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Through the looking glass

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, June 8th, 2014 - 93 comments
Categories: accountability, crime, election funding, john banks, newspapers, spin - Tags:

It’s looking very likely that John Banks will be gone from parliament by Monday.

Meanwhile, several mainstream journalists, head in sand, are going to bat for John Banks, claiming he hasn’t really done anything wrong with respect to the verdict of guilty for filing a false election funding return.  Either it’s the way things necessarily are and everyone does it (Michelle Boag), or the case should never have come to court (Colin Espiner), or a pox on all their houses (Kerre McIvor).

John Banks pants on fire

McIvor seems to think that the alliance between the Internet Party and Mana is as bad as banks manipulations to break electoral funding laws in order to keep it secret that Dotcom was a donor to his campaign.

The cynical expediency of a well-known political and social conservative joining forces with a desperate, struggling political party with a neo-liberal ethos can only be equalled by the cynicism of Mana and the Internet Party jumping into bed.

There are few attractive people in this political drama.

Banks is a polarising figure, admired or loathed. Graham McCready, the convicted tax fraudster and the man who brought the private prosecution against Banks after the police declined to lay charges, is an odd creature.

The charms of Kim Dotcom have never been apparent to me and they didn’t become any more obvious in this case. And the odd little man who threw a bucket of manure over Banks as he walked into court was contemptible as well.

Got that?  These are all unattractive people, so just as bad as law breaker John banks.

Espiner, staggeringly claims the case never should have gone to court:

But I believe Banks is an honest and principled man, who has given most of his working life to public service. And goodness knows that’s an often thankless and underpaid task.

Banks has been found guilty of filing a false electoral return over his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign. It was a trifling matter that should never have gone to trial. And the penalty he has suffered is already far greater than any a court could impose.

And, while Banks under pressure lost it and swore at a journalist, Boag is just in grand denial mode:

Boag said by long-held convention, local body and national political candidates weren’t expected to probe closely the anonymity of donations given to them. However, Wylie’s ruling effectively said that Banks “should have probed it”.

“That should send a bit of a chill up the spine of every political candidate, because the convention has been that you keep political candidates removed from where the money comes from, to avoid the risk of being seen to be exercising undue influence over their decisions.

“That’s been prevalent in the NZ political system for some time. This judgment says that’s not good enough: you have to question those supposedly anonymous donations if you suspect you may have received them from someone and it’s not on the form.”

No, that’s not how it went down, Michelle.  The thing is, it wasn’t just an anonymous donation that Banks failed to question deeply enough.  Banks manipulated the giving of the donation so that he wouldn’t have to make public who the donation was from.  Dotcom did not want or ask for his donation to be anonymous.  He was happy for it to be public knowledge, as for instance explained in this article by David Fisher:

Bodyguard Wayne Tempero was present, as was one of Dotcom’s butlers. His company chief financial officer also attended briefly.

“He mentioned the elections were coming up [and] he was raising money for his campaign,” Dotcom said. “He said it was hard to raise money in New Zealand, the mayoral campaign was coming up and he’s trying to raise funds for that.

“I kind of liked the guy. I said, ‘I’m happy to help.’ I told Wayne to write a cheque for $50,000.

“His [Mr Banks’] eyes got a little bit bigger at that moment.”

Mr Tempero asked the chief financial officer to come into the room to write the cheque.

“John said, ‘Wait a minute’,” Dotcom recalled last night. “‘It would be good if you could split it up into two payments of 25 [thousand dollars], then I don’t declare publicly who made it’.”

But, behind all the bluster, it’s looking very likely that Banks will be resigning from parliement next week.

[Update] Banks to resign:

Act MP John Banks has announced his resignation from Parliament, effective from this Friday.

[…]

Prime Minister John Key said tonight: “Mr Banks’ resignation was the right thing to do under the circumstances.”

“Given the proximity of the resignation to the General Election on September 20, the Government intends to seek Parliament’s support not to hold a by-election in the Epsom seat, and will be taking a motion to the House in the first sitting week back.”

