The Banks file

February 18th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Ombudsman has ordered the release of statements given to police by outgoing ACT MP , ruling it is in the public interest.

But the statements would not be handed over until after Banks’ trial over allegations he knowingly filed a false electoral return following his failed 2010 bid for the Auckland mayoralty.

Seems a sensible decision by the Ombudsman. However I do wonder about the precedent. Must statements made in the Hughes assault investigation be publicly release also, based on this precedent?

In a decision released today, Ombudsman Ron Paterson said police were right to refuse some parts of the request, but not to withhold the statements in full.

In their response to the request, police said public interest had to be balanced with the privacy of the person, particularly if allegations remained unproven.

When there is a balance, I favour the public interest.

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19 Responses to “The Banks file”

  1. Pete George (23,436 comments) says:

    Cunliffe supported the Ombudsman’s ruling but when asked if he would apply the same criteria to a Labour MP he said yeah, nah.

    Labour is happy for John Banks’ statements to police to be made public but will not say if the same should hold for its own MPs.

    David Cunliffe is non-committal when asked if his MPs should have to release their statements were they to be subject to a police investigation.

    “I’m not the authority on what’s the proper protocol in terms of the release of witness statements.

    “There will be established jurisprudence around what’s appropriate and what not, and I don’t think I’m the best person to comment on that.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/718593947-cunliffe-non-committal-over-release-of-mp-statements

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  2. burt (8,201 comments) says:

    When there is a balance, I favour the public interest.

    Well that’s Bank’s problem really… He’s not in the labour party so he won’t escape prosecution because “it’s not in the public interest”.

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  3. BeaB (2,106 comments) says:

    I hope someone will go to the Ombudsman about the Hughes investigation. We never found out what really happened and we never found out Annette King’s true involvement in the activities and their cover-up.

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  4. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    However I do wonder about the precedent. Must statements made in the Hughes assault investigation be publicly release also, based on this precedent?

    Except Hughes was never charged and there was no clear evidence any crime was committed. Banks is facing trial. Quite a stark difference.

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  5. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    The police will usually go for worst case scenario remanded in custody etc. But for Banksey……

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  6. Pete George (23,436 comments) says:

    Not such a stark difference.

    The request for the police report was made in 2012, long before Banks was facing trial. After that the police decided not to prosecute, and much later the private prosecution was initiated.

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  7. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Hughes’ details must be made public, or is King stopping this in similar fashion to suppression orders of an ex-Labour MP, now a regional councillor, for dishonesty. Seems to be two standards, one for the left, and none for the right.

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  8. RRM (9,784 comments) says:

    Except Hughes was never charged and there was no clear evidence any crime was committed. Banks is facing trial. Quite a stark difference.

    I thought the conviction at the end of a trial is where the “stark difference” (if any) lies…?

    Charged is not the same thing as convicted… perhaps it would be, in Ross69’s court?

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  9. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    Seems Whaleoil is on to this, although he has been rather busy lately – it is hard work being a gumshoe. There is a suppression order – but only forbidding publication of the young man’s name.

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  10. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Ross69: Once again you illustrate ignorance of convenience as the left display.

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  11. big bruv (13,686 comments) says:

    I would love to see the correspondence between the PM’s department and the US government over a certain incident at LAX during the reign of the corrupt Helen Clark government.

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  12. Fentex (922 comments) says:

    When there is a balance, I favour the public interest.

    Which only begs the question of; what is in the public interest?

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    bb: Are you talking about Goff ordering a RNZAF flight to get Clark’s husband of convenience out of US poste haste. The cost and reason for this flight should be disclosed, after all, Goff is always talking transparency. Why is Clark’s husband not in the US currently, he could be slurping out of the trough with Clark, and the other failed socialists; or is there a more sinister reason he no longer goes to the States?

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  14. oob (190 comments) says:

    At the time of the Darren Hughes affair, I recall reading that the police has asked to search Annette King’s home and she declined. The Police then waited three whole days for a warrant to perform the search.

    I can find no mention of this anywhere, now. Can anyone confirm my memory of the event?

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  15. RRM (9,784 comments) says:

    I would love to see the correspondence between the PM’s department and the US government over a certain incident at LAX during the reign of the corrupt Helen Clark government.

    Could you try to be a bit less specific, please?

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  16. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    oob: This whole Hughes affair needs clearing up, as it appears there were obstacles erected, and possibly, political interference, to brush it under the carpet. About time this and a few other disgusting Labour antics were brought to the fore; as taxpayers, we are entitled to explanations. Labour and their media mates, Cunliffe’s press secretary being in a prime position to orchestrate propaganda, need to explain what has happened to these investigations, or has Little and his union mates muffled them?

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  17. OneTrack (2,981 comments) says:

    I dont get why it would be “in the public interest” for anybodys statement to the police to be released. People might be interested, in a soap opera kind of way, but I dont think that is the same thing.

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  18. newtownlad (5 comments) says:

    Where there’s a true balance, the department is entitled to withhold. The public interest has to outweigh the grounds for withholding, at least under the section 9 grounds.

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  19. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Everyone knows John Banks
    and
    Jesus Saves

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