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Resignationwatch: too many questions

Written By: - Date published: 6:38 am, May 4th, 2012 - 156 comments
Categories: act, auckland supercity, john banks, john key, local body elections - Tags:

Why did Banks declare as anonymous $15K that SkyCity openly gave to him, when Brown declared his donation?

Why did Banks claim he couldn’t remember flying to the Dotcom mansion in Dotcom’s chopper when no sane person thinks that is something you would forget?

Did Banks ask Dotcom to split his $50K donation into two – why?

Did Banks ring Dotcom’s bodyguard to thank him for the donations?

Why did Banks lie about getting a discount at the hotel where Dotcom was staying, then say he bargained it himself?

Who provided $15K of radio ad donations to his campaign, and were the ads authorised?

What did Nats Scott Simpson and Michelle Boag on Banks’ ‘mentor group’ know about the anonymised donations?

Who gave the Herald the internal document about the Nats on the mentor group? – interesting to see Boag’s name again.

Was Chris Simmons lying when he said Banks asked Dotcom to split the donation into two $25K cheques so they would be the same size as his donation, or when he tried to retract those comments?

Who donated the three other anonymous $25K donations to Banks’ campaign – was one of them the $25K Simmons said Banks would donate?

How much extra info did Banks get from mate Maurice Williamson on Dotcom’s OIO application?

Why has Key still not spoken to Banks to ask any of these question?

Doesn’t he want to know the answers?

Is Key really saying ethical lapses prior to being a minister are irrelevant to ones fitness for the role?

What about ethical lapses after becoming a minister – like lying to the media?

How many New Zealanders did 10-year-old Noora Azmutally speak for yesterday when, after meeting Key, she said “I was expecting him to be a bit more serious”

Is National polling in Epsom?

Who are the Nats lining up – will Isaac stand for ACT?

Will ACT on Campus (all 3 of them) really split with Banks if he votes for a higher drinking age?

Isn’t it in ACT’s best interest, now that he is clearly un-reelectable, to get Banks out quick smart and get someone else in?

Are they just waiting until after Budget day, so the Right holds its 1 vote majority in the House?

What’s the bet they try to slam the asset sales law through before the Budget, and set up 3 months of uncontroversial bills for the by-election period – and what’s the bet the legislative agenda becomes a clusterfuck, since sausage finger Brownlee’s in charge of managing it?

156 comments on “Resignationwatch: too many questions ”

  1. tc 1

    Move along people nothing here to see…..this will be the line their MSM shills start trotting out pointing to the ambiguous legislation with that good old shrug of their sycophant shoulders.

    Shonkeys fed them their line being no law broken so no issue and like the trained seals they are watch them perform for their captors.

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    This morning’s news is that a Dotcom staffer banked the cheques in Queenstown to make it look as if it had come from there.

    • More than that, it appears to be more than one from the Dotcom camp supporting the claim that Banks rang to thank for the donations. Banks always looked very uncormfortable “following his lawyer’s advice”, so this merely confirms a bit more what seemed to be obvious.

      I guess it’s going to be down to the Alzheimer’s defence, that’s about all that’s left.

      • Ross 2.1.1

        There’s 2 problems with the Alzheimer’s defence, Pete.

        The first and most obvious is: should someone with Alzheimer’s have a ministerial warrant?

        Second, although it might be apparent that Banks suffers from Alzheimer’s, when it comes to the issue of whether he thanked Dotcom for donating $50K, Banks’ memory is suddenly crystal clear. How weird is that? Then again his memory seemed to be crystal clear that he did not get a dicsount on a hotel room in HK. Oh well, being the honourable fellow that he is, the PM will do the right thing.

        • Pete George

          Maybe I should have referred to it as “selective Alzheimer’s”.

          With that “should someone with selective Alzheimer’s have a ministerial warrant?” is still a valid question to ask. I’d say no.

          • Lanthanide

            There’s no such thing as “selective Alzheimer’s”, unless you’re using it as a euphemism for ‘lying’. So just say: is it acceptable for a minister to lie? No.

            • felix

              There’s that selective sense of humour of yours 😀

            • Pete George

              Voluntary amnesia is probably a better description – but no, whatever description you want to give it, Banks’ use of the “I forget” card doesn’t get him off the hook at all, I think his performance has been mostly unacceptable, often bizarre and not befitting a minister or MP.

            • Reality Bytes

              “There’s no such thing as “selective Alzheimer’s”, unless you’re using it as a euphemism for ‘lying’.”

              That was obviously Pete’s point.

              Pete gets a lot of flak for his points of view and ideologies, which is often warranted, but on the Banksie affair I agree with a lot of what the PG-meister has been saying. Credit where credit is due.

          • Vicky32

            On a tangential note, I  have been wondering what Banks is the Minister of? Can someone enlighten me?

            • felix

              Yes he’s the Minister for Not Much Longer.

              Also, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Small Business, Associate Minister of Commerce and Associate Minister of Education.

              (Yes, you read that correctly.)

    • ianmac 2.2

      Puts a new spin on the expression, “You can Bank on it!”

      • aerobubble 2.2.1

        Was dotcom at the Hyatt when Banks got the ‘deal’ on the room? Or did he (allegedly) just drop Dotcoms name?

