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Key trusts Banks as opposition attacks

The heat is expected to go on ACT leader John Banks in parliament today over his 2010 mayoral campaign donations saga.

Files released by the police last week show he allegedly misled Prime Minister John Key when he told him he could not remember donations received from internet mogul Kim Dotcom and SkyCity.

Opposition parties are lining up to make the most of it this week, with Labour expected to launch an attack during question time today.

However, Mr Key remains confident Mr Banks told the truth and complied with the law.

He believes Labour’s attack is simply politically motivated as the party did not care about the issue when the Epsom MP unsuccessfully stood for the Auckland mayoralty.

He has not personally asked Mr Banks about the situation because he does not think it is his job to "forensically analyse" the information.

“Through my office, I’ve asked the minister whether he’s complied with the law, the advice he’s given me is he has and I accept him at his word.

"I trust John Banks … I accept him at his word. If I‘m proven otherwise, then that’s a different issue.”

Asked his thoughts on Mr Banks conversation with his lawyer, during which he discussed Dotcom’s electoral donations, Mr Key repeatedly said there was always going to be a broad interpretation of the law and a variety of opinions.

“There is always a wide variation in the interpretation of a conversation. My understanding is the law’s quite broad at the moment.

"It’s quite possible and legitimate for someone to speak to a donor about wanting to donate. It’s quite legitimate under the current law to say if they wanted to do so, they can do so anonymously.

People have their own interpretation of the conversations… There are always people who have a different interpretation of a conversation.”

More by Blair Cunningham

Comments and questions

John Key says he was not mislead over the payments to John Banks' 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign. It is quite feasable that Banks told Key everything that happened re him and Dotcom etal.
So Key could quite rightly say he was not mislead - but most everyone else was.

No strong opposition so Key thinks he is on safe grounds to not take action against Banks.

But like sludge building up in a smelly pond, Key will find out before the next election that a strong and effective Opposition will use all these unethical and immoral issues to destroy completely his credibility.

John Key needs to distance himself here or it may just bite his a*se.

However it's John Banks's credibility on the line here not John keys
Banks should show some credibility and integrity and resign as Minister. Mind you that is unlikely - as Banks has spun his history over time - "he comes from the wrong side of the tracks and the law" ( with his father ).

Parliament would be all the better without Banks

Brand Key is now heavily tainted by the very flawed John Banks.
Key has crossed the line between swallowing a rat and being a partner to a rat.

If John Banks was not Minister in the National lead government, Trevor Mallard (who doesn't even live in Auckland) would never have made his complaint about Banks's electoral return from the Auckland mayoralty election in October 2010. This has nothing to do with ACT or John Banks as the MP for Epsom. It is a political beat up by a Labour Party that improperly helped itself to hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars in 2005 for its "pledge card". As a Labour Minister at the time, Mallard did not lay a complaint over that shabby act.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

This is about John Banks acting dumb and pretending to be senile, avoiding telling the whole truth and John Key lowering his standards to suit.

Just as a double dip recession does not make an economic recovery.

two wrong don't make a right but apparently two johns do make a right

So two wrongs make a right now? Boy - aren't political values shifting these days......

Yeah yeah yeah Lindsay Fergusson.........political beat-up. Wow !

At this juncture that's about all you've left to say, isn't it ?

At best, stubborn, proselytising apologists end up looking immensely stupid. At worst they appear as if untroubled by graft and thus suspect themselves.

Take your pick my friend.

Yes, it is a political beat up. And?

But for politics Banks does not deserve Keys backing and there will be some very unhappy cabinet members with Banks by putting himself in a position to force Keys support and so cabinet support.There was also a wiff on a prior Council election I recall and methinks tis over for Banksie as he has proven to be a too obvious sycophant to power and the public dont like him anymore.

Both Johns are deserving of each other. And it seems apt, that the streetwalkers' vernacular should refer their clients by that name.

If John Key really believes John Banks, then it follows that he must also believe in The Tooth Fairy.

All comments written are by people who have no idea of Electoral law.
The Treasurer's Report states that Sky City asked to keep their contribution annonymous, and that Mr Bank's was not involved in any of the decisions to declare donations anonymous.

With respect, you are missing the point. The issue is whether Banks lied and whether this should mean his ministerial post is reviewed.

But then, it appears that the new political value is: if you don't ask someone, they must be telling the truth.

So electoral law anticipates and advisedly enables Banks' nudge nudge wink wink carry on does it ?

Don't pull your "You know nothink......" stunts round here mate.

Ironic that Labour are attacking Key over this. I seem to recall that Helen Clark signed her name to a painting that she didn't paint and also denied speeding on the way to catch a flight to a rugby game - she was quite happy for the Police drivers to take the fall. The Banks issue is just a petty sideshow when there are more important issues i.e. the economy etc, that the Govt should be focused on. Politicians have always been slippery since Day 1 - no matter what colour they wear. banks only mistake is being caught out. So, move on and deal with the important stuff!! Oh, I forgot, Labour haven't a clue about economic management...


Hey anon, go easy with those rats slurs. We have feelings too. PS - if you want the good oil on Banks I'm quite happy to go through his bins for you.

I vote National and frankly I'm disappointed. Banks is publicly a liar and as a result patently untrustworthy. Do we need honesty and transparency more than Bank's seat? I suspect Keys is struggling with that.

Kim DotCom for Prime Minister !! :)

It is all about survival. If push comes to shove the National Party wants to keep ACT as a coalition partner. The "Peter Dunne Party" will be a goner at some stage, the Maori Party are too flaky so that leaves ACT. John Key is possibly hoping that this will all blow over and ACT will survive to prop up the Nats in future election.

Re: The calls to sack J Banks .. ratbag
> I totally agree with the calls to get rid of this venal liar- there is no way on earth that Key should be able to justify retaining Banks in his cabinet and indeed The Speaker of the House should look to boot him out of parliament for deliberately misleading both the House and the Public not to mention seeking to frustrate the course of justice - If there was anything close to a genuine sense of morality in our current politcal system the PM would not hesitate to cut him free but I dont believe for a momnent that Key has the required fortitude for doing the right thing!!!

Yes, Key should kick Banks out just like Helen Clark did to Winston Peters eh!! Yeah, right. Double-standards me-thinks which only proves the political motivation for this. Labour, don't you have anything better to do!!??

Mr Key has slapped the N.Z.Police in the face by refusing to read the report on John Banks. It is naive in politics to say John banks is telling the truth. He may well be, but the answer lies unread and appears to be going to lie unread to avoid the may be awkward truth.

So John Key says he hasn't read the police report but he can still say that it says there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Banks and that it's past the time limit to do so anyway...????!!!!

But not having read the report, he can also avoid having to comment on all the affidavits in the report that contradict Banks' statement to Key's chief of staff that he didn't know about Dotcom's donation.....!!!!!

No-one seems to be pinning Key down on this statement of Banks, and how many affadivits it would take before before Key felt sufficiently uncomfortable in his trust in Banks as a Minister.

John Key is not going to sack Banks. The opposition are just wasting their breath instead of something more meaningful.

Of course its smoke and mirrors - its politics!

The issue is not whether Banks lied, that is obvious. The question is whether Key can get away with pretending Banks didn't lie, and that remains moot.

What type of Prime Minister John Key for refusing to read the police report? He should have an open mind .As a prime Minister. he must know the actual fact. How can you run the country ? Shame on you.