Banks said he would write to Parliament’s Speaker, David Carter, tomorrow advising him of his resignation from Friday.

“This timeframe allows a number of constituency, administrative and staffing matters in Epsom and Wellington to be dealt with over the next few days,” he said.

Cunliffe makes some good points:

Labour leader David Cunliffe said the resignation was “inevitable but should have come a lot sooner”.

“The only reason Mr Banks has remained in Parliament for so long is because John Key and National needed his vote. Mr Key even tried to minimise the importance of the offence by describing Mr Banks as an ‘honest’ man despite the High Court judge finding otherwise.”

Cunliffe said the public had a right to expect high standards of elected officials which have been in decline under National.

 

93 comments on “Through the looking glass”

  1. North 1

    Customary drivel from the rubbish pen of McIvor nee Woodham – the famous gal who first made Grey Lynn fatuous…….no no hang on, sorry, other way round.

    Too many ‘bubbles’ at last night’s dinner party in the near west methinks.

    Troubling though that Justice Wylie should be slighted, judicial independence questioned, with use of the word “conveniently” re the fixing of sentencing date.

    Any basis for that Oh Fabulously Married Tipsy Scribe ? No ? OK. WAY too many ‘bubbles’ then ? And sympathetic melancholy for a mate ? Of coures of course…….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11269728

    • Anne 1.1

      Customary drivel from the rubbish pen of McIvor nee Woodham – the famous gal who first made Grey Lynn fatuous…….no no hang on, sorry, other way round.

      I remember back in the 90s when ACT first entered parliament McIvor nee Woodham going hammer and tongs attacking ACT on her ZB talkback show. At the time I thought… “goodness me, I always thought she was a Nat Party stooge.” There came a time when she suddenly stopped her ACT bashing… presumably because someone had explained the ramifications of MMP to her and that ACT was actually on the ‘right’ side of the fence.

  2. fdx 2

    Most of the public are sick to death of will not be happy until Banks is swinging from a rope,left right left right left right after a while he will be in the centre but by then it will be to late for him.

    • Zeroque 2.1

      What Banks did is a big deal and shouldn’t be trivialised. I think though that if his politics had been less controversial he’d get an easier ride through this one but that doesn’t really matter actually. And I agree fdx, most people who pay attention to this type of thing lost any time they had for him way before he was found guilty. The memory fade preceding all of this was just not credible. Overall NZ will be better off without his further participation.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        i reached that conclusion in 1991 when Banks copped His first conviction in the Wellington District Court…

  3. North 3

    Missed the edit – here’s the actual legal oil for the benefit of McIvor nee Woodham and others.

    Delaying the formal recording of a conviction is ROUTINE when the court adjourns sentencing to a subsequent date, pending which matters such as probation report, mental health/psychological reports, electronic monitoring enquiries, application for discharge without conviction, are attended to.

    Case law definitively establishes that discharge without conviction is a distinct sentencing option, on the table, along with any number of other sentencing options. All of them for consideration. Further, it seems Banks’ lawyer signalled to the court that discharge without conviction WOULD be sought.

    How possibly can it be “astoundingly” convenient that Justice Wylie followed ROUTINE procedure ? Indeed had he not he would have been accused of dismissing Banks’ application for discharge without conviction before it had even been made. ” Not fair not fair ! ”

    Tsk Tsk Tsk McIvor nee Woodham…….there must have been at least a couple of clever wee lawyer types at the table last night. They’d have been only too happy to have told you, surely ?

    To no avail I guess with everyone slurring and no one listening……..you see that at wakes.

    • veutoviper 3.1

      Exactly, North. In fact, my understanding is that Judge Wylie would have possibly been remiss if he had not held the formal conviction over, particularly as Banks’ counsel had signalled that a discharge without conviction would be sought.

      IMHO Judge Wylie has acted impeccably throughout the trial process. It remains to be seen, but I don’t think that there will be a discharge for all the reasons pointed out in MS’ post yesterday – and Wylie’s actual formal written guilty decision. It was not wiffly waffly and very precise in its reasoning and who he found credible and who he did not – and why.