        • Lanthanide

          No, I don’t think so. Apparently Kim Dotcom rented the ‘top floor’ of the hotel for 6 years (!), so name-dropping could indeed be useful in that situation. A person was on Morning Report this morning saying that status and connections are very important in Hong Kong, and someone with status and connections is highly likely to be treated much better than an average person.

    • ianmac 2.3

      Assuming that that report is credible/genuine, then I would have thought that it was a nail in the proverbial. Mind you Banks said, “I never phoned Kim Dotcom to thank him for his donation.”
      This could be true. He phoned Kim’s bodyguard.

      • Pete George 2.3.1

        It could also be true another way – he might have phone Kim/bodyguard to talk about the weather and happened to mention a wee thankyou while he was at it.

        It’s also possible Kim/bodyguard happened to perceive a thankyou for the anonymous donation when that is not precisely what Banks meant.

        So Banks could have a legal defence at a stretch, but his general credibility has stretched to beyond breaking point.

  3. rosy 3

    So was Scott Simpson’s role just for the CV or was he paid?

    Mr Simpson said he had only “minor involvement” in the campaign. He said the “fundraising” reference was “to make it look like I was doing something”.

    Either way it’s not a good look.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      it’s more than just “not a good look”… he has taken a leaf out of johnny sparkles playbook… in other words…. shrug- look innocent- downplay the importance of the dealings(it was nothing really,just meaningless window dressing)- wait for the herald/tvnz to attack those who would question his innocence…..

      continue the rape and pillage that passes for tory governence…

  4. Bored 4

    It would seem where ever Michelle Boag goes there is a a foul odour left in her wake…Brash, Key, banks etc etc all creatures of this priveleged little rich lady. Seems she is at the centre of all things NACT (to the extrene right might be more precise).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Hardly. Shes the only one who is looking good in all this

      • Eddie 4.1.1

        which rather raises the question, does it not, of who gave the Herald the meeting document. it’s hardly something public or even widely held.

        • rosy

          Maybe some-one from ACT who wanted National to take a bit more of the heat for the dodgy mayoral campaign of a ex-National MP and, at the time, National Party member?

        • mickysavage

          The nats takeover of ACT left a foul taste in some people’s mouths. It is at that time that rumors about Simon Lusk’s involvement in all of this came to light. This could be significant.

          Further evidence of the Nats’ civil war? The fact that Boag was involved makes you wonder …

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Its a part of the ‘distraction campaign’.

          When the shit hits the fan and ducking is no longer an option, you start your own fan and feed it …..

  5. james 111 5

    Really a storm in a Tea Cup Eddie no legs at all, and very doubtful whether he has actually broken any laws from 2001 Local Body Act

    • It looks very much like Banks is mixing too much “bad memory” with bad judgement. That could be a politically poisonous concoction.

      • Puddleglum 5.1.1

        I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Pete George.

        So far as the ‘politics’ of this is concerned, when you start to defend yourself by undermining the very qualities that would make you a credible Minister (good judgment, good recollection of relevant details, etc.) then it’s all over – or should be.

        Irrespective of any possible lying or corrupt behaviour, Banks’ defence of his actions simply acts as a confession that he isn’t competent to hold a ministerial warrant.

        It then becomes very difficult for the PM to express confidence in him when he has, in effect, expressed a lack of confidence in himself. 

    • You_Fool 5.2

      Because ethical behaviour from our political leaders is too much to ask…

      • Dr Terry 5.2.1

        The Nat’s are doing their best to ensure that the word “ethical” will soon be omitted from the dictionary.As concerns Key and “ethical” – I trust everyone has taken a careful look at his full record online (eg with Merrill Lynch). This is the wonderful man at whose feet New Zealanders have fallen. See him on TV 3 tonight? Never has his smile been broader, he is cock-a-hoop. Looks like he might be a “winner” over all. Prepare to wait long for repercussions ever to hit this “charmer”. NOTHING will change his “ethics” as concerns selling out this country, the future can hope at best for amalgamation with Australia (possibly not a bad thing!), while Key bathes in the sun at his Hawaiian Mansion.
        We must face up to it – many people in this country were at best blase re “opposing” asset sales, evidenced by the large pro-Key vote at the election. He will never cease to play on that idiotic error of all too many. Tonight he presents as an all-time victor!
        On the other hand, we hear from Shearer again – that lowered my mood still further (if it is possible).

    • Deano 5.3

      Local Electoral Act 2001

      I think it’s got a lot of legs. Been running pretty hard for the last week. Plenty more to come.

      And it’s not just about legality. This is about being a fit person to be a minister.

      • Lanthanide 5.3.1

        “I think it’s got a lot of legs. Been running pretty hard for the last week. Plenty more to come.”

        So was the ACC / Collin’s supposed leak story. Pretty much dead now.

        • Pete George

          Because it looks like Mallard may have been wrong. So expect the Hong Kong Hyatt to fizzle pretty quickly too.

          High flying ducks only manage to crap on a small amount of ground and miss most things.

        • rosy

          I don’t think it’s dead, just set aside for the moment.

    • felix 5.4

      Hey james, you’ve been mentioning the “Local Body Act” for about a week now, and you’ve been corrected many times by many people. It’s the Local Electoral Act that applies.

      This might indicate that you’re doing “Hit & Runs”, i.e. posting comments and not bothering to engage with (or even read) any of the replies. I seem to recall you being banned for something similar in the past and I’m concerned it could happen again if you continue down this path.

