When John Banks was stitched up by Kim Dotcom, Metiria Turei had much to say about it in parliament:
How can this Minister have genuinely run successful businesses? And, you know, John Banks did. He spent two terms as the mayor of New Zealand’s biggest city, he has been a Minister of the Crown, and he has been an MP in this Parliament for many years, but how could he have done all of those things credibly—and this is the important issue—knowing that his career and his credibility depended on his honesty? He has signed off on documents that have now led him to be in court on a charge of criminal fraud. There is an issue here of honesty, an issue of credibility, and that has had a very significant and very negative effect on this Government.
The impact has also been felt by John Key. John Key, who refused to read the police report concerning the case. John Key, who was severe in his criticism of Helen Clark over the exercise of Taito Phillip Field’s vote. Some of us in this House may remember the criticism that John Key made. He demanded that she abandon the use of Taito Phillip Field’s vote while he was charged with and was undergoing the court proceedings—also criminal court proceedings—that eventually led to his imprisonment. John Key does not hold himself to the same standard that he requires of other MPs. He made demands of Helen Clark to force Taito Phillip Field to stand down, to resign, and to not exercise his vote because he was facing criminal charges. Now he finds himself in exactly the same position, with a Minister—or an ex-Minister now, because he has had to resign—but a member who props up his Government and whose proxy vote John Key and his MPs exercise, and he is quite happy to continue to exercise that vote while that member is in court on criminal charges. There is a word for saying one thing and doing another.
That is right. You are not allowed to say that word in this House—
—but there is such a word. So the rot that we see in this case, with John Banks now resigning as Minister and being subject to criminal fraud charges, extends beyond just John Key to others in this Government.
We would expect more. We would expect so much more from this Government. We could have had so much more. But the Government is also doing it off the back of the vote from a disgraced MP who has a serious conflict of interest, and it does not even have the decency to accept that it exists. Government members could have the decency to accept that the conflict exists and that they are not worried about it or they do not think it is so serious or they think that it is manageable. That would at least be honest. But to simply say that it does not exist is, in my view, completely dishonest. What makes it morally bankrupt is that at the end of the day it is ordinary New Zealand families who will bear the cost.
New Zealanders deserve a Government that will legislate for their well-being, for equality, for a good life, and for a fair future for their kids. This Government has failed at every step, because every action it has taken through all the years that we have had this National Government has been to privilege the most privileged. We see the Government’s desperation to continue on that path, with its refusal to even follow its own instructions to others that they do not exercise John Banks’ vote.
We are very pleased that John Banks has resigned as Minister. This should have happened a year ago, with the police report. It has come far too late. But it has come at a time when the significance of the vote that John Banks will exercise has the greatest impact with the Skycity deal. It is a dirty deal, supported by a disgraced Minister, and this is a dirty Government, which is happy to push it through. Thank you.
Well, what is Metiria Turei going to say about her own circumstances.
She has admitted to a prima facie case of fraud, under the Crimes Act that carries a punishment of up to three years in jail and if she was convicted she would be immediately forced from parliament.
She was the first speaker in an urgent debate on john Banks. She was pleased he resigned, she was ecstatic.
When will she DO the right thing and resign herself. She can’t possibly hold any portfolio associated with welfare, IRD or crime. She would have the same conflicts of interest that she called out John Banks for.
To quote her “You are not allowed to say that word in this House—but there is such a word.”.
That word is hypocrisy, Metiria, know thyself, and resign.