  4. Middle class white people don’t look like criminals to other middle class white people. It is the same deal every time one of these finance company sleaze-balls gets a slap on the wrist.

    • Tracey 4.1

      yup. The same people who thought dr fahey was innocent til he was found guilty cos of all that public service and time on tge council, and what a lovely honest man… Etc etc.

  5. North 5

    Thank God that Judith Collins’ present wallowing in victimhood finds her without the vigour of the bullishly entitled to vilify yet another judicial officer.

  6. KJT 6

    If Banks had not been part of the group that has been de-constructing and asset stripping New Zealand, in favour of their election funders and providers of lucrative positions, after Parliament, for the last 3 decades, I could almost feel sorry for him.

    After all, selling favourable legislation to their rich funders, is something that all National/Act, and a proportion of the Labour caucus, do all the time.

    Banks is just the one who was stupid enough to get caught.

    Past time for transparent public funding of political parties, on the basis of membership numbers, BCIR, and recall petitions.

    Why! why! do we let this bunch of arrogant, power and money seeking, dickheads, pretend to “represent” us, when they believe they have the right to “rule” us..?

    • Liberal Realist 6.1

      +10.

      “After all, selling favourable legislation to their rich funders, is something that all National/Act, and a proportion of the Labour caucus, do all the time.”

      This is exactly the reason New Zealand needs 100 % public only funding for political parties.

  7. vto 7

    Boag shows herself to be removed from reality and so does Espiner.

    I and most all New Zealanders would rather trust in the competency of a High Court judge and his considered and wise ruling than listen to those two fools. Absolute fools. The law is the law – and in this case for good reason. The law has punishments consequent on conviction.

    That Boag thinks she knows better than all of that kind of spells out everything you need to know about her and her wisdom. She has none. She sounds like a boy-racer complaining about driving laws ffs.

    And that Banks has not yet resigned shows he has no honour, no principles, no honesty and no idea what is the right way to conduct himself in public service.

    We are surrounded by fools. Dangerous ignorant fools.

    • Tracey 7.1

      +1

      These people are so convinced they can buy anything including silence and complicity they are astounded when it doesnt pay off

    • Pasupial 7.2

      “She sounds like a boy-racer complaining about driving laws”

      Maybe that’s why Hoons have been increasingly called; “Boagans”, this century? 2001 was the year when she began the term as Nat Pres.

    • North 7.3

      Espiner is correct in a sense. It should never have gone to trial. Which is not to say it should never have been prosecuted.

      It never would have gone to trial had Banks been honest, more particularly with himself, and pleaded guilty.

      It went to trial because his arrogance and his self-perceived exceptionalism licenced him to demand that he should not be called to account. And because he had the money to bullishly maintain that demand, knowing all the while that he did what he and why he did it.

      Unlike all those all-day dope smoking, TV watching, bennie bludging, brown burglar boys out in South Auckland. Abused and publicly called to account…….WITHOUT any basis one-by-every-one for such calling to account.

      Other of course than Banks’ arrogance, his self-perceived exceptionalism, his self granted licence to do so, and his racism.

  8. tricledrown 8

    No knighthood for banksie.
    Back to talk back radio I suppose.

    • yes tricledown back to his racist, misogonist insulting talk-back.
      I for one will never forget or forgive the way he and Tory MP John Carter slighted the unemployed/Maori oh his South Pacific Radio. Which caused much grief.Or the way he attacked the unemployed and single mothers.
      As for botox Boug defending him well it just proves just how biased she is.
      As for the knighthood Im sure if key was able to get away with it he would make Banks Sir John .

  9. Rodel 9

    Is KDC complicit in the Bank’s saga?

    Dictionary definition:
    “accessory before (or after ) the fact Law, dated a person who incites or assists someone to commit a crime (or knowingly aids someone who has committed a crime).”

    • North 9.1

      Hey, Rodel…….don’t be surprised if that’s the next tack from the entitled class…….who are currently feeling terribly disentitled –

      “Kim Dotcom made him do it……..weep weep weep !”