      I wouldn’t like to see this happen because you add a lot to the discussion here.

    • North 5.5

      Keep on believing baby James 111………and look like an utter idiot when Key sacks him.

      The man is clearly unfit for any public office……….not only is he a liar………his subliminal tells him that what is lying in others is perfectly acceptable in him.

  6. Ross 6

    How many New Zealanders did 10-year-old Noora Azmutally speak for yesterday when, after meeting Key, she said “I was expecting him to be a bit more serious”?

    On the bright side, Key said he wants to be a butcher. I assume he was telling the truth and should be offered the opportunity of becoming a butcher asap. He certainly is adept at mincing.

    • Willie Maley 6.1

      He said the butcher comment with no hint of irony?

    • ianmac 6.2

      Mincing. Ha!

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.2.1


        • felix

          Yep, Key’s lampoon of a stereotype homosexual was probably quite homophobic, although I’d say more just dickish than anything else.

          As a side note I think he’d actually make a pretty good butcher. He’d look nice in an apron and a little hat, he’d be cheery and helpful, flirt a bit with the old ladies, crack a few bawdy jokes with the blokes etc.

          I’m only half kidding, I really do think he’d be good at it. Can you see it?

          • bbfloyd

            by the time he’s finally seen off from his current job, he will have qualified as a butcher…

            • felix

              To be clear, I don’t think you’d want him on the knives. Doesn’t have the aptitude for it.

              Just out front in the shop, wrapping the choice cuts, wiping the counter, greeting the punters.

              I’m quite serious about this. If he could handle seeing his wages drop (and surely he’s got enough not to care) he could have a really happy post-politics life in retail meat.

              • Lanthanide

                He could be giving out the tripe literally instead of just figuratively, then.

                • Hami Shearlie

                  Or spreading the sawdust to hide the bloodstains!! Or maybe making all the sausages. Banksie would be his best customer. He seems to love porkies!!

    • DJL 6.3

      Matbe he could get a job with Talleys

  7. muzza 7

    We as long as people sit back, moan online, on the radio and the like, they are essentially endorsing this behaviour.

    Hoping a change of government would mean a change of direction is a pipe dream, and most know it. People simply can’t wor won’t bother to compemplate what all of our lives are going to become, should people such as Banks, Key and the rest of them, cross party, are allowed to remain as “decision makers” for this country!

    Leaving it to the system to sort out is abdicating responsibility to what is left of our democracy!

  8. ad 8

    Well it really puts any of the previous Labour Government’s scandals deep in the shade. Paintergate, Benson-Pope’s tennis ball, the speeding ticket – hah!

    In the next Labour Government no Minister will be fired for anything, unless they have been convicted of donig something ilegal. Quite a precedent.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      “In the next Labour Government no Minister will be fired for anything, unless they have been convicted of donig something ilegal.”

      Actually, I do not want any of that kind of “next time” and I reject now and anytime in the future any kind of attempt at setting such precedent.

      Here and now – uphold the highest ethical standards.

  9. Chris 9

    He is certainly doing a sterling job of butchering our country.

    • james 111 9.1

      He certainly slice and ice after the excesses of Lard and Government spending that Labour put in place in 9 years in Office. Figures were something like extra 44,000 State workers (drain on the Tax Payer) extra $20 Billion dollars in Government spending , and a rusty train set to boot.

      Oh as well as bailing out all the finance companies that Michael Cullen signed people up to. Where was all thew money coming from to fund that. Labour Fiscally responsible no not at all.

      • Dv 9.1.1

        bailing out all the finance companies that Michael Cullen

        Agreed to by the Nats and SFC carried over by The nats.

        AND left no debt!

      • Deano 9.1.2

        a) most of the extra public sector workers were doctors and nurses. There are actually more public sector employees now than in 2008. You’re confusing the public sector with the core public service, which they’ve knocked a couple of thousand jobs off.

        b) National is spending far more than Labour ever did. $10b a year more. 35% of GDP where Labour spent 31%. A lot of it is on extra 80,000 people on benefits under National because there are no jobs.

        c) National signed SCF on to the extended guarantee, despite warnings, and then it failed.

        • dd

          Ouch, does deanos post hurt you james 111? It certainly mnakes you look either very stupid or simply ignorant.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.3

        There is only 44,000 state workers in TOTAL so how can they be ‘additional’.

        And what about the $30 mill McCully gave to a private sports centre ( Millennium) in his electorate

  10. Kotahi Tane Huna 10

    John Banks claims that he lied on the advice of his lawyer(s).

    Coming from a minister of the crown, that is a very serious allegation that clearly requires proper investigation. I hope the Law Society has an opinion, at the very least.

    • deuto 10.1

      Morning KTP.

      Your comment reminded me of a post I read earlier in the week on another blog which included comment to the effect that any lawyer doing their job would advise their client to say nothing. Not a legal beagle but none of the comments refuted AG’s contention.

      Have now found it again – Andrew Geddis on Pundit.


      … Because here’s a small piece of advice about lawyers (given free of charge, as well!). Any lawyer advising any client who is facing potential police investigation will always tell that person not to say anything about it in public. And not because of any high-minded fears about “jeopardising” the investigation or the like. Rather, the lawyer will have in mind that, no matter how vociferously the client proclaims her or his innocence, she or he could well be as guilty as sin. And if she or he goes shooting their mouth off in public, they may inadvertently provide the evidence that proves her or his guilt. Which is something that a lawyer has a professional (dare I say “ethical”, if that word means anything these days) obligation to try and stop from happening.

