Banks seeks judicial review of Judge’s decision

In an unusual move Banks will be lodging papers at the High Court in Auckland today seeking a review of the decision of Judge Phil Gittos of the Auckland District Court to commit him to trial on whether he knowingly filed an donation return that was materially false.

While granting such a review is rare Banks could get there.

The Gittos oral decision is full of errors. It is almost as if the judge did not read the witness statements.  Here are a few.

The opening line of the decision cites the offence as being one under the “Local Elections Act.”  It is actually the Local Electoral Act.   It doesn’t get any better.

The Judge says that McCready produced evidence to show that all three of the donations in question were given personally to Banks. Only one small problem.  No such evidence was put into Court by anyone.

DotCon and Tempero (the hired henchman) never claimed to have given the cheques to Banks.  Tempero says the Financial officer of Megastuff was tasked with depositing the donations. Banks’ campaign Treasurer agrees.  He says the cheques were deposited directly into the campaign bank account as two 25k deposits with no identifying information on the bank records some weeks after the meeting between Banks and DotCon took place.  The Treasurer controlled the bank account records Banks never saw them.  

The evidence of both Tempero and the Campaign Treasurer is supported by the police investigation (the executive summary is available online) that establishes that the donations were deposited by Dot Con employee not by Banks or any of his campaign crew.


Later the judge repeats the error and says DotCon gave evidence that Banks flew in a helicopter to DotCon’s mansion discussed donating to the mayoral campaign and that “two cheques were given to Mr Banks”  He says this must have been memorable for Banks given the circumstances.  That might be so if it happened.

As for the Helicopter? DotCon says Banks drove to the meeting where the donation was discussed.

In a final irony the judge had access to the Banks donation return longer than the candidate did.  He must have looked at it.  Even then he got the number of pages of the return wrong and the number of donations.

For far too long Judges and courts have indulged litigants in person…time to revisit this case and use it as an example to tidy up laws surrounding vexatious litigants.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.