      Happens all the time……..bullies turn into such whining ‘poor me’ creeps and pussies when they get busted ! No ? Collins ?

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Espiner’s opinion is blown out of the water by Justice Wylie’s judgement, which is an odd sequence of events.

    • Tracey 10.1

      Its like they havent even read it or think he is wrong. The press gallery and the pollies are cut from similar cloth. They live in the same strange world they thing it is real, and ser the bar for honesty so law to rationalise their dishonesty.

  11. dimebag russell 11

    banks is a criminal.
    no amount of post modern blather will disguise the fact that he broke the law and that he must be penalised.

  12. redfred 12

    One person should equal one vote…. not the elite paying for the favours of a Minister of the Crown.

    Makes me wonder what favours are done for those that pay to attend John Keys Cabinet club.

    I made this point and asked this question on Colin Espiners STUFF article in defense of Banks… didn’t get through moderation!

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Makes me wonder what favours are done for those that pay to attend John Keys Cabinet club.

      They will be listened to and then their preferred laws enacted. In contrast the people who can’t pay to attend expensive dinners for personal contact with ministers won’t be listened to and their preferred laws will be ignored.

      It’s how the modern oligarchy/plutocracy feudalism works.

  13. Charlieboy 13

    Thank heavens they got Banks for this, at least they got him.The best comparison I can think of,even if a little over dramatic, is remember they only managed to put Capone away on tax evasion charges.
    We only see the tip of the iceberg of the things that happen behind closed doors in politics, so when such an obvious case of corruption is exposed,it must be dealt to.Shame on any one who thinks otherwise.

  14. Blue 14

    The MSM never cease to disgust me. The articles that have been written in the aftermath of the guilty verdict are absolutely shameful. They all ooze sympathy for Banks. Total contrast to what these slimeballs wrote about David Cunliffe earlier in the year.

    That’s just the way of it with the MSM. If they like you they’ll excuse anything and smooth it over for you, and if they don’t like you they’ll bury you. John Banks obviously has a lot of very good friends in the media.

    • Anne 14.1

      If they like you they’ll excuse anything and smooth it over for you, and if they don’t like you they’ll bury you. John Banks obviously has a lot of very good friends in the media.

      The interesting thing is why do they like who they like, and why do they not like who they don’t like…

      Favours rendered for favours given and endless bottles of wine…? And to hell with the other lot who babble on about principles all the time. What the hell are principles anyway?

      • North 14.1.1

        Because many, many, many of them are crashing wee snobs……..just aching to climb that ladder. Ingratiating is a tool as essential in that quest as is a hammer to a builder. Also a factor – dumb, not very bright. So as to buy that there is a natural ruling class, by prerogative on the Right. Look at McIvor nee Woodham.

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          Tell me about it. Met quite a few of them. Have a family branch who lost the plot after a modicum of success – made possible by a lottery win many years ago. Cut ties with the family because we were no longer good enough for them. The best of it is: they all come from “peasant” stock like the rest of us including wee McIvor nee Woodham. And there’s a few others who fall into the same catagory but we won’t go there today. 🙂

  15. Tracey 15

    Boag is beyong disingenuous. This is not about not reading your return and then signing it. Its about knowing exactly who a donor is and deliberately lying about them being anonymous. The same people who rail against beneficiaries…who preach consequences for actions and personal responsibility.

    That so many in politics dont get that is sad.

    Not a single journalist has recalled banks taking fees as ed of hujlicjh for, accotding to him, doing nothing. That is not honesty.

    • Sacha 15.1

      Do we know who recommended Banks’ campaign seek matching $25k donations to make hiding their sources easier? Boag, perhaps?

      • Tracey 15.1.1

        boag has probably been telling national mps and c and r candidates to do it for years, hence she see nothing wrong.

      • Anne 15.1.2

        It was a ploy started by ACT in the mid 1990s. They used to arrange for donations to be divvied up into $10,000 lots to avoid having to declare them. I don’t think you had to declare donations under $10,000 in those days. – something like that. National quickly caught on and hey presto… Hagar wrote his book “The Hollow Men” a few years later courtesy of a group of concerned old school Nats who still had principles.

