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Banks' ministerial credentials 'marred' - Shearer

Published: 10:16AM Sunday April 29, 2012 Source: ONE News

Act leader John Banks has "fluffed" simple questions about anonymous donations to his mayoral campaign and his ministerial credentials are damaged, says Labour Party leader David Shearer.

Banks said today that allegations he tried to hide the source of donations to his Auckland mayoral campaign are a "sideshow and most of it is humbug".

The Act leader is accused of knowingly receiving $50,000 from Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign, but declaring it as an anonymous contribution.

Banks allegedly asked for the donation to be divided into two so it could be kept anonymous, Dotcom told the NZ Herald.

Asked about the issue on TV ONE's Q and A this morning, Banks said he had nothing to hide.

"I think you think I came up the river on a cabbage boat," he told interviewer Paul Holmes.

"I can tell you when I signed my declaration for the mayoralty, I signed it in good faith in the knowledge it was true and correct. I have nothing to fear and nothing to hide and I welcome the inquiry."

David Shearer said Banks' appearance on Q and A has only created more doubt about the disclosure of the anonymous donations.

"John Banks seemed indignant to the need to answer even the most basic line of questioning on the donations he received from SkyCity and Kim Dotcom," Shearer said.

He said Banks' ministerial credentials are "currently marred" and the Prime Minister must demand answers about the donations before his reputation is damaged further.

"They were simple questions," Shearer said of Banks' Q+A interview.

"Fluffing answers about the number of donations he received is unnecessary and overcomplicates the allegations.

The Electoral Commission is undertaking a review of contributions to Banks' campaign.

Police have also been asked to look into a $15,000 donation made to Banks from SkyCity Casino towards his campaign. Banks has been accused of not fully declaring the donation he received.

"Most of it is humbug"

"It's a sideshow, it's mostly a media beat up and most of it is humbug," Banks said on Q+A.

"The sideshow next week won't be me it will be this joker (David Parker) and his mates rolling David Shearer."

Parker, another guest on Q and A, was asked whether there were any plans to take the leadership of the Labour party away from David Shearer.

Commentators have speculated that Shearer's leadership has not been effective with Chris Trotter describing it as "the unfortunate experiment".

"David Shearer is a courageous man he's a good leader and I believe, and I think a lot of New Zealanders know, we are lucky to have him in politics," Parker said.

"There is no leadership coup rumours other than in blogs."