Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom says the Government's ruling majority is threatened by questions surrounding Act Party leader John Banks and donations to his Auckland mayoralty campaign.
The Megaupload founder, who is waiting for an extradition hearing to the US, was at Parliament for around two hours today and listened on as the Prime Minister was subjected to a barrage of questions over the affair.
John Key maintained he had full confidence in Banks, a stance which did not surprise Dotcom given the Act leader gives the Government a majority in the house.
"It's a very fragile majority, the balance of power is threatened by this whole John Banks affair so I think the Prime Minister has had to make a choice, am I going to uphold high ethical standards or do I want to remain in power." Dotcom told reporters outside Parliament.
Dotcom said he was also surprised Banks had refused to acknowledge the pair were friends.
"I was hurt because that was not the right thing to do, I would not let a friend down."
Banks has tried to avoid media this week after police files were released which revealed Dotcom had said in a sworn statement that he offered Banks $50,000 for his mayoral campaign during a June 2010 meeting at his Coatesville mansion.
The Act MP maintains he did not know the two $25,000 donations he received were from the German internet mogul.
The German national was arrested after police swooped on his Coatesville rented home in January and he stands accused of breaching copyright laws costing owners more than US$500 million. US authorities are attempting to extradite him to face the charges.
His presence in the public gallery was noticed by MPs who were craning their necks to get a look at him.
Key faced 20 minutes of questioning on the issue and his position remained resolute.
"I stand by my full statement that the test is whether I can rely on the member's word and he has given me an assurance he has met the law," Key said.
"The police have quite clearly said there is insufficient evidence, there is a statute of limitations and he has complied with the law."
Labour leader David Shearer shot back: "Does John Banks enjoy his (the Prime Minister's) confidence not because he breached the (electoral) act but because he wasn't prosecuted for breaching the act?"
"He enjoys my confidence because I can rely on his word," replied Key, to laughter from the opposition.
Questions from Green Party co-leader Metiria Turia followed and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters also questioned the Prime Minister on the issue.
Banks was not at question time today but was pressed for a comment on the issue by media at Parliament yesterday.
"A team of the very best police officers that this country could assemble went through this intensively and extensively," he said.
"They weighed every word of every witness, every sentence of
every witness, every paragraph of every witness, and they concluded
no charges, and we've moved on."