      So a politician who knows he has broken no laws (and hence cannot incriminate himself through his answers to questions about his actions), but nevertheless chooses to take his lawyer’s advice at face value and refuse to answer any questions about the matter (instead choosing to lie about his ability to recall events so as to evade those questions), is an idiot. In fact, he is such an idiot as to call into question his basic political skills, because to think that somehow this issue would just go away quietly of its own accord is magical thinking of the highest order. …

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Jane Clifton had a good piece on that.
      The lawyer told him to shut up, but he kept saying he had nothing to say and getting that all wrong


      • bbfloyd 10.2.1

        it might be worth remembering that the level of protection afforded politicians of banks’ ilk has been so comprehensive over the last decade or so, that nat/act mp’s may have got just a touch blase regarding covering up their “woopsies” of late..

        methinks the reason for johnny sparkles “deliberate ignorance” of the details of this issue stem from deep knowledge of just how big a pile of “woopsie” is there to uncover if the journalists who take money for providing that protection ever decide to try to restore their credibility by doing their job properly…

  11. “Why did Banks lie about getting a discount at the hotel where Dotcom was staying, then say he bargained it himself?” 

    Forgive me if I am wrong but I don’t think Dotcom was staying there at the time. Also, there is nothing unusual about bargaining for a room and getting a discount. Hell, not 2 months ago I stayed at $2000per night game lodge in South Africa for a mere $400 due to negotiation. 
    Easy to do. 

    • felix 11.1

      “Also, there is nothing unusual about bargaining for a room and getting a discount.”

      That was never in question though. The questionable aspect is whether his discount – if any existed – was via the favour of Kim Dotcom.

      The first reason this is questionable is because such a favour would be considered a material benefit to Banks personally, and as such should be recorded as a pecuniary interest, which it wasn’t.

      The second reason it is questionable is because Banks has denied and/or played down the existence of a friendship/relationship between himself and Dotcom, and such a personal favour could be seen to contradict those denials.

      However from a political point of view, the most – some would say the only – interesting question is why Banks’ story changed from one day to the next.

    • aerobubble 11.2

      So the Hyatt is like a game lodge in the middle of nowhere. The economics, market, quality, status, branding are separated by orders of magnitude. Is that your argument? That because its so different that its the same.

      • TheContrarian 11.2.1

        The only link between the Hyatt, Banks and Dotcom is that they both stayed there. A discount proves nothing so it seems a weird point to get all stressed about (though I understand the implications of not declaring a pecuniary interest)

        @Aerobubble: The Hyatt is like a game lodge in that it is luxury accommodation. It is, for all intents and purposes, a hotel. One that, like all hotels, you can get a discount rate.

        • felix

          “The only link between the Hyatt, Banks and Dotcom is that they both stayed there.”

          Well that and the Dotcom employee who says he arranged the discount.

          But yeah I think the fact that he changed his story so fundamentally from one day to the next says a lot more than any of the other material facts do.

          • TheContrarian

            Oh yeah? I haven’t seen any mention of a Dotcom employee confirming it. 

            • bbfloyd

              my word… is “deliberate ignorance” the new political debating tool of the mossbacked tory now? you know.. if all you guys and girls start using this tactic, it’s going to make it harder for johnny sparkles to keep using it with any credibility….

              he’s gonna have to find a new gimmick if you guys don’t stop copying him…

              • “deliberate ignorance”? I haven’t seen any mention of a Dotcom employee confirming it. I not denying that is the case but I can’t find any mention of it. So if you know where I can find said information you could supply it.

                • felix

                  I may be wrong about that. Doesn’t matter though, it’s his own contradictions that are catching him out.

                  Banks has changed his story from ‘there was no discount’ to ‘actually there was, but I arranged it and I never pay full price at hotels‘.

                  Which makes it a bit weird that his first reaction was to deny that he got a discount, doesn’t it?

                  • While I really don’t want to play devils advocate for Banks (horrible man that he is) I think maybe he was meaning he never received any discount from the price that was quoted to him before he booked.

                    But he mutters so much gibberish its hard to tell.

        • aerobubble

          Geez, even a home is a hotel to relatives visiting, or that’s what the grumpy old fart says.

  12. muzza 12

    Wrong section!

  13. aerobubble 13

    So let see, the new super city is so huge that National failed to recognize and update the electoral law when it was created, because the new super city Major was a standup guy wherever s/he came from. Now Banks is on the edge of legality with the lesser standards of local body elections, when running for a entity one could argue is the second largest economy in NZ – Auckland. bar none.

  14. Deano 14

    Looks like the results of the polling Farrar has been doing for the Nats is in:

    ACT – dead 4 May 2012, aged 18.


    • ianmac 14.1

      Fancy David Farrar being capable of satire. A cup of tea might yet revive ACT though. Served in a chalice of course.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        Personally I’m amazed at the revitalising powers of a decent cup of char – one cup brought both act and banks back to political life for all of six months 🙂

    • RedBlooded 14.2

      farrar might just be declaring it dead so that David Garrett can steal its identity and revive it.

  15. captain hook 15

    hey Eddie. re the first sentence,”why did Banks lie”.
    he lies about everything.
    he constitutionally unable to lie straight in bed.

