Donation saga prompts review
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 12:16p.m.
By Angela Beswick
National is proposing changes to the Electoral Act in the wake of the John Banks, Kim Dotcom donation saga.
The ACT Party leader came under fire after it was alleged he may have known Dotcom was behind two anonymous $25,000 donations to his Auckland mayoral campaign.
A police investigation later found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
The changes, announced by Local Government Minister David Carter this afternoon, would limit the size of anonymous donations a candidate can keep, to $1500, revise the definition of “anonymous”, increase disclosure, reporting and recording obligations and introduce penalties for non-compliance.
“They will bring the Act more into line with the Electoral Act which governs the conduct of parliamentary elections and, in doing so, will help build trust in the local electoral system.”
A new Local Electoral Amendment Bill will be introduced early next month in order to enact the changes by May 2013.
Labour Party leader David Shearer says the proposed changes are “hypocritical”, given Prime Minister John Key refused to stand Banks down despite breaching the rules.
“It’s absolutely hypocritical. John Key staunchly defended John Banks. He said he’d done nothing wrong. If that was the case, why is he now promoting a law change to stop the exact kind of behaviour John Banks indulged in when he was running for local government?
“John Key wasn’t prepared to stand John Banks down during the police investigation. He is keeping him as a Minister despite police confirming that John Banks personally solicited $80,000 in donations then later said he couldn’t remember that.”
However, Banks has welcome the changes, saying they “clean up Labour’s legislative mess”.
The Labour Party’s Local Electoral Act 2001 has been ridiculed by lawyers up and down the country as unclear, unfair and unworkable. It needs to be fixed,” Mr Banks said.
“No candidate for public office should have to go through what I have been through.
Banks described the changes as “well overdue”.
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17/09/2012 7:47:38 a.m.
John Key cannot denied the fact that John Bank is guilty of all charges that he or she must be charged for his guilty verdicts..
What is Law? the law is to prosecute the guilty party and to locked the criminal behind bars..
Get Real John Key and face the true facts from the Dotcom and complains.. Stop lying to the people and yourself John Key, prosecute the guilty party, and by dragging this will cost the taxpayer very dearly..
John Banks cannot be trusted in our community and we won't rest until the justice is serve John Key..
Other John Key sacked John Banks or send him to prison or both be sacked for the discriminations act against the Law and Society..
14/09/2012 2:53:15 p.m.
No question Banks is dodgy, but so is Labour. Their history of deceit, unlawful activity and fraud is still the largest by a very big margin. Comrade Helen was a master at it, along with her husband followed closely by her second in command Michael Cullen. Google away if you find that hard to believe, it's all out there.
14/09/2012 9:47:06 a.m.
All donations, no matter how big or small should be declared. No anonymous donations, or sneaky ones via trusts should be allowed. We need open and honest politics. Well as honest as it can be
13/09/2012 4:33:52 p.m.
Mr banks the acorn dosnt fall far from the tree!
12/09/2012 7:17:39 p.m.
Nothing illegal, law change - thats progress.No doubt Labour will be against it.If look at Helens pledge cards which were over $500,000 of taxpayers funding as election spending which was much worse. But then Labour has never seen anything they do wrong, including when people die from their inaction like in the Sanlu disaster!Labour has abused everything they have touched. Be it using parlimentary security to read oppositon emails, use the police for the terror raid when they were not ready, use our RNZAF as a personal taxi overseas.We could do with a law to exclude the use of diplomatic immunity when sex charges involving underage are involved as we dont need perverts abusing our diplomatic immunity. There was that flight to the US to extract someone connected to Labour at the highest level after they played their dipplomatic immunity. For some reason the US were unhappy, and refused them use of commercial transport, hence we had to send a RNZAF plane over as taxi for their perversion and abuse of our diplomatic immunity. Along side that, Banks was squeaky clean!
12/09/2012 3:54:07 p.m.
James J.Read wrote:
What John Banks did was perfectly legal although in my view undesirable. surely, the important thing is that he has supported a law change to prevent it happening again.
12/09/2012 2:29:19 p.m.
I like Libertarian ideals, but I think John Banks is a Fraud, He is a Conservative and not a Libertarian he needs to go back to the National Party.
12/09/2012 1:10:57 p.m.
Its not a saga, its called bending the rules and getting away with it. In other words. It just pointingly shows MPs have no right to the self proclaimed title of being called Right honourable, honourable they not. We just vote for them and end up gettng lemons. I suppose that when the taxpayer does not own political parties we get what we deserve. Parliament is just a vote short of a sovereign tyranny.
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