Banks re-emerges after Dotcom visit
Thu, 20 Sep 2012 3:04p.m.
A day after his former friend Kim Dotcom made a surprise visit to parliament, ACT leader John Banks has re-emerged - joking to media that he was absent a day earlier because he was "raising funds".
Dotcom visited parliament on Wednesday and sat in the public gallery during question time.
Mr Banks had been expected to attend question time but was absent after news of Dotcom's visit broke, with a spokeswoman saying he had "other commitments".
The pair were close when Dotcom made a $50,000 donation to Mr Banks' Auckland mayoral campaign in 2010 - which Mr Banks declared as anonymous in his campaign returns.
But things soured earlier this year when Mr Banks said he could not recall the donation and that he hardly knew Dotcom.
On his way to the debating chamber on Thursday, Mr Banks attempted to use humour to answer questions about Dotcom's visit.
"He didn't ring and tell me he was coming," he told media.
"I was out doing what I do best, and that's raising funds. Just joking."
Asked if he would have expected a phone call because of their past friendship, Mr Banks said, "Everything that needs to be said has been said."
On Wednesday, Dotcom told media it was "time to move on".
"John Banks has been through enough and I think it's enough, it should go to rest," he said.
"It's a very fragile majority, the balance of power is threatened by the John Banks affair so I think the prime minister has had to make a choice: am I going to uphold high ethical standards or do I want to remain in power?"
Dotcom says he decided to tell the media about his donations after Mr Banks refused to help him when he was in Mt Eden Prison earlier this year.
Dotcom was in Wellington for a Court of Appeal hearing on Thursday, at which the United States government was appealing a court order that they must disclose evidence of their internet piracy case against Dotcom to his legal team ahead of an extradition hearing next year.
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23/09/2012 1:39:20 p.m.
John. Why anonymous? Why didn't you want to advertise the sponsor towards your mayoralty bid? Had it been Siemens, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, you would have gladly had those names behind your campaign. You must have heard a whisper. Talk about taking money on false pretense. Well said Joe
20/09/2012 10:34:36 p.m.
@S: Dotcom may have convictions, but he's a jolly sight more upfront and straight than either Banks or Key. Banks has played fast and loose with Dotcom's support, and Key made out that he didn't even know who Dotcom was, although he lives in Key's own electorate and is a multimillionaire! Dotcom is showing up Banks and Key for the two-bit charlatans that they really are, and good on him.
20/09/2012 10:30:02 p.m.
Dotcom offered a bounty of $10 million for the capture of Osama Bin Laden, what a good dude.
20/09/2012 5:30:01 p.m.
Dot Com has criminal convictions, what is he doing in NZ let alone parliament!
20/09/2012 5:00:58 p.m.
How can john key not step this idiot down ? john key is just as bad , us over here in Australia all laugh when you guys keep voting in national scum .Lets be honest the nats have and will only ever care about the rich and thats a fact.
20/09/2012 3:43:41 p.m.
John Banks should have stayed away PERMANENTLY.
20/09/2012 3:40:30 p.m.
Nasty dirty little man... His stench is starting to spread throughout the National Party.. and its not like they didnt smell bad to start with.
Currently their party is less right leaning and more Fascist leading as it targets minority groups and sows racial dissention... which is what fascists do best I guess.
Shame people havent smelt the change in the National Party and realised that they are following a very Fascist path.
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