  16. Should someone be writing A.C.T.’s obituary?

    I write that as a question and not as a statement of fact, because I wondered that a few months ago and again earlier when David Garrett’s antics did their resolute best to destroy the party.

    I wonder what the people left in A.C.T. think of its latest snafu.

    • felix 16.1

      Frankly I don’t think there is an ACT any more.

      Have you seen or heard from any of the long-time party stalwarts lately? When do you reckon Prebble, Douglas, or any of the usual suspects who haven’t shut their filthy mouths for two decades last spoke publicly in relation to ACT? Not since Banks arrived.

      Cactus Kate has quit.

      Heard from ACT on Campus lately?


      Nah, the zombie Banks has killed it stone dead, probably the only useful thing he’s ever done with his miserable life.

      • TheContrarian 16.1.1

        Yup, Brash and Banks gutted the party. However, while I have never supported ACT, nor voted for them, the origins of ACT party were far different from this gutted husk we see and it is a shame because the early party did have its place. Now, nothing.

        • Te Reo Putake

          What was ACT’s place, TC? And if that ACT was still around when you first started voting, would you have voted for them?

          • TheContrarian

            That ACT I mean was around when I started voting and I never voted for them anyway. I met Richard Prebble a few times in a professional and social context and found him to be a nice fellow.
            The place I mean is a party with real ideas (whether good or bad). A libertarian, not conservative, leaning party, with a serious position on social liberties. Which they did have but now, in the last 5 years or so, they have become a foolish, internally inconsistent joke.

            • felix

              I tend to agree. I’d never vote for them myself either but they did have a constituency, albeit a small one.

              I expect that constituency will reorganise at some point in the not-too-distant future and create another political vehicle. Hopefully, for their sake, they’ve learned a thing or two from the last couple of years.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Cheers, and for what it’s worth I campaigned for Prebble* when he was in Labour and also found him ‘nice’. But he was a fundamentally weak man and easily pushed around by the likes of Roger Douglas.
              *Yes, I know what you’re all thinking! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

              • Yeah I found him quite funny. But the point I was making is that it is important to have parties bringing different ideas to the table and whether you liked ACT or not the still brought something to the table. Now they bring nothing and haven’t for years.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Yep. They were something once.

                  The damage that’s been done though, is not just to the brand. The people that raise any new vehicle will have to have had fuck all to do with ACT for it to avoid the taint, and they’re not going to be easy to find.

                  Or rather, the new vehicle is going to have a huge task in stopping itself from just becoming ACT II as the assorted dribble jaws, funders, and camp followers all shout Huzzah and try and climb aboard.

            • lprent

              I met Richard Prebble a few times in a professional and social context and found him to be a nice fellow.

              That is an occupational requirement of politicians. I have never met a politician who wasn’t nice, and I have met a few over the decades. These days I simply ignore the charm.

              • fender

                I have never met Prebble. All I can go on is the TV version of the guy. To me he always seemed rather dim and lacking substance, rather like Gerry Brownlee perhaps.

      • Pete George 16.1.2

        Heard from ACT on Campus lately?

        Yep, they have been vocal lately, on TV3 last night, saying they won’t support Banks unless he supports keeping thye drinking age at 18. Good on them, I’ll back them on that.

        • felix

          So they’re in the media opposing Banks.

          And yeah good on them. But really they should’ve stopped supporting him the day he was nominated. He’s been against pretty much everything they stand for his whole life.

        • mickysavage

          There is only three of them and two of them have personal difficulties.  The concept of there being an “Act on Campus” is like there being in Dunedin a “Pete George Fan Club”.

          • Reality Bytes

            I was curious about ACT on Campus, and read their agenda a bit, and they have a far more palatable vision of ACT in mind than what we are all used to. A quite libertarian vision, but obviously under Mr Banks those principles are sidelined to allow room for the more pressing issues of Mr Banks political career and general banksian nest featherage matters.

            At first I thought lol! Who are these AOC folks supporting a stuffy old National under another banner marketing department, but then reading a bit more about AOC I recon they have the right idea, just a shame their views are quite different to what ACT has become.

            These AOC folks really should start up their own fresh Libertarian party, unfortunately Mr Banks and associates have sold out the ideals.

            • Reality Bytes

              ‘…unfortunately what ACT has become is different to their views’ is what I meant to say. Got it back the front! 🙂

            • mickysavage

              Aye RB

              AOC was misguided but at least it had a philosophy.  Banks was the National Retred takeover candidate for ACT.  When that happened ACT lost its soul.  No longer was it a philosophy.  From then on it was a mechanism to ensure that John Key remained Prime Minister. 

  17. Tanz 17

    Will this bring down the government or is it just a storm in a teacup?

  18. ianmac 18

    Key will front on Campbell Live tonight. He must be worried!

    • Aye, time for popcorn.  I reckon they have some sort of link between him and dot com and the threat to publish this has drawn him out.

      EDIT: Either Key is a blithering idiot and does not know what was happening or he is telling fibs …

      • calltoaccount 18.1.1

        So, whats happening?? Live updates if possible!

