John Banks reinstated as JP

John Banks relinquished his position as Justice of the Peace when in 2012 he was charged with filing a false electoral return during his Auckland mayoral campaign in 2010, involving donations from Kim Dotcom.

Banks was found guilty but won an appeal that overturned the conviction after he produced new evidence from two American businessmen that contradicted claims made by Dotcom and his wife Mona.

Banks has now been reinstated as a Justice of the Peace. NZ Herald:

Banks takes up Justice of the Peace hat again

“This is just another step in putting a lot of wrongs right after a long, time-wasting and particularly nasty judicial jihad that should have never happened”.

He said he had been a JP for about 14 years and enjoyed the “bread and butter” but important role of certifying documents and swearing affidavits.

I don’t see any problem with Banks being a JP, I don’t doubt his integrity in this regard.

Questions will still be asked about his campaign integrity. Was he lax, or did he knowingly turn a blind eye in signing his electoral return?

Local body candidates are in a much more difficult situation regarding donations as they don’t have party structures to deal with donations at supposed arms length from the candidates. They have to somehow find ways of financing their campaigns but aren’t supposed to know specific donor details while being responsible for signing their returns.

I’m sure Banks was far from the only candidate to have problems dealing with donations. David Cunliffe was embarrassed by his use of a trust for donations when he stood for the labour leadership.

What makes Banks case different in particular is that there seems to have been an attempt by Dotcom to damage Banks, with claims of utu being involved after Dotcom and Banks fell out.

Trevor Mallard was involved, initially laying a complaint against Banks which led to Dotcom’s claims, and Mallard made a further complaint after this came out.

The National Government held a slim majority and Banks had been targeted by the opposition as a means of embarrassing or even bringing down the Government. Dotcom went on the try and defeat the Government in the 2014 election by starting up the Internet Party and pouring a large amount of money into the campaign.

In comparison to all of this Banks being lax or careless with his electoral return in a campaign that he lost seems far less of a democratic issue than what Dotcom and Mallard did.

Would Mallard have the integrity required of a JP? Perhaps now he might, but he has a history of dabbling in dirty politics of a kind far worse in a democracy than a disputed electoral return procedure.

I wouldn’t have any problem using Banks as a JP.

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26 Comments

  1. ah well next time i need a passport photo witnessing Ill give John Banks a call …

    Reply
  2. but on a more serious note I don’t think the recording requirements for local body candidates are that complicated , i understood they could know who was financing them as long as its declared and anonymous donations have a limit – if they can’t handle that then maybe being a Mayor or Councillor isn’t for them.

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  10th April 2016

    I wouldn’t have any problem using Banks as a JP.
    Although I didn’t like him as a politician I can’t really explain why. But I would have no problem using him as a JP either. He has been through due process and found innocent and I respect the process by which JPs are appointed.

    Reply
  4. Gee Pete are you suggesting Labour indulge in dirty politics involving collusion and set ups???? Or am I misreading your piece

    “What makes Banks case different in particular is that there seems to have been an attempt by Dotcom to damage Banks, with claims of utu being involved after Dotcom and Banks fell out.

    Trevor Mallard was involved, initially laying a complaint against Banks which led to Dotcom’s claims, and Mallard made a further complaint after this came out.”

    Well…….. I ……. never, never, never would have thought that was possible from Labour the Party of Purity…….

    Reply
  5. Patzcuaro

     /  10th April 2016

    Individuals or organisations don’t make political donations out of charity. They might not say “I want this in return for the money”, it is more like “don’t forget me”.

    Bank’s problems began when he took money from Dotcom (a rather dubious source) and then forgot him.

    And let’s not forget he did commit an offence but the statute of limitations had run out. I would have thought that declaring your donation’s correctly would be Politics 101. Especially for an Ex Minister of Police.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  10th April 2016

      And let’s not forget he did commit an offence but the statute of limitations had run out.. Ah…I didn’t realise that.

      Reply
    • I wonder how many parties or candidates would have their returns stand up to the degree of scrutiny Banks’ had? That doesn’t excuse his laxness, but some perspective on what was going on and the relative seriousness is worthwhile.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  10th April 2016

        In John Banks we are talking about a seasoned politician who I think should have known about the disclosure requirements. I would agree about the relative seriousness of the incident if it had been a novice candidate but Banks had 8 campaigns for national office and 3 for Mayor of Auckland.

        I also think that the politicians make the rules around this area and then try to skirt around them knowing that there is little likelihood of repercussions because the police force is loathe to rock the boat in this area.

        Reply
  6. well slightly related hey david hay ( what an awful pun though i am tempted to make a david hay from dried grass !) thinks he needs $650k to run a mayoral campaign …http://www.heydavidhay.nz

    Reply
  7. Nelly Smickers

     /  10th April 2016

    And in a similar vein, I see that Nandor Tanczos has finally gained approval to be a ‘Rastfari Marriage Celebrant’ 😎

    When I told Wayne about it, he said, “you’d have to wonder about that, sounds like he must have blown smoke up someone’s arse”

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  10th April 2016

      That Wayne of yours is a shocker!! Has he ever considered going in to politics?

