John Banks paternity claims

It’s unusual to see paternity claims in court and published in the media, but a case brought against John Banks claiming he is the father of an Anthony Shaw. Shaw’s mother has just gone public supporting her son’s claim.

If Banks is Shaw’s father it’s sad to see him so strongly avoiding accepting it.

NZ Herald:  Are you my father, Mr Banks?

In 2001, the year John Banks first became mayor of Auckland, anonymous letters were sent to various media organisations claiming he had fathered a child, “his 31-year-old son that he has ignored all his life since he was 3 years old”. Herald journalist Phil Taylor investigated at the time.

The mother who claims that her first-born was fathered by John Banks was a young nurse by the name of Pam Shaw. She was living in Hamilton when she became pregnant.

I saw her several times at her Mt Albert home in 2001 and 2002. Her married name is Pam Mayes. Mayes told me that Banks had been a travelling salesman for pharmaceuticals company Pfizer, that they had had a sexual relationship while she was not on the contraceptive pill and that she was not seeing anyone else when she became pregnant.

Mayes claimed that when she learned she was pregnant she told Banks but he did not want to take responsibility.

No father is named on (Shaw’s) birth certificate.

Mayes decided to tell her son who his real father is, and to tell Banks that he was a grandfather and ask him to acknowledge Antony. “I thought if he can be that upset at this stage of his life about not knowing his own father, I’m going to ask him to do something about Antony.”

Mayes told me that she met Banks at least twice – in a restaurant in Wellington and at a cafe at St Lukes shopping centre. She had also written to him about her plan to tell her family about her belief that Banks was Antony’s father.

Banks did not want her to tell, Mayes said, but he did not rule out seeing Antony.

“I had always accepted what my mother told me, that Harry was my father, but I never felt Chinese and I don’t have Chinese features,” Antony said.

“But if you line up John Bank’s photograph alongside mine, there is an unbelievable likeness.”

I spoke to Bernard Shaw, an uncle Antony was close to. Bernard told me he had many conversations with Banks about it. The former police minister and Auckland mayor had said, claimed Bernard, that he couldn’t swear he wasn’t the father because he did have a sexual relationship with her.

Taylor interviewed Banks about it in 2001. Banks didn’t deny what Pam Mayes said about being the father, but warned Taylor.

Taylor: Can I ask you, is it wrong what she is saying?

Banks: No no no. I just want to say to you … just be very very careful. Seek some highly-focused, highly-placed legal advice. That’s all I want to say. Thanks for your time.

Last Thursday the issue appeared in court news: John Banks could prevent costly paternity case by taking simple DNA test, says judge

A judge says a simple DNA test could resolve a paternity dispute involving former Cabinet minister John Banks – and prevent a costly High Court trial.

The former Auckland mayor made no appearance this morning when the case had its first call in the High Court at Auckland.

Antony Shaw, 47, claims he is Banks’ son and he is asking a judge to declare that the controversial politician is his birth father.

If the case is successful, Banks could be declared Shaw’s next of kin with legal implications relating to potential claims against Banks’ will.

The court heard Shaw’s legal team, headed by Lowndes litigation partner Jacque Lethbridge, had encountered difficulties in serving documents on Banks, who they say has not engaged in attempts to resolve the claim.

Justice Tim Brewer…made the point that if Banks had been unaware of today’s hearing, media coverage since the story broke in this morning’s Herald meant the two-time Auckland mayor would now “know what’s going on”.

He added that a full High Court paternity proceeding would bring enormous costs. This could be prevented by a simple DNA test which could conclusively rule out Banks as being Shaw’s birth parent.

Today in Herald on Sunday: Mother of Banks’ alleged love child breaks her silence

In an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday, Shaw’s mother, Pam Mayes, said of Banks: “John is very silly. I think every child has the right to know who their parents are”.

Mayes claims she had a relationship with Banks when she was a Waikato Hospital nurse in the late 1960s. At the time Banks was a salesman for a pharmaceutical company.

Mayes told the Herald on Sunday the relationship initially ended when she found out she was pregnant.

If true that in itself is sad.

Mayes said she finally told Shaw about his biological dad after Banks revealed publicly the impact of not having a relationship with his own father in his Parliamentary valedictory speech in October, 1999.