        • mickysavage

          Power meets with a US honcho from the film industry and then apparently vetoes Williamson’s approval.  Warner bros are involved, hehe link the hobbit with Banks with dot com …

          • ianmac

            When challenged for the reason for changing the ownership of land for Dotcom, Key hinted at some new evidence of Dotcom crime. The crimes that Key reluctantly “came to light” were for Dotcom going to the police in Hong Kong and saying that he had bought too many shares and then disposed of the extra ones. He was fined $1200. And that was the reason for the decline by Simon Power who Key described as a very conservative minister.

            And the cheques? Key has not asked and has no intention of asking. Irrelevant he says.

            Would I buy a car from Mr Key? Never. But then I have become biased.

      • Pete George 18.1.2

        This interview may annoy the hell out of the mickylabourites, as Key often does.

        In stark contrast to Banks, Key sounds like he’s being honest about what he knows and doesn’t know, and he shounds like he knows some things very well and simply isn’t aware of others – he can’t know everything.

        As usual Key sounds and looks very plausible. Banks didn’t.

        • Tanz

          Yeah, right. Key sounds plausible. Pass me a Tui.

          • Jilly Bee

            Sorry PG John Key didn’t sound at all plausible to me, I’ll share a Tui with you Tanz

        • mickysavage

          Pete as usual wades in and declares there is nothing going on.

          These questions were scene setting questions.  Key has come out and confirmed that he did not know Dotcom.  He also provided quite a bit more information.

          Campbell obviously has something else to spring and this will occur with the fullness of time.

          Are you that superficial Petey that you base your judgment on first impressions?  Suspend judgment, there is something else coming. 

      • ianmac 18.1.3

        I cannot believe that our PM has not talked to Ministers involved including Simon Powers about anything that has happened that has occupied MSM for over a week. By not asking any questions about anyone (he keeps on saying???) our PM knows NOTHING about anything that is contentious. He rests all on that John Banks says he has followed the Law. That’s it.
        Note that when people go through lie detector tests they watch not just the reactions during the questions but more the response <after the questions stop. Mr Key positively giggled which would raise concerns in the observers.

        I think that the interview was the best investigative interview for some years. And to my knowledge the only one aimed at the PM apart from that short one for the BBC.

        • Anne

          Agree ianmac. Top marks to Campbell Live.

        • Carol

          And the Warners connection is another interesting “new” bit of information.

          What else does Dotcom know, and when will he leak it?

        • mickysavage

          Agreed and I cannot, cannot believe that someone who wrote cheques totaling $50k for Banks was not asked by the National Party for a donation.

          If and when this information comes out there will be hell to pay.  

      • Anne 18.1.4

        Either Key is a blithering idiot and does not know what was happening or he is telling fibs …

        Telling fibs. Written all over his face!

      • ianmac 18.1.5

        Remember Rodney saying that around the Cabinet table Key just lets all the Ministers do what they like.

  19. Frida 19

    My god what interview were you watching?! In the one I was watching Key’s dead eyes flickered every time he told a lie!! As Campbell said wryly at the end ‘it was enlightening alright!’

    • Carol 19.1

      I didn’t consciously notice the eye flicker, but his step-back & trying to assume a plausible, matter of fact voice & stating some bland generality with conviction…. just made me think, “Would you buy a used car off this man?”

      and he looks unfit to be a PM…. doesn’t seem to have much of a clue as to what his ministers are up to. As a PM he’s constantly MIA, or covering how far he is into the action.

      • ianmac 19.1.1

        Snap Carol. Me neither.

      • deuto 19.1.2

        I didn’t see all of the interview but what I did see, I also did not notice the eye flickers perhaps because I was watching his hands. He kept them firmly together throughout what I saw. Hands can also be a give-away as often when lying people rub their noses for example and I have seen him do that in the past.

        But I cannot believe his contentions that he did not know what his Ministers were doing etc – that is the role of a PM to be on top of that at all times. And his lack of questioning of Banks and other Ministers – that is just avoidance ” I didn’t know so I am not responsible and cannot be taken to task” tactics.

        I also found it interesting that he kept repeating that Power was very conservative. Not my impressions at all having worked in areas that Power was involved in/responsible for both in opposition and as a Minister. He is the only one of the recent bunch of Nats that I had any respect for at all, for his enquiring, ability to look outside the square, and his respect for and treatment of his staff and officials that he dealt with.

        I also agree with MS and/or Ianmac that this interview was a scene setting and there is more to come. Campbell’s words, body language etc at the end was telling in this regard – and Key’s waffle at the end suggested to me, that he only just realised that at that late stage.

        Waiting for the replay to come up on the TV3 website to see the whole interview and review it in more detail.

        • felix

          “Campbell’s words, body language etc at the end was telling in this regard – and Key’s waffle at the end suggested to me, that he only just realised that at that late stage.”

          Exactly. Those last 10 seconds were the most telling of the lot.

          p.s. it’s up now: http://www.3news.co.nz/John-Key-discusses-Dotcom-saga/tabid/367/articleID/253053/Default.aspx

        • deuto

          I take back what I said about Key’s hands being clenched, having now watched the whole interview. The hands were very much doing the talking in the first part of the interview which I did not see the first time around, but much less so in the latter part of the interview. Get the feeling that he has walked into it on several points and that we and he will hear otherwise in the not too distant future.

        • rosy

          Very interesting:
          – That’s an awfully long list of very important people who are in frequent contact with Key knew about Dotcom.

