Banks avoids issue over donation allegations
Sun, 29 Apr 2012 11:08a.m.
Act Party leader John Banks says he has nothing to hide with respect to donations he allegedly received from Kim Dotcom.
He has labelled the allegations as a "media beat up" and insists "everything will come out in the wash".
The Megaupload founder facing copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering charges in the United States says he made two $25,000 donations to Mr Banks' 2010 Auckland mayoralty campaign, Campbell Live reported on Friday.
Dotcom says Mr Banks asked for the $50,000 donation to be split so it could be recorded anonymously.
Labour leader David Shearer wants Prime Minister John Key to stand Banks down from his ministerial portfolios while allegations that he didn't properly disclose the donations are investigated.
Mr Banks told media today that he had "nothing to fear and nothing to hide", and he welcomed an inquiry into the matter.
"I think you think I came up the river on a cabbage boat. I can tell you that when I signed my declaration for the mayoralty I signed it in good faith in the knowledge as justice of the peace as true and correct."
Political candidates are required by law to declare donations if they know who made them. Breaches are punishable by up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
University of Otago Faculty of Law professor Andrew Geddis told The Herald on Sunday candidates were allowed to meet potential donors and advise them how to give anonymous donations.
If the candidate subsequently learns a large anonymous donation was made in the days after the conversation, the candidate can claim not to know who it came from, Mr Geddis said.
Mr Banks is small business and regulatory reform minister and is an associate minister for the portfolios of commerce and education.
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30/04/2012 12:28:03 p.m.
Richard Shaw wrote:
Thanks again Epsom for forcing this bafoon upon us. Im hoping for a bi election; lets see a strong independent candidate. I wonder what Gareth Morgan is up to, could be time to walk the Big Kahuna not just talk it
29/04/2012 11:50:37 p.m.
JohnKey has a conflict of interest with Bank of America and New Zealand's foreign debt! Dividends anyone!Google > John keys Bank of America TrustDon't be a fool.
29/04/2012 6:44:07 p.m.
Stop the speculation and investigate him. If he has to stand down - which Labour wants then at the same time investigations and stand downs should also be held for Labours 1/Charles Chauvel as he is still under investigation by the Police for Electoral Act breaches 2/ Megan Woods as she is under investigation too. 3/ Brendan Horan has also been referred to the Police.
Labour really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to election rule breaches. While there is salivation and hysteria for a by-election in Epsom the Labour party and their fan club should bear in mind that 4/ Daljit Singh is yet to appear in court over his corruption charges from 2010 - nearly two years on. On top of that the Police haven’t even progressed the 20 odd referrals to them from the Electoral Commission some 6 months after the election.
Golly let's not forget 5/ Trevor Mallard’s and 6/ Andrew Little’s defamation case. Hypocrisy is alive and well and it currently infest's the left to is core.
29/04/2012 6:25:44 p.m.
He is a crook and a liar. Kick him out. Jail the blighter asap.
29/04/2012 3:56:39 p.m.
He has to say he is innocent, thats what all criminals say when caught! Did you expect this particular politician, to look you in the eye and tell you the truth? I bet his Lawyer has advised him to make sure he remembers nothing! lol
29/04/2012 2:53:40 p.m.
At the time of this donation Kim was flying high in the court of public opinion so it is likely Banks would have wanted to use that as campaign fodder. Unless he already knew of the FBI probe and didnt want the connection public. That opens up a whole new can of worms.
29/04/2012 2:29:54 p.m.
I think we should await the results of the inquiry into Mr Banks' conduct. All the same, one wonders if Epsom's voters and the ACT Party are having second thoughts about this quixotic incumbent?
29/04/2012 2:22:17 p.m.
Unfortunately labour has not improved under the new leader. It still spends it's time trying to generate something out of nothing and misses the big issues. I though he may bring labour into a modern and realistic party.
29/04/2012 1:56:23 p.m.
Kevin M wrote:
The evidence is clear that this govt is abusive in there application of governance.Bennett/Banks/Key all prooven to be liars.
Can anyone in New Zealand please show the proof where it is possible to live on being payed $5.00 per week for power to Invercargill lifetime invalid where the power companies show proof it is not possible.Bennitt should be sacked,Banks should go & Key should own up to failure.
29/04/2012 1:41:06 p.m.
Banks comment of "I think you think I came up the river on a cabbage boat." is extremely arrogant. exactly as one would expect from a Right politician. I believe Prof Geddis will discover that a politician can advise a donor how to make an anonymous donation... But.. Only if that donor wishes to donate anonymously. My Dotcom has shown no evidence that he wished to donate anonymously. the fact also remains that Banks phoned Mr Dotcom after the donation to thank him. indicating Banks was fully aware who it was that made that donation.
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