      Reply
      • You (and Wayne) are one of the star attractions of this place for me Nelly. Really want to thank you for your humour. 😉 You’re a treasure of the blog’o’sphere

        I can’t decide now whether to have my marriage done by a Rastafari or a Church of the Tinned Spaghetti celebrant? :-/

        (In an effort to reconcile my split personalities, I’m symbolically marrying myselves by the way 😎 )

        Reply
        • Robby

           /  10th April 2016

          You should go with the second one PZ. Jah pastafari! 😉
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

          Reply
          • Robby

             /  10th April 2016

            Holidays

            Pastafarian beliefs extend into lighthearted religious ceremony. Pastafarians celebrate every Friday as a holy day.[5] Prayers are concluded with a final declaration of affirmation, “R’amen” (or “rAmen”); the term is a parodic portmanteau of the terms “Amen” and “Ramen”, referring to instant noodles and to the “noodly appendages” of their parodic deity.[6]

            Around the time of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, Pastafarians celebrate a vaguely defined holiday named “Holiday”. Holiday does not take place on “a specific date so much as it is the Holiday season, itself”. Because Pastafarians “reject dogma and formalism”, there are no specific requirements for Holiday. Pastafarians celebrate Holiday in any manner they please.[41] Pastafarians also celebrate “Pastover” as a parody of Passover,[42][43][44] and “Ramendan” as a parody of Ramadan.[45][46][47]

            Pastafarians interpret the increasing usage of “Happy Holidays”, rather than more traditional greetings (such as “Merry Christmas”), as support for Pastafarianism.[41] In December 2005, George W. Bush’s White House Christmas greeting cards wished people a happy “holiday season”,[48] leading Henderson to write the President a note of thanks, including a “fish” emblem depicting the Flying Spaghetti Monster for his limousine or plane.[49] Henderson also thanked Walmart for its use of the phrase.[50]

            Reply
            • Okay, tears … shortness of breath … that’s the best laugh I’ve had all day Robby … Cracker!!! Thanks. I might join this Pastafarian sect.

            • Robby

               /  10th April 2016

              You will need to purchase a colinder to wear for your next driver licence photo. Other than that, their membership requirements are pretty liberal…. 😉

  8. jamie

     /  10th April 2016

    By winning his appeal he proved that he didn’t *deliberately* falsify his documents, which I’m sure we can all agree is a good thing for an elected official.

    But if it wasn’t deliberate, then it also proves that he signs things without reading them properly!

    It is highly ironic that winning his appeal is seen as qualifying him to be a JP again 😀 😀

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  10th April 2016

      Oh for goodness sake, give the man a break. He’s had a shitty enough time. His marriage cracked under the strain-he doesn’t need people putting the boot in. I was taught that kicking a man when he’s down is unsporting and very bad form.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  10th April 2016

        You may never make a mistake of any kind. The rest of us are not so fortunate, alas.

        Reply
      • jamie

         /  10th April 2016

        What are you on about kitty? I was just pointing out the inherent humour of the situation.

        He’s fit to be a JP again because he convinced the court that he signed a document without reading it.

        That’s objectively hilarious.

        Reply
  9. Patzcuaro

     /  10th April 2016

    NZ has prided itself on the relative lack of corruption here. However over recent years we have take in a lot of immigrants, some of whom will have come from countries that would have higher levels of corruption. Our slight slip down the list of countries with the least corruption may be due to this immigration.

    Political donations is an area where I think we should be vigilant. At the end of the day Dotcom did want something for his money. Couple that with the increased use of foreign trusts here and our reputation may fall further.

    Reply
    • NZ has gone down the list of least corruption as the rugby team has become stronger clearly a link between winning world cups and corruption ( may be due anyway..)

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  10th April 2016

        If you mean we’ve become slightly more corrupt correlation does not of course = causation but it might need looking into 😎

        Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  10th April 2016

      I imagine that in some countries what we see as corruption is what they see as buying a commodity like any other. We don’t see things like having the best seats if you pay more as corruption, or the best tender winning as corruption….they just have different things that one pays for.

      Reply
  10. lurcher1948

     /  10th April 2016

    I would not use this old fart to witness anything, the elderly person(banks) couldnt remember flying in a helecopter…corrupt LUCKY old fart

    Reply
  11. Kitty Catkin

     /  10th April 2016

    He couldn’t remember something that didn’t happen, any more than anyone else can except people like Oliver, and I have a feeling that this was one of Dotcom’s lies.

    He has/had his own helicopter, so even if this particular flight had happened, it would hardly have been something that would never be forgotten as it would be for most people-like me. I have never been in one, so would remember it forever if I was ever lucky enough to have such a flight. But for someone who had their own, it could well be hard to remember any given flight or whose helicopter it was ages after the event-assuming that it happened in the first place.It would like people remembering a car ride ages after it happened.

    Reply

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