[Sitting date: 31 July 2012. Volume:682;Page:4061. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
DAVID SHEARER (Leader of the Opposition) to the
Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement: “I’m not going to go and relitigate every comment I’ve made prior to this point because I don’t think that would actually be helpful”?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister)
David Shearer: What details of the report of the police investigation into John Banks led him to comment “I think he did exactly what he’d always said, which was comply with the law.”?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: That is my reading of the police report.
David Shearer: Why did he say John Banks “complied with the law”, when the police investigation found Mr Banks received a sealed envelope containing a $15,000 cheque for his campaign at a meeting with
Skycity’s chief executive, a donation that was subsequently recorded as anonymous?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The fact that the police have decided not to press charges shows you that they do not believe there is a case.
David Shearer: Is his conclusion from the police report that where they said they did not have enough evidence to prosecute, that is the same as complying with the law?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, if there was a case to be answered, a prosecution would be taken. I know the Labour Party members would know about that, because they face lots of potential prosecutions.
David Shearer: Is he satisfied that John Banks was upfront and honest at all times with the media and the public in what he knew about the donations he received?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not have responsibility for that.
Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister clearly has responsibility for his Minister and that Minister’s interactions with the media in this building. For him to say that he does not, must be misleading the House—
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member was on reasonable grounds until that point, and then he became totally out of order. The Prime Minister has responsibility only for whether or not he has confidence in his Ministers, and the question did not ask him whether he had confidence in the Minister. The Prime Minister does not have responsibility for the matters that the question asked about.
David Shearer: Did he know before the police investigation that John Banks personally solicited and received a donation from
Skycity as part of his mayoralty campaign that he subsequently recorded as anonymous?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.
David Shearer: Has John Banks’ behaviour during his mayoralty campaign met the standard of ethical behaviour that he expects from his Ministers?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: As the member should know, the
makes it quite clear that when it comes to ethics it is at the time the person holds their warrant.
David Shearer: Given that the
Cabinet Manual says that “Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.”, does he believe Mr Banks is seen by the public as holding the highest ethical standards?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The test is whether he enjoys my confidence, and he does.