Banks had said “No one knows better than I the crushing heartache of living with no mother and no father”.

Mayes, 69, only found out about her son’s paternity case after reading about it in the New Zealand Herald last week.

“I thought, ‘Oh, here we go – another kid has come forward’. I didn’t realise it was Antony till I read it”.

Mayes said she had been surprised neither her son, nor his legal team, had contacted her about the paternity case.

“I now regret I ever told Antony about John but back then I thought I was doing the right thing,” she said.

“He is my son. I love him and I will always be there for him. It’s a shame it’s come to this and I fear the opportunity to make peace has sailed away.”

The lack of contact between Shaw and his mother suggests all is not well in that relationship either.

Shaw’s lawyer, Jacque Lethbridge said her client also didn’t want to comment.

“These proceedings were filed at the end of last year, and despite being served in April with a full set of proceedings including the affidavit evidence, but he just hasn’t engaged at all.”

The next hearing in the dispute is set down for June 29.

If it is true that Banks is Shaw’s father – as looks likely by what has been claimed by the mother, and the likeness in appearance – then this may be more than just Banks avoiding responsibilities and contact as a father.

Banks has said he had a difficult relationship with his own father (and mother), and he may think that no relationship is better than a bad relationship.

It’s also possible that Banks has dug himself into an emotional hole – once he started to deny being the father or avoid conceding that he is the father he may be finding it hard to now admit that he could be.

There may be reasons for avoiding responsibility when the mother was pregnant but a farther shirking responsibility when a pregnancy results from a relationship normally is not good. Banks may now be unwilling to front up on this.

In 2001 Shaw was 31 so must have been born about 1970. Banks got married in 1987 and adopted 3 children from a St Petersburg orphanage.

There doesn’t seem to be any reports of Banks being a biological father apart from the Shaw claim.

Denying paternity is quite sad, for both the father and the child.

73 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 18, 2017

    It’s an odd situation. When someone posted the first Herald article about this a few days ago, it said that Shaw was not demanding that Banks have a DNA test. But it also seems as though Banks is refusing to have one. From info on the law relating to establishing paternity I posted in reply to comment from Blazer not long ago, the Court cannot compel Banks to undergo a DNA test, but if he declines to do so, the Court will then make a determination on all the facts & information available & issue a declaration of paternity if it finds that he is. This I assume is legally the end of the matter, he is legally found to be treated as the dad.

    • Gezza

       /  June 18, 2017

      * legally bound to be treated as the dad.

  2. Chuck Bird

     /  June 18, 2017

    John, just man up.

  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  June 18, 2017

    It is none of our business and should never have been placed in a public forum.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 18, 2017

      A feeble attempt to match the Brits at a sex scandal. We should stick to rugby,and yachting.

      • Pete Kane

         /  June 18, 2017

        And cricket. You would (and others here including me) remember The Truth newspaper Alan, when it was quite a player as the busy body in people’s ‘private affairs’.

        • Blazer

           /  June 18, 2017

          the Truth died a slow and certain death,presided over by an ego that did not belong to a proper trained and competent….journalist.

      • Blazer

         /  June 18, 2017

        when did conception and paternity become a …sex scandal’..Al?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 18, 2017

          God knows, B, but it was a long time ago.

    • Blazer

       /  June 18, 2017

      ‘celebrity’ is two edged sword.Banks courted publicity his whole life,and claimed the moral high ground time and…again.Live the life…pay the…price.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  June 18, 2017

      I agree with you and if John Banks had fronted up to the matter and either accepted he was his son or more sensibly got DNA tests done it wouldn’t be.

      Based on the mother statements in the Herald John Banks knew about the pregnancy and probably the birth so it is rather hard to see why he is denying the fact.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11878318

      John Banks claims “that he always endeavours to do the right thing”, so why stop now.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  June 18, 2017

      Maggy, I am of the opinion that MPs, judges and police should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. The MPs make the laws. I am certain that John Banks would have supported punitive penalties against fathers who have not denied paternity but have been effectively denied meaningful contact with their children. The man is a first class hypocrite.

