Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: John Banks: The volunteer did it

100 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Another side issue here: Do The Police actually care less about enforcing electoral laws? I've got my doubts, and not for the first time have to ask if it's time to give the Electoral Commission some teeth?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11988 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Trevor Mallard has posted a copy of the letter

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2085 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I would also welcome another agency than the Police making decisions about prosecution, given their repeated failure over many years to reflect the most basic common sense over whether there is enough evidence to bother lodging a case with the courts. It's not their job to establish liability to a high standard of proof, merely the presence of evidence that could be tested in court.

    When someone can knowingly be handed an envelope and sign a legal document stating otherwise, then claim to be innocent and get away with it, something is seriously wrong with the law, its enforcement or both.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16658 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Is the return a contract between the candidate and the Electoral office??? If so, then signing it means he "knows what is in it".

    Contracts 101.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1496 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think we know who the police work for.

    This is the form Banks filled out. Doesn't have a statement anywhere disclaiming the candidate's responsibility. IANAL, but I thought that when one signed an official form, one was taking responsibility for that being a true account?

    Normally, a candidate is accountable to the people who vote for them as well as the law, but in the case, it isn't just a corrupt candidate, it's a corrupt electorate.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4459 posts Report Reply

  • WaterDragon,

    Agree with Sacha. This is begging for a yeah right billboard, but apart from that somewhat embittered response to sophism, it is clear to many that police judgement often appears overly flexible and/or responsive to a very wide range of matters.

    Behind you • Since Jul 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    This is the form Banks filled out

    Nope. We're talking about the 2010 Local Body elections, not the national ones the following year.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16658 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Its bollocks. In saying he just accepted the word of a volunteer that the return was accurate shows how little respect he had for transparency. Hell I bet he doesn't do that with his expenses. If he really respected the idea of electoral transparency he would have made sure his return was accurate, its not as if he had thousands of donations to check.

    As Craig says the Electoral Commission needs some teeth or at least to get a bit of mongrel in them. Everyone is just being too damn polite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to WaterDragon,

    that somewhat embittered response to sophism

    I had to look up sophism - " a specious argument used for deceiving someone"
    then I had to look up specious - "strongly held but false"
    That's two new words I learned today!
    That's what I love about Public Address, its so.... educational .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Richard Aston,

    he just accepted the word of a volunteer that the return was accurate

    In the world the rest of us inhabit, if you sign something as true without reading or checking it, you have to wear the blame it if it turns out to be wrong.

    Banks has to be accountable. Blaming someone else is weaselly, and it makes him look either totally incompetent or flagrantly dishonest.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham,

    Why not prosecute the campaign volunteer?

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Isn't the point of signing a document that you are taking responsibility for the contents of that document?

    I really don't understand this. Even if he didn't realise the contents of the form were incorrect, by signing it surely he is legally responsible for the contents?

    Is there a lawyer who can explain this?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    and it makes him look either totally incompetent

    It also makes the police look incompetent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    • Was the donation of the radio advertising in-kind? Was it therefore from a radio station or radio station owner? If so, I would like to know which radio station was involved.

    As per the Police letter it was a donation of radio advertising, and was recorded as an expense as well.

    Re "the volunteer did it", this isn't about signing something and therefore being accountable for it's contents. Section 1 of the law involved is around "knowing the return is false" - the Police are saying they can't prove he KNEW it to be false. Section 2 of the law seems to me to be where he would be exposed but the statute of limitations on it ran out well before the complaint...*

    *Totally not a lawyer of course, just my reading of the Police response

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    This is the form Banks filled out.

    That is not the form Banks filled out for the 2010 Auckland Mayoral Election. That's the form he would have filled out for the 2011 General Election.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Re “the volunteer did it”, this isn’t about signing something and therefore being accountable for it’s contents. Section 1 of the law involved is around “knowing the return is false” – the Police are claiming they can’t prove he KNEW it to be false.

    Isn't there also a law about putting in a return without proper care and attention?*

    * Also totally not a lawyer :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    “knowing the return is false” – the Police are saying they can’t prove he KNEW it to be false

    I get that.

    But I thought there was something legal about the act of putting your mark on a document. Along the lines of "if you sign it you affirm that the contents are true".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    A law that cannot hold a candidate responsible for a document he has signed is a law that needs to be changed.

    The law does allow candidates to be held responsible for the documenst they sign.

    If you can charge them within six months.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Lilith __,

    * Also totally not a lawyer :-)

    Shhhh, one just arrived in the comments. Don't make any sudden movements or semantically questionable interpretations...

    Re your question, I would read the second part of the relevant section here as being about "proper care and attention" (you have committed an offence if it's wrong unless you can prove you took every reasonable step to ensure it was accurate) but charges under that part have to be laid within 6 months. In this case they weren't...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The law does allow candidates to be held responsible for the document they sign.

    If you can charge them within six months.

    Oh. :-/

    And this wasn't done, because...?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Lilith __,

    And this wasn't done, because...?

    Banks didn't piss Dotcom off until well after that? ;)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Another side issue here: Do The Police actually care less about enforcing electoral laws? I’ve got my doubts, and not for the first time have to ask if it’s time to give the Electoral Commission some teeth?

    From my reading of this investigation, I conclude that the police have done exactly what we would hope police would do when investigating such a complaint.

    They have:
    * looked into the case
    * conducted interviews with witnesses
    * worked out what they believe they can prove
    * assessed their evidence against the legal requirements of the offences they can apply
    * ignored the legal requirements of offences they can't apply
    * and done all of this in ca. 3 months

    What more would anyone like them to have done in this case?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    And this wasn’t done, because…?

    Given the speed with which bureaucracy moves my guess is all the relevant details wouldn't have been even released for public scrutiny.

    So the police would probably have to suspect a crime even before the election in order to be able to beat the time limit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3389 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    * Also totally not a lawyer :-)

    Shhhh, one just arrived in the comments. Don’t make any sudden movements or semantically questionable interpretations…

    I've found they don't startle too easily. :-) Although their sarcasm can be biting...

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Lilith __,

    And this wasn’t done, because…?

    Because no-one even complained until something like 16 months after the alleged offending.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.