          – Agree with Key that he shouldn’t be involved in Police operations, but Campbell didn’t push the question about permission of foreign law enforcement agencies operating in New Zealand. This is a very big deal and should be determined at the highest level of government. He should have given explicit agreement or veto of what he admits was an international raid, not just be briefed imo. And that would require knowing about it some time before hand. What’s the law on this?

          – When did he know about the over-turning of Dotcom’s immigration approval?

          – Great secrecy by Key on the ‘different information’ Power had, which turned out to be a pro-forma fine. More likely it’s due to the meeting with the U.S. copyright person – Mr Ellis?
          ‘On the sniff test it just doesn’t feel right; lol. (sorry, that’s petty). Key should have applied that test over Epsom.

          – Simon Power is a great loss to National. Not that I agree with his politics, but he the conservative dig makes him seem honest.

          – At the beginning of the interview Key seemed to agree when Campbell said this was a very high profile raid with the FBI on the ground. – ‘yes but the police didn’t tell me’ but in a direct question at the end of the interview he appeared to contradict himself.

          – Nice little dig by Campbell about Banks’ memory when Key had quite a few ‘can’t remembers’ himself.

          – The investor plus category has failed here. We need to know who the other 9 are and what they’re doing.

          – Keep pushing the ‘have you asked John Banks’ it’s in the same category as ‘show us the money’.

          – ‘You cant fire someone over a bad press conference’ – resetting the narrative right there.

          And yeah the end of the interview Key seemed to think he’d allayed Campbell’s fears of dark dealings in government. Campbell’s last few seconds indicated precisely the opposite.

          • felix

            “And yeah the end of the interview Key seemed to think he’d allayed Campbell’s fears of dark dealings in government. Campbell’s last few seconds indicated precisely the opposite.”

            Yes it was incredible to see Key smugly lecturing Campbell at the end, as if he had taught him a thing or two about real life in long pants, and then to see the realisation dawn on him that he might have said a lot more that he would be advised to say.

            One thing it shows is how inexperienced Key is with interviews, imagining that it was his interview where he gets to disseminate the information that suits him. Like a press conference that he controls.

            How many interviews has he done now as PM, 3?

  20. appleboy 20

    have yet to watch the Campbell interview but key usually does that sucking in of breath when he’s lying and/or nervous…I’d imagine he was sucking himself silly through this one….

  21. I didn’t see the interview, but was it based around this information from TV3? (Posted at 7:00pm)

  22. Carol 22

    Spot the difference? Or are there none?


    For the past three years the average reader of the Guardian apparently had a much more complete understanding of what was going on within a significant division of News Corp than its own chairman. Rupert Murdoch’s testimony to the Leveson inquiry listed all the things he didn’t know until recently.


    Why did the Prime Minister not know about Kim Dotcom?

    • muzza 22.1

      John Campbell – The FBI were on the gound on that raid weren’t they?

      Key – (eyes closed, head shake), I don’t know, (eye brows raised), I honestly don’t know..

      John Campbell – Don’t you see that thats as a great deal of startling coincidences?

      Key – No, I mean look, you might want to create a great conspiracy for your listeners tonight, and thats great…..Edit (again a minute or so later) Key – I hate to tell you the bad news, there’s no great conspiracy (again just another see through moment)

      —There is use of that terminology again, trained into the monkey, repeating it for at least the third time in a week, is simply brazen lying, in your face again!

      John Campbell – Lets have a look at this, just to end of a farcical note … (was that Campbell with a eurika moment, that his idol Key is finished…classic piss take IMO!

      —Just a couple of the dozens of brazen lies in that interview, and this guy is in charge!

  23. ianmac 23

    Wonder if Helen would have gone through all this without asking questions or talking to her Ministers.
    I think Key has been advised to avoid any details, stick to “no law broken” then if it should blow up he could claim ignorance from a safe distance. Should he as PM do this or does the electorate simply not care?

    • Nope Helen was a machine, a compassionate caring all knowing machine.  She knew everything that was going on. She drank two glasses of Chardonnay a week very slowly so that she would be on top of things.

      She knew board appointments, what was happening in Ministries, where the flash points were, what was on the horizon.  She would have been all over this issue like a rash.

      Either Key is that ineffective he did not know what was happening or he did know but is hiding something.

      Either way his star is on the decline. 

  24. DonKey 24

    Ha, come on folks. What is all this talk about resignations? Slime is the oil in the machine, and I run it! Get a life, we will keep the slime flowing, the machine of Nat-ACT government steaming ahead now! WE are in government, and you are over there, moaning, whinging, protesting with rent-a-crowd and losers. WE are the winners and wheelers and dealers. The economy listens to me and us!

    It is like a good black jack deal at SkyCity’s largest table.

    I work them out, pull them over the table and bang, here you go, mate, never expected that, did ya?

    More is for sale, I am bringing a new game onto the market soon. Sell ya stocks swiftly and get rid of rusty and inert capital, like state assets. Kick the lot off, get the banks on a roll, sell shares to my buddies at the top, they now have the cash after our wondrous tax cuts for them a couple of years ago. Yeah, really, get rolling.

    Those layabouts sitting at home, pissing it up, whinging and being envious, get off your bum, turn a few burgers for me at Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s ore whatever. Tourists don’t wanna wait forever, give em fast food.

    Beer is on special too, but don’t forget ya wallet, buddies. Ha, I am winning and you are losing. Wish Kiwis were even worse suckers and fallover idiots, I’d have made hundreds of millions by now.