        • yeshe 15.1.2.1

          Not sure why his name is always mis-spelled here on TS .. sorry to correct on your post, Anne … but it is HAGER, not Hagar. Nicky Hager. 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      That so many in politics dont get that is sad.

      Don’t underestimate Boag; she knows exactly what the law requires, and she knows exactly what she is saying and why she is saying it.

  16. Harry Holland 16

    Best not to count our chickens just yet. Jamie Whyte mentioned that while he was expecting a decision from Banks on Monday, that Banks is a fighter and we should all expect him to keep fighting. That could be his way of saying that he expects Banks to decline the invitation to resign.

    • Tracey 16.1

      but such an honest man so full of integrity as banks will dothe right thing, not the legal thing.

  17. Delia 17

    I am surprised Kerre, has a political column at all. She is always out of her depth.

  18. Tom Gould 18

    What was it that Michelle Boag was found guilty of? Something about dishonesty wasn’t it? Birds of a feather?

  19. Anne 19

    Labour’s on to it at last.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10133288/Labour-calls-for-inquiry-over-Banks

    Excerpt:

    Little compared the handling of the investigation to the complaint laid by Prime Minister John Key against cameraman Bradley Ambrose over the teapot tapes in 2011 which recorded a private conversation between Banks and Key in an Auckland cafe.

    Key claimed the conversation was deliberately recorded by Ambrose who maintained he had left his recording device there by accident.

    “That complaint was investigated with urgency by the police, search warrants were executed against various media outlets and considerable pressure was put on Mr Ambrose. He later apologised to the Prime Minister and John Banks before being given a warning by the police,”

    And it was clear form the start that Ambrose had left his recording on the table unintentionally because of the police actions in pushing the press willy nilly out of the cafe door. He asked to be able to return to retrieve it, and was refused permission by the police.

    Police botch-up all round.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      ??? well yes this does need to be done but why is Labour looking backwards at this very moment, 100 days out from a General Election? What the hell! EVERY single statement out of Labour for the next 15 weeks needs to be a positively framed one about what they will do for NZ and for ordinary NZers while in Government.

      Holding a retrospective inquiry, challenging the police or attacking John Banks at this particular time makes you look like an opposition party making typical opposition party noises, exactly at the time when you need to be sounding and looking like a GOVERNMENT-in-waiting.

      wtf

  20. Gruntie 20

    McIvor is an intellectual minnow who can’t distinguish between bullshit and Santa

  21. Nick K 21

    Victimless “crime” anyway. No one was harmed. No one lost money. Banks lost the mayoral race so wasn’t in a position of power in relation to the donation. Oh, I expect the “but what about democracy”, or some BS like that to explain that the victim is “society” or “the electoral process”. If that’s true, go and ask “the electoral process” how much he or she has suffered and please report back when you spot him or her.

    • Yeah, who cares about integrity and democracy any way? 🙄

    • felix 21.2

      That’s weird, I could have sworn Banks was trying win that election and become Mayor of the biggest city in NZ.

    • emergency mike 21.3

      Fark Nick are you saying dat the electoral process isn’t really a real person? Mind-blowing.

    • Colonial Viper 21.4

      Hi Nick K, with your clear disdain of law and order are you sure that you are cut out to be a Right Winger?

    • Tracey 21.5

      Like owen glenns donation to winston over which nats and act were positively rabid, is that what you mean?

      Could you and john banks link all the crimes which arent real crimes so we can all be clear?

    • framu 21.6

      thats fucking pathetic nick

    • minarch 21.7

      shall i tell the cops that next time i get arrested for smoking a spliff…

      In fact how about i tell the judge i believe in restorative justice and am happy to apologize to my victims publicly in court ?

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    And he resigns effective on Friday.

