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Opposition keeps heat on Banks over donations

Published: 6:24PM Tuesday July 31, 2012 Source: ONE News

Act leader John Banks has faced the heat in Parliament today over the anonymous donations made to his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign.

Last week police said there was insufficient evidence to charge Banks over allegations he knowingly submitted a false election return.

However, opposition MPs have refused to let the matter drop.

Banks, a key ally of the Government, was last week avoiding the media after the release of the police report but going into the House today there was nowhere to hide.

"We've had an extensive police inquiry and I have been cleared," he said when questioned by reporters.

And there was also no avoiding the jibes in the House.

Labour's Trevor Mallard used Banks' position as Associate Education Minister to have go at him.

"Will the curriculum in charter schools include a unit on ethics?" Mallard asked.

"Will the curriculum in charter schools include a unit in reading and comprehension so that individuals who sign documents and declare them to be true and accurate understand their obligation for that to be the case?"

Banks retorted: "The curriculum could include teaching kids how to spell words like vexatious and exonerated."

While police cleared Banks of breaking the local body electoral law, they say he solicited donations from internet tycoon Kim Dotcom and also took money from SkyCity which were later listed as anonymous.

Prime Minister John Key today admitted the Local Government Act was an ass and is likely to be changed.

"No one's arguing that the law isn't substandard, and I think arguably it is. It's just a question of having the time to getting around to change it," Key said.

Banks also agrees the local government electoral law should be changed.