Some sense over Banks case

No Minister

Nick K at No Minister points out something that the eminent lefty lawyers all over the blogosphere have chosen not to notice…that John Banks didn’t actually do anything illegal according to the law, ironically a law that Labour drafted:

Conclusion?  Not only did Banks not breach any law, there was/is no law in the Act for him to break.  Moreover, no candidate since 2001 has been required to file adonations return, and even if they had and it was intentionally false, it wasn’t an offence.

I considered whether Schedule 2 to the Act imposes an obligation to submit the same information in the same return (i.e. a return of expenses and donations together, and both have to be correct).

But remember those words or to similar effect that I earlier said were important.  They mean that the pro- forma expenses return form is just that – a pro-forma.  Candidates can use what they like.  They could use a separate form for expenses than they use for donations.  They could submit a few pages of an expenses return (they have to as they break the law under section 133 if they don’t), but they could just refuse to file a donations return; or they could file a completely wrong donations return and both of those are not offences under the Act.

My conclusion is that it is not even an offence to fail to file a donations return; and it is not an offence to file a false return.

The person who should be prosecuted in all this is Trevor Mallard.  He was a Minister in the Helen Clark government in 2001 when this law was passed.  He was part of introducing shabby legislation that he tried to wrongly use against John Banks.

That is shameful.  Mallard is the person who should be investigated.  I’d love to see him in the dock.


It is clear that this is bad law, badly written law, and badly written law passed by Labour of which Trevor Mallard was a minister at the time. Trevor Mallard, it could be argued knew that the law was dreadful but used the Police as a political weapon wasting their time in the pursuit of offences that could never be successfully prosecuted.

I believe though it is an offence to waste Police time with vexatious complaints.

I wonder what an OIA for the costs of the investigation will show?

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