The smell of corruption

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 pm, May 16th, 2012 - 32 comments
Categories: blogs, john banks, john key, law and "order", scoundrels - Tags:

The Jackal raised the question of corruption in relation to John Banks in a comment on Eddie’s “met or meet” post, and has written more about it on his blog. It was based on Dave Fisher’s  revelations in today’s Herald. DotCom’s bodyguard reported that in July 2011 Banks had asked DotCom for funds for ACT, had expressed disappointment that his representations regarding the mansion purchase had not been successful, and that he would expect to be much more successful “once we were in government”.

Later in November, after Banks had been elected an MP, and in the course of seeking a recommendation for a hotel room in Hong Kong, Tempero reported of Banks:

“He [said he] would like to sit down with you in the new year to talk about how he can be a service to [you] and the family now [he] is back as an MP.”

Banks has admitted that he made representations to Maurice Williamson regarding DotCom’s mansion purchase and asked for funds for ACT before he was an MP. The latter is not surprising as he had already discussed getting a donation  for his mayoralty campaign with DotCom. Banks told Fisher that DotCom had told him he could get f***ked re the donation – that probably happened in January, after Banks had cut DotCom dead when he was in Mt Eden prison in the Epsom electorate.

Section 103 of the Crimes Act states:

103 Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament

(1) Every member of Parliament is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him in his capacity as a member of Parliament.

Banks has now admitted that he received a $1000 gift from DotCom in his hotel room at the same time he got a significant discount through DotCom’s good services for which he thanked him. Banks has now also admitted that he did not reveal this gift in the Parliamentary Pecuniary register as required by 29 February.

So it appears on the evidence of DotCom’s lieutenant that it may be that when he was a Member of Parliament Banks was offering to accept financial consideration in respect of any act to be done by him in his capacity as a member of Parliament.

This certainly ups the stakes for Banks and for Key. Like the Murdochs in Britain, they have resorted to “wilful blindness” regarding Banks’ description of DotCom’s donation of $50,000 to his mayoral campaign as “anonymous”. Key has refused to ask Banks any direct questions, continued to accept Banks’s assurance that he acted legally as question piles on question, and said Ministerial ethics wasn’t an issue as Banks was not a Member of Parliament at the time of the mayoral donation.

But he was a Member of Parliament when he made the offer of service to DotCom in the context of seeking financial assistance from him. This makes Philip Field look like a Good Samaritan. Banks has to go.

 

32 comments on “The smell of corruption”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The evidence is certainly stacking up against Banks. Now all we need is for the police to actually press charges.

    • Majella 1.1

      Why does the “referred to Police” tactic mean that nothing happens for such a LONG time, and (often) ends with….nothing happening?

  2. irascible 2

    Ahhhhh Ethics and principles the articles you leave behind on becoming a member of the KeY Cabinet.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Have a look over Banks record and you would swear that he was a pillar of society, a man of stout faith and stern ethic,supporter of churches, a family man (who at marriage reminded his wife that “work came first” – was this a kind of “bigamy”? “Workaholism” flaunted as virtue?)
    Nevertheless, having said this, I will give Banks credit on a couple of counts, first, that he is recorded as having admitted, “I am not a clever person”, second, his poignant confession “Now that I’m getting older, I realise how little I know”.
    Banks has been associated with “gutter politics” which is oddly blended with “virtue of a kind”.Thus he is human, but nonetheless accountable.

    • tc 3.1

      Be interesting to see how folks view of him being a family man altered if certain video surveillance footage nz finest are alleged to have of him found its way into the public domain.

      • CnrJoe 3.1.1

        oh do tell – Puleece have video of Banksy dallying? With Kims wife? A threesome with his own wife as well ?…’ work comes first love, and Kims slipped his disc again…’
        loving it – WGE worst govt ever 

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Can anyone help? I seem to recall he said he paid the going rate for the hotel room with no help from Kim, then when more came out, that he negotiated his own discount again with no help from Kim, then when more came out, that he booked a cheap room and got an upgrade to the best room, this time with help from Kim? And with a $1000 luxury gift basket thrown in, from Kim? But he forgot. But has now remembered? Or have I got a touch of amnesia too?

    • Fortran 4.1

      Tom Gould

      Having looked at the picture of the “basket” anybody who paid $1,000 was robbed squarely.
      It is said that Banks gave it all away to the hotel staff – he does not drink either.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Phil Heatly, correct me if I am wrong, was sent to the naughty corner for just a couple of bottles of vin ordinaire. Banksie’s basket seems slightly higher status.
    He and his teapot pal sure have surfed the waves so far that the big man has generated, but is there a tsunami still to come?

  6. vto 6

    It is indeed Taito Phillip Field all over again.

    Off to the courts ………

    • burt 6.1

      Off to the courts…. not so fast….

      I’m pretty sure Banks was only guilty of trying to help his constituents. Look I don’t think this needs to go to court… perhaps a 9 month inquiry (Key can set the terms) and a whole lot of bluster and bullshit about how the inquiry exonerates him – nek minnit…..

      Just think…. all the loyal Labour apologists who defended Labour over Field – they must be feeling like total muppets now eh.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Yes that was a smelly way of dealing with Field for sure, however the Nats now have the opportunity to put their fine and upstanding principles, which they yelled from the rooftops, into action.