  4. Blazer

     /  June 18, 2017

    Banks only….’does good’….so I guess he can be trusted when he says its not his….sprogue,then again ,sometimes Banks memory is not….so good.One time he went for a helicopter ride to NZ’s most expensive mansion and he could not remember that …only months..later.His relationship with his own Dad ,a notorious fence of stolen property has been part of his ‘backstory’ about the rise of ….a wonderful…guy.Moral virtue has a high ranking for the former salesman,restraunter,bee pollen investor,M.P,Minister of Police,ACT prospect and Mayor of Auckland,…I’m (almost)…sure.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 18, 2017

      Sprogue ?

      When someone has their own helicopter, one helicopter ride won’t be that memorable and he could well forget whose actual helicopter it was. This is someone for whom helicopter rides are like taxi rides to me, or more common, not someone for whom it would be a once in a lifetime event.

      His father was a criminal-as you must know. It’s documented. Unless you believe that all those newspaper stories are forgeries….

      • Blazer

         /  June 18, 2017

        when did Banks get his own …helicopter?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 19, 2017

          I don’t know & I’m not interested, I have met him but I don’t know him and wouldn’t have asked him such a silly question.

  5. This whole beatup seems to be a “When did you stop beating your wife?” thing. As Maggy says upthread, these issues should never be in the public forum. John had better hope he doesn’t have Judge Wylie.

    • Gezza

       /  June 18, 2017

      Why?

      • Gezza

         /  June 18, 2017

        Polish Exit? Why should he hope he doesn’t have Judge Wylie?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 18, 2017

          Misquote-the unanswerable (without incriminating oneself) question is ‘Do you still beat your wife-answer yes or no.’ This makes it impossible to answer without saying that one is a wife-beater, as answering ‘no’ is saying that one did at one time.

          ‘When did you stop beating your wife ?’ can’t be answered with yes or no and make sense-the person would say ‘I never have done this.’ Ergo, it can be answered without making the person say that they are a wife-beater.

          • Gezza

             /  June 18, 2017

            Why are you replying with this to my comment? 😳
            I didn’t say that. Maggie did. Tell her, not me.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              Whoops – Sorry Maggy – Chrism56 said it, Kitty. Tell Chris.
              That is all.
              1809 hours.

          • Blazer

             /  June 18, 2017

            we are not…primary school children….dear.

  6. duperez

     /  June 18, 2017

    Through so much of his public life John Banks portrayed himself as the face of righteousness. That campaign sees him still regarded by some as well deserving of that title ‘the Honourable’…

    Whether this latest episode should be in the media is moot but is it a surprise when those who feel they’ve been booted by Banks boot back?
    He was as big and strong and more certain than the Titanic and he didn’t hit an iceberg. The thing is though, that numerous holes have inevitably appeared in the hull over years. The superstructure retains some of the gloss for those who only want to look there.

    For all the bombastic certainty, the image of being on top of everything and the conviction of being right, I found him a most insecure man.

  7. What this has to go with the general public I have no idea

    • Gezza

       /  June 18, 2017

      😳 Sorry trav. I’ll go away from this one. 😬

    • Blazer

       /  June 18, 2017

      well read the whole thread and you will get….some…idea.Hint its about claims of moral virtue….and hypocrisy.

  8. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  June 18, 2017
    • Blazer

       /  June 18, 2017

      you seem very interested in something you claim…is absolutely…none of..your…business.!

    • Chuck Bird

       /  June 18, 2017

      Why is it a great comment Maggy? Have you read about the woman who is the mother of John Bank’s child does not appear to be a nutter or a liar? As I said on Kiwiblog to you I believe MPs should be held to a higher standard that the rest of us. I am sure Banks would have been in favour while an MP of punitive measures against fathers who did not pay their child support yet have by law been effectively denied meaningful contact with their children.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11878318

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 18, 2017

        A strange affair going by that story. I think there is more to be told before it is understandable.

    • duperez

       /  June 18, 2017

      The funniest thing is the idea that it’s terrible that Banks has to defend himself against “liars.”
      😊

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 18, 2017

        How nice to see that so many people are models of truthfulness and therefore feel at liberty to assume that other people are liars, either against all evidence or with none at all.

  9. PDB

     /  June 18, 2017

    There was a politician named Banks,
    Who often had memory blanks,
    It was rather perverse
    His romp with a nurse,
    He should have just stuck with the wanks.

