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Thursday, May 3

Let's clear up Banks' confusion

If the Prime Minister is serious about addressing the current scandal into John Banks' mayoral campaign funding then the Government should adopt a Green Party Member's Bill already waiting in the ballot, the Green Party said today. 

The Green Party's Local Electoral (Finance) Amendment Bill, first put into the ballot in 2009, will put in place rules to ensure transparency and accountability in local body elections. 

"It seems pretty clear that, on the face of it, John Banks has breached the current election financing rules," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei. "In addition to any legal question, Banks' and the Prime Minister's confusion on this issue shows the need for tighter regulations as the current legislation makes a joke of the term 'anonymous donations' and has allowed John Banks to stretch the line of ethical behaviour," said Mrs Turei. 

"This bill sets the anonymous donations cap at $500 which would mean that John Banks wouldn't be able to fiddle with the figures and avoid telling the public who is funding him. "Real democracy is a battle of ideas not money, so we need to know who is giving our politicians their money.

 "Our bill will introduce caps on donations, limit the use of anonymous donations and regulate third party spending, giving New Zealanders the transparently they are crying out for. "It's vital that we keep our politics clean and honest."