        So come on Key… show us your principles …. (feel free to consult a dictionary if you are unsure what that means)

      • Kevin Welsh 6.1.2

        Still waiting for that higher-standard of politics and accountability that Key wanked on about before he was elected.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        What defence of Labour over Field?

      • Georgecom 6.1.4

        You aren’t squirming now Burt every time you recalls Keys lines about ‘higher standards’ when prime Minister.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Cabinet Manual on Gifts

    Ministers who accept gifts worth more than the prescribed value must not only disclose them to the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament, but also must relinquish them, unless they obtain the express permission of the Prime Minister to retain them. Any gift accepted by Ministers may be relinquished to the Parliamentary Service to arrange appropriate display or storage. Gifts that Ministers receive from close family members need not be relinquished.

    Clearly the gifts MUST be disclosed and MUST be relinquished unless express permission of the PM is given. This part is generally for gifts from foreign dignatories or governments .

    Regarding private individuals or organisations

    To avoid creating or appearing to create an obligation, gifts in cash or kind are not to be solicited or accepted from a commercial enterprise or any other organisation, either in New Zealand or overseas

    NOT to be accepted ! ( unless its some minor token). If they wish to keep it they must PAY FULL VALUE and DECLARE it on the register.

    What a fine mess Banks has lumped Key into again !

    • deuto 7.1

      Thanks for the Cabinet Manual rules.

      I have just rechecked Fisher’s Herald article yesterday re the Hkg issue and note that it directly quotes Bank re the gift:

      “I did not accept the gift and gave it away to hotel staff. Out of courtesy, I wrote a note to thank him.”

      OTOH I thought that I read somewhere else that he said he “gave” it to the hotel staff.

      I am not trying to defend Banks in any way, but it could possibly be yet another instance in this whole issue of fuzzy semantics if he claims that he did not “accept” the gift. However. if he is now filing a late return for the Pecuniary Register, does this constitute him “accepting” the gift?

  8. Guest 8

    Be interesting to know what Banks has on Key

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Should be easy to call the hotel staff like last time. Im sure they would remember any ‘gift basket’ if it was regifted

    • tc 8.2

      The same stuff most senior nat’s have on key, JK doesn’t get up to all his dealings alone as it’s a carefully planned and executed hollowmen strategy they’re all bound to.

      One goes means plenty of others could follow as the rot isn’t confined to just one or 2 of them.

    • hellonearthis 8.3

      Banks holds the balance of power, Key needs him or National will fail to get anything done.

      But getting rid of Banks and having a bi-election would be great excuse for spending a year under urgency, National would love that.

  9. Raa 9

    I love the graphic image of Banks clambering out of his grave again, undead.

    Someone should run off a few hundred copies and post them in various public spaces, especially in his electorate. Reportedly, it’s the only way to keep a vampire down ..

  10. hellonearthis 10

    “$1000 gift from DotCom” re-gifted to? his wife??? What ever, he accepted the gift then passed it on. He should have declared it.

  11. Nick 11

    Everyone is getting carried away with the demise of John Banks, it’ll take longer than usual, if it happens at all, because he’s not subject to the same rules (or at least not the same enforcement) as everyone else.

    I assume that’s because Key thinks Banks is better than everyone else or something. I don’t see it, but Key has a ‘mandate’ from the voters to do whatever he likes without regard for public opinion and he’s making the most of it.

  12. Bob 12

    Is Dotcom in any danger of having broken the law to? Apart from Banks being a dodgy git shouldn’t Dotcom get done for attempted or actual bribery? Starting to think he was expecting a lot for his donations, where is the threshold set?

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      dotcom hasn’t broken any laws… the donations were asked for, and inducements offered by banks to get them…. the main reason anyone donates to a political party is because they are promoting policies that suit the doner…. same basis as dotcom’s donation…. he has been open about the whole process, so is obviously under no threat of prosecution…

      it is the two johnnies that have some explaining to do….. but being the snivelling coward that he is, johnny sparkles won’t do the right thing, and being the twisted, corrupt piece of dry excrement that he is, little johnny binky doesn’t have it in him to tell the truth until hot irons are applied to the soles of his feet…

      • Bob 12.1.1

        But didn’t Dotcom accept the inducements? The basket at the hotel came from Dotcom, doubt Banks asked for a basket, looks reciprocal. When Dotcom was in jail didn’t he ask and expect Banks help? Repayment? If he expected something in return does it make him complicit?

  13. Penny Bright 13

    RE: A formal complaint against John Banks alleging ‘bribery and corruption’.

    Myself and Lisa Prager have already made a formal complaint to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) purportedly NZ’s ‘lead agency’ to whom complaints in relation to allegations of ‘bribery and corruption’ should be made.

    You can see a copy of the letter on http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    Seems that these latest allegations should be added to this complaint…..

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.

  14. Tom Gould 14

    So now we have two new Key rules. First, you can do anything unethical as a Minister and remain a Minister until found guilty of a crime in court. Second, you can take a gift and keep it or give it away and not declare it, until you are found out, then you can retrospectively declare it, and remain a Minister. Inevitable, really, that Key would bring the ethics and practices of Merrill Lynch to Cabinet.

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