were anonymous, it could be argued that Banks should have disclosed at least his apparent close friendship with Kim Dotcom to the Act Party board after Dotcom was arrested in an enormously high profile police raid in January 2012.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      ACT consitution and rules? My, what a high standard you hold Crown Ministers up to lol. Next you’ll say that Banksy having his eyes signed up on a brothel will be OK because it meets the requirements of the ACT constitution and rules.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1.1

        Exactly !

        Imagine the fun if the Act conference was THIS weekend and not a few weekends back!

        Sow the wind , reap the whirlwind

    • felix 17.2

      “…which would embarrass the Party”.

      It’s ACT though Pete. Takes a fair bit to embarrass that nest of vermin.

      • Pete George 17.2.1

        Relative to the last twelve months, this seems minor.

        • james 111 17.2.1.1

          Peter
          When you are totally driven by ideaology you cant see the wood for the trees. I see no problem with getting a discount in fact its better for the rate payer of Auckland. It would have been better for the Tax payer of New Zealand if Chris Carter and his man buddy got room discounts to all the hotels thye visited around the world on a tax payer paid junket

          • felix 17.2.1.1.1

            What the fuck are you on about? This is nothing to do with the ratepayers of Auckland.

            Any discount Banks received was a bonus to him personally. That’s why if such a discount existed, it should’ve been listed as a pecuniary interest.

            You constantly amaze me with your ability to comment for days on end on an issue without having a clue about any of the facts.

    • Treetop 17.3

      I raised this yesterday (rules when a candidate). Banks had to have known that any scandal would cause ructions for the Act Party and that this had to be avoided where Act was concerned because of the infighting within Act and the loss of confidence from their voters.

      Has anyone done a poll in Epsom on whether or not Banks should be stood down?
      Campbell Live poll result last night was 88% for Banks to be stood down. (This was a nation wide poll).

      Has anyone done a poll in Epsom to see if Banks would be elected if their was an election on Saturday?

  17. captain hook 18

    oh what tangled webs we weave
    when first we practice to deceive

    • james 111 18.1

      Totally agree I remember , Paintergate, Travelgate,Pledgecard gate ohh the list goes on all set out to deceive. Eventually it catches you out no matter who you are

      • felix 18.1.1

        Yeah, remember when Helen autographed the back of a picture for a charity auction?

      • Pete George 18.1.2

        I’ve posted strongly against the nonsense about these. Trying to make a scandal out of doing something for a charity was scandalous. And I don’t see how Clark can be held responsible for speeding when she wasn’t driving nor in control of the convoy.

        Dirty politics near the worst end of the scale.

        • Reagan Cline 18.1.2.1

          Your “ends justify the means” assumption again Peter – careful now !

  18. freedom 19

    Resignationwatch: Oopsie


    re the HK Hotel palava, everyone needs to check the facts, take a step back, and breathe a little
    so we can focus on all the shitty things that Banks really did do

  19. Carol 20

    Hmmm, and now Mallard is raising another issue about Banks election spending, in questions for oral answer today:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/f/3/00HOH_OralQuestions-List-of-questions-for-oral-answer.htm

    10. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Prime Minister: Did the assurances that Hon John Banks gave his office regarding his compliance with the Local Electoral Act, which he has accepted, include an assurance that any donations for radio advertising during the 2010 mayoral election were correctly recorded?

    • deuto 20.1

      Interesting – but its Thursday and I personally don’t recall ever seeing Key in the House on a Thursday ……………

  20. Frida 21

    Just up on DomPost website: DotCom set to release his phone records:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6850252/ACT-chief-retracts-statement-on-Dotcom-gift

    Things could be about to get interesting. If those phone records show a call in the days after the deposits (i.e. SIX MONTHS after the fireworks show) surely Banksie is toast?

    • deuto 21.1

      I assume that it depends on what type of “phone records” these are. If they only show that there was a call from one of Banks’ phones to one of Dotcom’s on a certain date and time, then it will not indicate what was said.

      However, it would not surprise me if Dotcom recorded all calls from the sounds of the high tech environment at his mansion.

      BUT apparently all digital data including CCTV recordings etc was seized in the police raid. Dotcom’s lawyers were back in court earlier this week seeking to get all items they consider were seized unlawfully returned to Dotcom (including digital data) , and a full hearing has been set down for later this month. In the meantime the court has apparently ruled that these items must stay in NZ until this hearing. (Did a quick look for the Stuff and Herald items on this; could not find them immediately but will re-search and post separately.)

      • Frida 21.1.2

        I agree that without a recording the phone logs are probably of limited relevance in terms of evidence for any prosecution. But if a call from Banks to DotCom is logged as having occurred in June in the days after the deposit of the cheques, then it surely further damages Banks’ credibility even if we don’t know what was said? Reason being is that Banks has maintained up until now (as I understand it and maybe I’ve got it wrong) that the phone call was to thank DotCom for a New Years fireworks celebration? So he’s ringing in June to thank him for something that happened in January, and by coincidence that call takes place a couple of days after 2 anonymous donations appear in Banks’ account? That’s a Tui ad right there. He must think we arrived on cabbage boats.