    • Gezza

       /  June 18, 2017

      😀 That one might be lucky to survive a cull. 😬

      • PDB

         /  June 18, 2017

        I don’t think it oversteps the mark Gezza? I think PG just gave it a disapproving downtick instead.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 18, 2017

          It doesn’t scan very well so I can understand the downtick.

        • Gezza

           /  June 18, 2017

          I gave ya the first uptick PDB. Don’t worry about it. It passed the sweep.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 18, 2017

            If you are going to be unkind and unfair, you should at least scan well:

            There was a young man named Banks
            Who often had memory blanks
            It was rather perverse
            That his romp with a nurse
            Got known as the first of his wanks

            • PDB

               /  June 18, 2017

              Sorry Alan – yours loses the feel & goes away from the whole point – having a ‘wank’ was unlikely to lead to her becoming pregnant, the fact he should have stuck to ‘wanking’ may have avoided the pregnancy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 18, 2017

              You are entitled to your PoV, PDB, but I rather beg to differ and suggest mine better illustrates perversity and that memory blanks rather than blindness are no indication of habitual wanking.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 18, 2017

            Come to think of it, PDB, Auckland Mayors don’t have a great track record in the bedding department.

            • PDB

               /  June 18, 2017

              Some didn’t even get to the bedroom……..

        • Gezza

           /  June 18, 2017

          PS: Unless I am corrected, I don’t think the blogmeister does upticks & downticks.

        • I’ll give this one a disapproving down tick, don’t presume/accuse what you can’t know. I didn’t down tick anything.

          • Gezza

             /  June 18, 2017

            That’s my “no blogmeister downticking” theory shot to shit. 😐

    • Blazer

       /  June 18, 2017

      that is..probably…your best…work.Bol.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  June 18, 2017

      Quite long ago in ‘the Tron”,
      A salesman & nurse ‘got it on’,
      When told the result,
      Fast did he bolt,
      But it came back to bite him, later on…..

      • PDB

         /  June 18, 2017

        On ya Patu….

        • patupaiarehe

           /  June 18, 2017

          Ta Pants, wish I could give yours two upticks 😀

        • Gezza

           /  June 18, 2017

          Needs a minor edit to scan properly:

          Quite long ago in the Tron
          A salesman & nurse got it on
          When told the result
          Real fast did he bolt
          But it came back to bite later on

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 18, 2017

            It still doesn’t scan.

            There was a young fellow named Shaw
            Who decided John Banks was his paw
            I wonder if he
            Is as mad as can be
            Or if John Banks’ bank balance he saw.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              That scans even worse than mine, smarty pants.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2017

              No it doesn’t, clever clogs, Stress John and balance.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 18, 2017

              Last line is a bit problematic, I grant you.

              Or if John Banks’ wealth was the draw. ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2017

              Not enough syllables.

              How about
              Was John Banks’ bank balance the draw ?

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              Mine doesn’t need instructions on stressing, smarty, you just pronounce each syllable in the same rhythym. Yours requires not just stressing but squeezing syllables at variable speed to get the correct rhythym. You may resume your seat.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2017

              nyah nyah nyah

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              I win. 🏆

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2017

              Yah boos,
              You lose,

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              I have no more time for ya nonsense, young lady!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2017

              Up your nose with a rubber hose-and twice as far with a chocolate bar.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 18, 2017

              Splendid Kitty. Shame you weren’t about the other night, when Pants & I were trading limericks… 😀

          • patupaiarehe

             /  June 18, 2017

            Thank you G, for your editorial assistance. 🙂

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              Cheers patu. I tell ya, it’s a bloody jungle out there when Kitty’s on her high horse & on the bloody prowl mate. 😕

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2017

              One for you too, it was a joint effort. 🏆

  10. duperez

     /  June 18, 2017

    We’re always at those with some faults
    Say, fathering a child and bolts

    The meet with John key
    Was merely for tea

    Far too late for the Epsom Salts.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 18, 2017

      That neither scans nor makes sense, How can anyone father children and bolts ? Fathering bolts ?

      • patupaiarehe

         /  June 18, 2017

      • duperez

         /  June 18, 2017

        ? How can anyone father children and bolts? Probably as easily as one could say the limerick neither scans nor makes sense.

        • Gezza

           /  June 18, 2017

          Come here for a quiet night. Kitty gets here, & next minute all hell breaks loose 😕