Tuesday, 18 September 2012

POLITICAL DONATIONS SAGA


New Zealand MP can’t remember
two $15,000 donations
Act MP John Banks

The board of the New Zealand Act Party is standing by its leader, Member of Parliament John Banks, in spite of a police report containing evidence that the MP filed a false election return.

Mr Banks, who is the sole Act MP in the House denied asking controversial Mega Upload founder, Kim Dotcom,  to give his $30,000 donation to his Auckland mayoral campaign in two payments of $15,000 so that they could be made anonymously.

Mr Banks has made a career of campaigning from the moral high ground and advocating strong measures to deal with criminals and bludgers on the state. But when accused of breaking electoral laws, Mr Banks had apparently suffered a memory lapse.

Naturally, his board at the Act Party will have confidence in him, because there is no one else that they can have confidence in. Banks is the sole Act MP and without him the party will not have a voice in the House.

However Act president, Chris Simmons, has not said that the party will endorse him again at the next election in 2014. Perhaps the party is hoping that by that time they will have found a leader less likely to accidentally fall over his own moral standards.

Mr Banks also failed to disclose a donation from casino operator, SkyCity, which was given in a SkyCity-branded envelope.