  23. Naki man 23

    John Banks last day is Friday 13th June

  24. karol 24

    I wrote this post fairly quickly this morning before I went to work. Something has been bugging me throughout the day. This case has been going on so long, I need a recap. Why DID Banks want Dotcom’s donation to be anonymous? What’s the advantage? Dotcom would have been happy for people to know he had donated to Banks’ campaign.

    • vto 24.1

      Same reason politicians want pretty much all donations anonymous?

      I think all donations should be put into a pot and then divvied up between the parties under some formula. That way people can donate to the political process and have absolutely no influence or choice in what their MONEY is used for……
      …. surely? ……. otherwise does it not imply that the donor does want to influence the political system with their MONEY?

      and that is bad bad bad
      we will end up like the biggest oligarchy in the world, the U S fucking A and what sort of horrid system is that, going around killing people all over the place?

    • felix 24.2

      karol, how many $25,000 donations did Banks list as anonymous?

      • Colonial Viper 24.2.1

        that’s a pointed wee question

      • karol 24.2.2

        Yes. A lot. So what was he trying to hide?

        • felix 24.2.2.1

          The point is that his scheme was not just to hide the origins of Dotcom’s money, it was to hide the origins of all of it.

          Dotcom may not have cared for his anonymity, but his money could still be used to help obscure the source of all the other donations.

          It works best if they’re all for the same amount.

        • Tracey 24.2.2.2

          had an interesting discussion with someone in the immigration industry.

          Said dotcom was used by the nats as the poster boy for their new $10m investor category. Says when all he asked for was a matress while in mt eden prison, pending charges, he felt betrayed and used by the nats and banks.

          He also said that clients who fail, for various reasons, to obtain pr, and who have a nat mp as their electorate mp have got disproportionate over riding of immigration decisions. This person is not a leftie by any stretch:-)

          He was particularly disparaging of mr williamson and commented that it is well known that mr liu has contacts in the highest realms of chinese govt, which explains the special attention.

          All hearsay but interesting nonetheless

      • Tracey 24.2.3

        i understand there were 10 over 25,000

    • Tracey 24.3

      my best guess is he, like many politicians, assume those wishing to buy favour want anonymity…

      • felix 24.3.1

        …and that the people of Auckland don’t deserve to know who owns their Mayor.

        • karol 24.3.1.1

          OK. Found a relevant quote:

          Mr Dotcom also said he offered Mr Banks $50,000 to go toward his bid to be re-elected Auckland Mayor.

          “He said he wanted to keep it anonymous because down the road, he said, ‘if I help you Kim, it is better if nobody knows about your donations’,” said Mr Dotcom.

          The Mega founder says Banks then asked him to split the donation into two sums of $25,000. Mr Dotcom says this “irritated” him.

    • ianmac 24.4

      At that time donations over $25,000 had to be declared and donor named. So splitting $50,000 into two meant that the donor could remain anonymous. This suited Mr Bank’s agenda as he did not want to be associated with Dotcom, he said because it might look suspicious if Banks helped Dotcom with Residency and so on. (He might have received a nod from Key to steer clear of Dotcom because they had plans for him! 🙂 )
      Ps. Should have refreshed this page. Oops.

    • infused 24.5

      Ask Cunliffe or Len Brown.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 24.5.1

        Hey, author of malicious poison, what evidence do you have that either of them knew who their campaign donors were?

  25. vto 25

    John Banks eh – to everyone but himself his poor conduct has always stuck out like this …

    http://doginabarrel.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dogs1.jpg

    A fitting end to see him gone like this. I recall the bile he has spouted over the years both as a politician and as a talk-back radio dickhead.

    Good riddance.

    • Weepu's beard 25.1

      Yep, good riddance. That’s another “us and them” hate merchant gone. Pity there are so many left.

    • Tracey 25.2

      In 1991 he was fined 750 for using a cellphone during a commercial flight

      In 2001

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/marine/news/article.cfm?c_id=61&objectid=224416

      ” By BRIAN RUDMAN

      A few hours after declaring war on hooning boy racers, Auckland Mayor John Banks was pulled over for speeding on his new jetski in Hobson Bay.

      Mr Banks and his three child passengers – his two sons and a friend – were not wearing lifejackets, in breach of another bylaw.

