Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: John Banks: The volunteer did it

100 Responses

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  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    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”.

    There is. And Banks could have been charged with filing a false return without taking proper care if this matter had arisen early enough. But it didn't, and all police could investigate was whether Banks had knowingly filed a false return (because they time limit for charging someone with that much more serious offence is much longer).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    What is the public good in allowing anonymous donations? Seems this can be easily cleared up by not allowing them, then the declaration would be real easy.

    Do the Police charge costs for the 3 month investigation?

    Oh and the 6 month limitation = crock.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Latest from the TVNZ website.......http://imgur.com/3QBYN
    The plot thickens.

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to merc,

    What is the public good in allowing anonymous donations? Seems this can be easily cleared up by not allowing them, then the declaration would be real easy.

    If politicians don't know who is giving them money, they can't do them any favours.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Lilith __,

    makes him look either totally incompetent or flagrantly dishonest.

    The 2 are not mutually exclusive and I would posit...

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    It does not seem to be working that way, because at present the law is protecting that very action. The onus of proof that a politician did not use the money to advantage the giver is absent in the very fact of the anonymity, no?
    Or more simply, anonymous donations allow for the corrupt use of the donated money without penalty, today's Police investigation proves this.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Thanks Graeme.

    Certainly didn't realise there were different time limits for different crimes which kind of makes sense. Bit silly in this case because it would be hard to make a complaint until all the documentation was made public and even then hard to wade through it enough to realise there might be something fishy.

    Oh well. Fining Banks would have been nice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    I'm a bit less impressed than Graeme with the investigation. Basically that is because (1) I am uncomfortable with factual conclusions being confidently expressed and unqualified where the evidential basis is unclear and (2) the Police appear to have set themselves a very high threshold to lay charges.

    One might humbly suggest these are matters for a Court.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Certainly didn’t realise there were different time limits for different crimes which kind of makes sense. Bit silly in this case because it would be hard to make a complaint until all the documentation was made public and even then hard to wade through it enough to realise there might be something fishy.

    The equivalent offences in the Electoral Act, applying to general elections, both have three year time limits.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    I’m a bit less impressed than Graeme with the investigation. Basically that is because (1) I am uncomfortable with factual conclusions being confidently expressed and unqualified where the evidential basis is unclear and (2) the Police appear to have set themselves a very high threshold to lay charges.

    (1) I note that particularly in my post on the matter. Police have mucked up these claims in the past, and I’m not necessarily comfortable with them “smearing” Banks given he won’t have the legal opportunity to clear his name. But on face value, the investigation appears thorough.

    (2) I think I’d blame Parliament for that, not the police!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    2) I think I'd blame Parliament for that, not the police!

    I think the Police would be honest in admitting they have neither the resources nor will in adequately pursuing such matters and the degree of political separation has been shown in these and more matters regarding electoral fraud that they seem incapable of prudent distance.
    3 month investigation time for a 6 month limitation = not nearly adequate. Local electoral laws and general need to be aligned and policed by a section of the Courts.
    Democracy demands it.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I hadn't yet jumped over to your post Graeme - I'm largely in agreement although possibly much less sympathetic to Banks' good name. perhaps that is because I would simply love to see him cross examined on what his knowledge actually was..

    In relation to (2) I was thinking of the statement in the letter that the police "could not establish" that Banks had the necessary knowledge. I don't think they have to establish that, just that there was sufficiently decent evidence to found a charge. Perhaps this is clumsy drafting I doubt it given the ham-handed way the police have handled other policical & sensitive issues, e.g. the teapot tape charges.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to merc,

    3 month investigation time for a 6 month limitation

    It wasn't a 3 month investigation for a 6 month limitation. It was a 3 month investigation for a 10 year limitation. There was no possibility of a charge having a six month limitation period because that had already long-expired.

    Local electoral laws and general need to be aligned and policed by a section of the Courts.
    Democracy demands it.

    That is not what courts do. Not in common law countries anyway (and not really in civil law countries either).

    Democracy also usually demands a separation of powers, not their merging in one body.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I don't get most of that, but I know something is very wrong here and needs to change.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    If politicians don't know who is giving them money, they can't do them any favours.

    And if you believe they don't know, I have a round building in Wellington to sell you.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Ok, so I goofed on the form. But I assume the local election one doesn't say: "here, make a rough guess at your election expenses. Don't bother being accurate, we won't hold you to it. And make sure anyone who's thrown you a big bung stays onside for the next six months"

    That is not what courts do.

    What about the UK system? They have an election court, anyone can file a petition and the court decides.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What about the UK system? They have an election court, anyone can file a petition and the court decides.

    What he said.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    More asset sales?

    I have a round building
    in Wellington to sell you.

    But don't we already own that?
    (or do we lease it off someone?)
    ' - )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What about the UK system? They have an election court, anyone can file a petition and the court decides.

    We have that too.

    Show me something that says the UK Election Court still has jurisdiction 18 months after the event you're complaining of and I'll get back to you.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Not quite the point thanks Graeme, but nevermind.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to merc,

    Not quite the point thanks Graeme, but nevermind.

    There are election petition procedures in both the Electoral Act and the Local Electoral Act now. If someone wanted to use the election petition procedure to pursue an allegation against John Banks they could have.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Ah, thank you, though I still see a bad law overseen by a powerless committee and subject to Police discretion for prosecution - I may have some terminology wrong here, but you get my drift.

    If someone wanted to use the election petition procedure to pursue an allegation against John Banks they could have.

    Based on the past, who would dare? It's enough of a head trip simply discussing it here! Why is it made so hard, when really it is quite a straight forward thing.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    I guess the whole thing is a bit like having billions stashed away in tax havens - within the law, but unethical.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    So Banksie is off on a technicality? Due process to some. If the need ever arose personally during some uncomfortable legal bind I might not mind a similar outcome, but I am not an elected, paid, public official.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    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".

    I'd go with what Graeme's said, but I do find myself now really really wanting to know if John Banks had anything to say during the Paintergate saga about 10 years ago. The ACT leader of the day certainly did, but I think Mr Banks was busy being a mayor at about that time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 439 posts Report Reply

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