DotCom’s donations: John Banks must be stood down, says David Shearer

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Prime Minister should immediately stand John Banks down from his Ministerial portfolios in light of fresh allegations about donations to his mayoral campaign, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

As revealed on Campbell Live last night and again confirmed in the Herald today, John Banks received two $25,000 donations from internet tycoon Kim Dotcom after he directly requested donations to his mayoral campaign be split in two and made anonymously.

“It appears that Kim Dotcom has confirmed he donated tens of thousands of dollars to John Banks’ mayoral campaign under a veil of anonymity after being asked directly by Mr Banks to do so,” David Shearer said.

“The new claims follow concerns raised by Labour MP Trevor Mallard about the non-declaration of a donation from Sky City and regular donations of radio advertising to Mr Banks’ campaign.

“John Key should stand John Banks down while an investigation by police is underway. He cannot continue to hold ministerial roles while such serious allegations are swirling around him. I urge the Prime Minister to confront Mr Banks about the claims and get to the bottom of what has gone on.

“The undeclared Sky City donations raise further questions about the Government’s behind-the-scenes negotiation with the casino and its promise to change gambling laws to allow for more pokies. John Banks once railed against the expansion of casinos but is now preparing to support National’s plan to relax the law.

“John Banks may hold the crucial vote when it comes to passing the legislation which would give Sky City more pokies. Yet there are now serious questions about whether his decision has been influenced by these undeclared casino donations.

“New Zealanders may have been bemused by the lengths John Key and John Banks went to to influence the outcome of the vote in Epsom so that Act could make it into Parliament to prop up National. But they will have little sympathy for politicians who show such contempt for transparency,” said David Shearer.

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