      And the jetski was not registered, as required, with the Auckland Regional Council.

      Asked if this was the example the Mayor should be setting, Harbourmaster James McPetrie said: “I couldn’t possibly comment.”

      Mr Banks says he was ignorant of the rules when he took his jetski out for its maiden voyage early on Monday afternoon.

      “There was no hooning, louting or anything like that. We weren’t winding it up.

      “I’m a boy racer at heart, but I was behaving myself.”

      He rejected any comparison with the hoonish antics of drivers on Quay St on Saturday night, saying “there was nothing at all dangerous about it in any shape or form”.

      “The difference is there wasn’t a solitary soul around to run over, run across or run in front of, or anything like that.”

      But the Harbourmaster’s duty skipper, Karl Koller, who pulled Mr Banks over, questioned this.

      “He was near other vessels and also in close proximity to land.

      “As you can imagine, something going as fast as [jetskis] do, there’s not a lot of time for error. If something goes wrong you need to be a little bit further away from land to stop yourself ending up on the land.”

      Mr Koller, who spotted the rule-breaking while on a patrol, said Mr Banks was travelling “well above” the five knots permitted within 200m of shore or 50m of another vessel.

      The jetski was planing, which indicated it was doing at least 10 or 12 knots.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3250543

      March 2003

      By ANNE BESTON

      Auckland Mayor John Banks’ allegations of greed and dishonesty against former business partners have not been accepted in a civil case in the High Court.

      In a written ruling released yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Venning said he did not accept Mr Banks’ “assertions of dishonesty” against Topline directors Jeff and Ben Cook.

      “In short, his [Mr Banks’] evidence has not been of assistance to the court in determining the issues before it.”

      Justice Venning said the mayor had changed his mind about the father-and-son team “in a very short time”.

      The High Court case was brought by the bee pollen company Cellular Improvements, which alleged that Topline falsely marketed pollen as being treated by a special process said to enhance its health-giving qualities.

      Topline filed a counter-claim, saying Cellular tried to pass off its products as Topline’s and had breached the Fair Trading Act.

      Mr Banks became a director and major shareholder of Topline, run by the Cooks, in 2001.

      At first the relationship between the parties was more than amicable; a sworn affidavit by Mr Banks, signed last April, said he regarded the Cooks as “good people to deal with”.

      But the relationship soured when Mr Banks was elected mayor and 27-year-old Ben Cook accepted a report suggesting Mr Banks’ pay should be cut to $25,000.

      The suggestion was made because Mr Banks acknowledged that he would not have as much time to devote to the company.

      Mr Cook gave evidence that Mr Banks went “ballistic” at the pay cut suggestion.

      He told the court last December: “The prospect that he [Mr Banks] would lose his executive salary and his car allowance enraged him.

      “A lot of personal abuse ensued and the relationship between Mr Banks and Topline’s other directors frankly fell apart.”

      Outlining Mr Banks’ evidence, and his change of heart regarding the Cooks, Justice Venning said the mayor’s sworn affidavit did not match up with his subsequent testimony in court.

      He could accept that Mr Banks felt let down by the Cooks but did not accept the allegations of dishonesty against them.

      “The statements about the fraudulently altered documents, the falsified reports, the secret bank accounts” were shown to be wrong, Justice Venning said.

      Topline directors had made a “hard-headed” commercial decision to reduce Mr Banks’ remuneration but that did not mean they were dishonest.

      Ben Cook had earlier told the court he found it extraordinary that someone he regarded as a close friend and business associate should act in the way Mr Banks acted when he gave his evidence.

      Justice Venning ruled that Topline could continue to market and distribute its pollen under the Nature Bee Potentiated Bee Pollen label provided the special process “potentiated” was used.

      Cellular could market itself in the same way provided it did not attempt to pass off its product as Nature Bee’s.

