Donations scandal is Dotcom's revenge - former MP
Mon, 30 Apr 2012 6:09a.m.
By 3 News online staff / NZN
Labour wants ACT MP John Banks to stand down while an investigation is carried out into secret donations made to his Auckland mayoral campaign.
The hardline former Police Minister could face up to two years behind bars if he's found to have acted outside electoral laws in his handling of donations from internet tycoon Kim Dotcom and casino operator Sky City.
Mr Banks listed the alleged donations from Mr Dotcom, totalling at least $50,000, as anonymous. The donations were to assist with his ill-fated 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign.
Labour leader David Shearer says Mr Banks should stand aside, pending an investigation.
"He either received the donations anonymously, therefore he didn't know who had sent them, or he did know and wrote them down as anonymous, which of course is wrong," says Mr Shearer.
"It's a very simple question which he needs to answer."
Prime Minister John Key is siding with Mr Banks, for the time being.
Speaking on TVNZ's Breakfast programme this morning, Mr Key called the scandal a "sideshow".
"I think that's a political sideshow, frankly ... At the end of the day, he either complied with the law or he didn't - he said he did, I have absolutely no reason to doubt him," Mr Key said.
He had been given assurances by Mr Banks that he complied with local government regulations and laws, and accepted his word - but had not directly asked about the Dotcom donation, saying "that's not my responsibility".
"If somebody thinks that John Banks isn't telling the truth, there's a very simple remedy: they go to the police.
"That's not my job to do a forensic investigation, my job is to assure myself I can retain confidence in a minister. If he tells me he followed the local government laws, then I accept him at his word."
Mr Banks claims he doesn't remember conversations about the donations. Mr Dotcom however says Mr Banks actually rang him to thank him for the donations - two payments of $25,000. One was made in the name of his company, Megastuff, and another in the name of his bodyguard, Wayne Tempero.
Former ACT MP David Garrett yesterday claimed Mr Dotcom went public after Mr Banks refused to help him when he was being held in Mt Eden Prison, following the raid on his property in January at the behest of US law enforcement authorities.
Mr Garrett, who resigned from Parliament in disgrace in 2010 after it emerged he once acquired a passport in the name of a deceased infant, wrote on the right-wing Kiwiblog site that he had it "on good authority that the Dotcom donation(s) have emerged because Banks didn't want to know the fat man in his hour of need in Mt Eden".
"Apparently Dotcom was being badly treated in some way and asked who the MP for the Mt Eden Prison area was ... but said MP was most ungracious to his beneficent donor, and didn't want a bar of him ... didn't even know him ... Said beneficent donor took great umbrage at this ... as you would ... and decided to tell all."
Mr Banks says allegations he asked for the donation to be split into two so he could list them as anonymous was "BS".
"Everything that needs to be said has been said," he told the New Zealand Herald. "I'm very happy to talk to any inquiry about this. Nothing to fear, nothing to hide."
Labour's Trevor Mallard says today he will lay a complaint with police.
3 News / RadioLIVE / NZN
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29/05/2012 6:33:36 p.m.
Denese McKinley wrote:
I think it is time kim dotcom went back home, as this is costing us taxpayers a fortune, there is enough spite and revenge in other parts of the world. Send him there.
26/05/2012 10:48:30 a.m.
The donation saga underpins the reality that New Zealand's credibility must be further damaged by yet another display of our elected representatives denying the obvious and treating us the general public as simpleton hillbillies.
We are led to believe we have earned the reputation of the lest corrupt Nation in the world, on that point I strongly disagree.
19/05/2012 7:49:06 a.m.
And new zealand is in need of a leader with morils or will he sale them to and just keep51%
13/05/2012 1:16:03 a.m.
Well we know that MR Banks is getting the finger because of this. but what of our Prime Minister? as quoted "Prime Minister John Key is siding with Mr Banks, for the time being". The main question is, did our Prime Minister knew anything about this before hand?
11/05/2012 9:46:31 a.m.
Banks can no longer be trusted, he is way past his use by date and should go. National would win a bi election, so there is no need to keep some one with a memory problem around.
10/05/2012 6:52:22 p.m.
JOHN DOE wrote:
Once again they try to excuse current misbehaviour by quoting past bad behaviour----ok lets draw a line under NZs' routine political corruption, let's say this is the line right here right now, because as long as we allow the minimisation of this it'll just go on and on forever. It takes me back to the school room--'Oh it wasn't just me sir' to which the reply was 'No but you're the one I caught' It's Banks tough luck if he's the one that gets made an example of but sooner or later somebody has to take a fall to make the point, it won't be tolerated.
And please can we not quote the convenient fiction that people donate large amounts of money to either party for the good of their souls, they are expecting something at the very least a govt favourable to their interests or maybe a concrete favour, if mr dotcom had the latter agreement then he's entitled to feel aggreived and act appropriatly, it'd be interesting to see how many politicos are frantically checking their receipts as we speak.
10/05/2012 6:26:05 p.m.
The Opinionator wrote:
Banks should be shipped off to a distant country and shot. That's the only cure for cancers of his kind.
10/05/2012 5:24:09 p.m.
I hope Dotcom destroys his career. He deserves no less. Key won't do anything unless Banks is convicted, then he'll have no choice. He doesn't have the fortitude to act unless his hand is forced.
9/05/2012 7:18:29 p.m.
James Gollan wrote:
What a sorry state of affairs this coalition is. one member who suffers from amnesia, another one whose department is accused of causing suicide and a possible partner who thinks the average kiwi woman is a whore
8/05/2012 12:54:36 p.m.
"... and accepted his word - but had not directly asked about the Dotcom donation, saying "that's not my responsibility".Sure it's not more like - he might'v Not given the answer Key wanted to hear!!
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