Member log in

We did not seek anonymity for donations — SkyCity boss at John Banks trial

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison has told the High Court at Auckland SkyCity donated to both "prime candidates" in the 2010 super city mayoral race, and the company did not seek anonymity for donations. 

John Banks is on trial for knowingly filing a false electoral return. This week is the second week of the trial before Justice Ed Wylie. 

Today's court hearing centred on Mr Morrison's evidence around a $15,000 donation from SkyCity in that year. Mr Morrison says the cheque was in an envelope but there was no letter or compliment slip included.

The gambling executive says he met Mr Banks on May 24 meeting to hand over a cheque in an envelope. 

Mr Morrison says SkyCity decided to donate after an approach from Len Brown. SkyCity had decided to donate to both campaigns. 

"We had a policy not to make donations to national elections, this was not a national election it was the first super city campaign. Once we were approached by Len Brown's campaign we discussed it internally and decided donations to prime candidates would be appropriate."

Mr Morrison maintained in his mind the meeting was to hand over the donation. 

"We had no desire for the donation to be anonymous."

Last week Michelle Boag, who had been a member of Mr Banks' campaign team, told the court that she recalled asking about SkyCity but Mr Banks' told her not to approach the company. 

Ms Boag says later she found out that SkyCity had donated to Len Brown's campaign and wanted to be even-handed so sought a meeting with Mr Banks.

Mr Morrison is the last witness for the Crown and defence witnesses will give evidence later this week. 

Last week treasurer Lance Hutchinson, Michelle Boag, Kim Dotcom, Mona Dotcom and bodyguard Wayne Tempero all gave evidence surrounding Mr Bank's failed supercity electoral campaign. 

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions
2

Len Brown approached Sky City for a donation?

Skycity boss placed bets on both horses? What a surprise!