    Got to move on, dearest of all, Johnno! By the way, the law is for the underclass, sucking crap. That is how it is meant to be. Get working, mates, get bloody sleeves rolled up, I want to see productivity.

    Good night!

    • fender 24.1

      Thanks ‘Mr Key’ but we knew you were the ruthless smiling assassin, owner of 50 million but morally bankrupt.

      When it all goes pear-shaped though DonKey I suspect you will regret your condescending giggling act where you trivialise the concerns of the people you pretend to lead.

      • DonKey 24.1.1

        Ha, we got ya by the b**ls! You are likely a wage or salary slave, a tax slave, a consumer and self indulgent dependable slave of sorts, exactly the kind of psyched dead numbskull idiots we want. Ha, WE run the country, WE are the rulers, WE are dominant, WE set the tones, and BANKSIE will be held up forever, even if we must keep him as a stuffed effigy, to pretent he is still there to cast the iron firm vote for us. Now we cover up, we got Dotcom shut up too, otherwise we will fast forward extradition, we will find a reason to do so. Crown Law is in OUR pocket, and does what we see as just and legal. Wake up guys, we run you and the whole corral. Let us have a shoot out at the OK corral at lunchtime tomorrow, shall we?

  25. Alistair 25

    Here is a more intelligent candidate to replace that strange MP in Epsom. This one can answer simple questions and despite also being bird-brained, has a good memory:

    “Lost budgie taken home after it recites entire address”

    A lost budgie was taken home after it recited its entire address in full to a police officer. Fumie Takahashi is reunited with her pet budgerigar in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

    Telegraph.co.uk – ‎May 2, 2012‎

    • fender 25.1

      So long as it’s Act yellow it’s a sure winner. But it may confuse loyal supporters with the higher than usual intelligence level compared to a traditional Act candidate.

  26. DonKey 26

    All those drongo do no gooders protesting against MY (OUR) asset sale plans today in Wellington, get a life, aye!? Got no job, so stop all the traffic, distract from moving NZ ahead and even dare to sit on the steps of Parliament. We will get the roadsweepers out in force next time, plus our GES..Police force, en forte, to deal to you hopeless whingers. What a shame for our PROUD country, where we try to clean if from leftist anarchist refuse every day. We are onto it, we do the deals, we are the deal breakers and makers, we have a hotline right to HU JINBAO and the comittee. That is where our bread comes for the farmworker’s sweat, earned heard these days. City dwellers, get a kick up the butt, get a life and a job, please, this is getting annoying. Get a hair cut too, those rastafarian dope smokers, full time protesters, rent-a-crowders and lay abouts. I shave my chin every day, I have a smart smile, I am the Smilin Asassin by the way, I know how to move in high circles and get a good up or down bet with Berlusconi, Putin, Hu Jintao, that Indian joker too, we are moving in higher circles, not down near the gutter stench. Get a life, low lifers, get a job and sweat it out for your country. Who knows, one day you may be there where I am. God forbid, not for a commy, right?

    • bad12 26.1

      Get another job dork,the price of smokes is going up again and you are going to pay for it,(for me to smoke em that is)…

  27. appleboy 27

    DonKey – please sober up next time to touch a computer late Friday nights….

  28. yeshe 28

    Kim Dotcom created more jobs for Kiwis on his Coatesville estate than the whole of the Key cycleway !!!! And I’d like to thank him for the light he has given to this whole damn mess of a government. Now, please release your phone records and raise the hammer on the coffin-lid nails !

  29. Carol 29

    And the NZ Herald this morning is following up on Mallard’s question about an anonymous donation to Banks for advertising:


    The donation records from Mr Banks 2010 campaign for the Auckland mayoralty list $15,690 being donated for radio advertising. It has prompted questions over how a donor would find out how to donate the right amount of money to cover a specific bill and still remain anonymous.
    The expense is described as being for the “last three days election advertising schedule”.

    The Radio Bureau, a specialist advertising agency for radio stations run by The Radio Network and MediaWorks NZ, has not responded to calls.

    • Sounds like once again Mallard is fishing for dirt, he doesn’t appear to have any evidence of wrong doing, he’s putting a smear out hoping someone else will hit his target.

      This approach to politics is a major voter turnoff, but oblivious, Labour lost badly because the media didn’t explain their policies of course, it wasn’t Mallard’s fault.

      • Pascal's bookie 29.1.1

        Not sure I follow your reasoning there Pete.

        Are you talking about when people look at a situation, and wonder if something bad is going on, or just assume that it’s dodgy because they don’t like the person(s) involved?

  30. Treetop 30

    I can recall Key saying that when he was elected as PM that he was not prepared for the amount of reading his job required, (similar wording to this).

    If the PM did not know about Dotcom in his electorate or about Banks advocating with a minister under Key’s watch either Key does not have a reign on ministers portfolios or ministers failed to inform Key of anomalies in new legislation under the National Government. (The investor plus category). I do not think it is common place for a minister to approve a land sale, then for it to be unapproved by another minister. I can only draw the conclusion that Power had his eye on the ball doing his homework in checking out a person’s application.

    Whenever I hear Key say that he has a mandate for asset sales (heard this again in the last day on the news) I know that this is a not the case. Don’t tell me that Key does not look at the poll results regarding asset sales.

    SEMANTICS is the game that Key plays.

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