      2010
      .
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/blogs/frontline/3358097/Waiting-for-the-first-Kiwisaver-blow-up

      Underlining the shonkiness of depending on the private sector for retirement savings are the feeble words of Auckland Mayor John Banks, who is listed as an executive director of Huljich on the scheme’s website and in its promotional brochure. Banks is trying to distance himself from the disaster, saying the reference to him as executive director was “unfortunate” because he “did not know what Peter Huljich was doing”. That would rate 9.5 out of 10 on a scale of abdicating personal responsibility.

      Banks said he was disappointed in what had happened but laughed it off, saying “I had no idea there were so many hurdles to jump through to give someone money.”

      Along with Banks and Huljich the firm is backed by the spectre of former National Party leader Don Brash Koller said an apologetic Mr Banks was let off with a warning.

      [lprent: Please link to the article and don’t ignore fair use on copyright material. Putting in the whole of an article apart from the last line is rather too much. ]

    • Roy 25.3

      Might be too much to hope that he is finished as a talkback host 🙁

  26. Marius 26

    the rat bastard is trying to soften up the judge

  27. Harry Holland 27

    Len Brown will be smiling to himself.
    Personal foibles, acceptable.
    Election fraud, unacceptable.
    As it should be.

    • Tom Gould 27.1

      You would think so, but the Tories on Radio Live are running that Banks was just a ‘clerical error’ made by an ‘honest man’ whereas Brown deliberately lied and covered up? Weird, eh?

  28. Skinny 28

    Of course this was going to happen as I predicted friday & yesterday, gone over the weekend. Next prediction is Key calls the need for a by-election. Only to proper up ACT to rebuild. That is our in to go hard out on the attack. Looking forward to door knocking for Goldsmith insisting National don’t need ACT and their new banjo playing Leader. Polling 53% let’s go it alone!

    • felix 28.1

      Don’t need your party vote, but 😉

    • karol 28.2

      Key has said he doesn’t want a by eletion.

      Hellen Kelly reckons Banks has saved the tea break – Nats won’t have the numbers to pass that little gem now.

      • Colonial Viper 28.2.1

        Even in disgrace, Banks fights for working class rights! 😈

      • Skinny 28.2.2

        Of course he wants a by-election, since when has Key been known for his word, he is no better than Bent Bankie. Key wants a ACT winning by election inorder for them to rebuild and get 3% upwards.

      • Skinny 28.2.3

        Yes well I don’t rate Kelly who is anti Mana & the Internet party. She lives in a first past the post world of old school Labour. The CTU is full of bloody school teachers who are mostly piss weak.

  29. fisiani 29

    Great news for John Key. The MP who broke the rules in his independent bid or the Auckland mayoralty will resign. The Maori Party and Peter Dunne will still give confidence and supply so the government will carry on till the end of term on 31st July. Labour will not oppose a motion to not have a by-election due to cost and public ridicule. ACT will have no Banks baggage.
    John Key will be able to say ” Thank you New Zealand for giving National a record 47.3% in 2011. As you can see that all time high vote won us the election by the narrowest of margins. I ask that if you want a National led government then you should vote for it. If you want a National led government then every vote counts. Your vote counts. Give National your Party Vote.”
    In addition the Banks resignation will confirm that the voters in Epsom, Ohariu and East Coast Bays should realise how to best secure a National led government.
    Add in Whale Oil’s H-bomb due to be exploded on 15th September and National could get over 50%.

    • Weepu's beard 29.1

      Slater is ineffectual and this so called carpet bombing campaign will be ineffectual too. Even Graham McCready got rid of a mayor, something which Slater poured massive effort and resource into but his target, Len Brown, is still there. That will really sting.

    • Skinny 29.2

      Well fisiani certainly looking forward to suiting up in National blue, complete with a Nat rosette, door knocking the streets of Epsom.

      Will be cruising the streets first in a campervan with vote ACT plastered all over it. Some loud speakers playing the banjo theme song from the film The Deliverance should help our door knocking campaign 🙂

    • Murray Olsen 29.3

      Blubber Boy’s exploding whale:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2CfYOJ5oxk&feature=kp

  30. Marius 30

    who gives a fuck. that slimy prick banks is gone.

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