        • deuto 21.1.2.1

          Lol re your last sentence!

          Agree with you on timing etc if there was a call recorded in June. It would just be much more clearcut if there was an actual recording of any such call. But the way this whole thing is going, this may become irrelevant with all the other flipflops – the latest in regard to a hotel discount – see 23 and 24 below.

  21. This may of course be entirely coincidental timing – an interesting Garrett inside view: Decline and Fall – the final ACT? (Part I)

  22. Te Reo Putake 23

    And the story changes yet again! Banks now fesses up to getting a discount, but it was all his own work, apparently. Still should have registered it, though, as it was paid for by Mrs Banks!*

    *Ok, I’m not actually certain that gifts from the missus count, but it ain’t a good look when he’s been denying there was a discount at all.

    • ianmac 23.1

      Now that’s weird. Demanding apology saying no discount because he checked and they said no:
      <blockquote<A spokeswoman said she was present when Mr Banks sought and received an assurance there was no discount attached to his bill.

      She said Mr Banks asked specifically if there was any discount applied to his bill and was told by the hotel manager there was not.

      But Mr Banks today said: "I negotiated the price for the hotel room and I paid for everything in Hong Kong.

      "I always negotiate prices down, I don't believe in paying the rack rate in a hotel.

  23. deuto 24

    Well, the saga and flipflops continues – Banks has now said that he did get a discount on the HKG hotel rates but he negotiated this himself. Latest on the Herald site

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803276

    Snap with the above!

  24. Carol 25

    And now Banks is saying he got a discount on the HK hotel, but he negotiated it himself….. messy, John. Why didn’t you remember that to start with?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803276

    Last night, Mr Banks’ staff insisted there was no discount attached to the hotel stay. A spokeswoman said she was present when Mr Banks sought and received an assurance there was no discount attached to his bill.

    She said Mr Banks asked specifically if there was any discount applied to his bill and was told by the hotel manager there was not.

    But Mr Banks today said: “I negotiated the price for the hotel room and I paid for everything in Hong Kong.

    “I always negotiate prices down, I don’t believe in paying the rack rate in a hotel.

    “The hotel room was so expensive I even paid for it with my wife’s credit card.”

    So when it’s expensive, John’s makes sure his wife is charged for it? Interesting.

    Edit: Oh, triple snap.

    • Te Reo Putake 25.1

      Ha! Does that make us a Triple Threat, as they say in Gridiron?

      • deuto 25.1.1

        Hope it is not a case of three strikes!

        Carol’s point about using his wife’s card to pay for everything is interesting. I wonder whether this is an “out” to having to declare any discounts etc for the Pecunary Register?

        • Inventory2 25.1.1.1

          I seem to remember that when there was all the bizzo over Len Brown’s credit card spending in 2010 that Banks said he didn’t have either a mayoral or personal credit card. If he can do all his spending on his wife’s credit card, all power to him!

  25. A few years ago there was talk about B

  26. A few years ago there was speculation about Banks sanity. One of the tabloids of the day’s headline was “is Banks mad.” Well this week’s events show that he is certainly suffering with something .Personally I think he is just corrupt and sleazy

  27. fabregas4 28

    Simple question – Why didn’t Bank’s want Dot Coms donation public – I hate Banks but couldn’t care less where he got his donations from (provided they were fair and within the rules).

    • Because Kim Dotcom has convictions for dishonesty and insider trading. Possibly Banks knew Dotcom was making his money from copyright infringement and illegal activities. (though yet to be proved). Not a good look to be supported by a criminal. 

    • I think thaty’s got everyone a bit baffled – even Banks by the look of his performance over the past week.

  28. Vicky32 29

    <bookmarking>

  29. valeriusterminus 30

    “To give you an idea of the scale of the impact this has, ministers have received advice up to 40 current trials may be affected by this decision and over 50 police operations will be impacted,” Key told a press conference this afternoon.
    From; (Supreme Court Judgement)
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5650650/Urewera-ruling-jeopardises-police-trials

    I suspect that there are many recordings here and in the USA of calls to or from KDC in 2010 – by many parties .

    “When you get experts in to talk about securing the house, and they ask ‘would you like cameras panning around everywhere, and infra red this and that’, it’s very easy to say, ‘Yeah, why not?”‘ he said.
    From; (Bradley)
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6778583/Kim-Dotcoms-panic-room-regretted

    I suspect there are many copies of recordings here and in the USA, of all activities at the home of KDC .
    I suspect that John Banks may be concerned about this evidential surveillance.

  30. valeriusterminus 31

    TV3 Campbell has already alluded to this track;
    – we need OIA’ers to reveal….

    Which NZ Government ministers (Primes too) knew about the investigation by NZ and USA authorities of KDC/Mega.
    What NZ Government ministers (Primes too) knew about the investigation by NZ and USA authorities of KDC/Mega.
    When NZ Government ministers (Primes too) knew about the investigation by NZ and USA authorities of KDC/Mega.

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