Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'John Banks'

Banks in the hot seat


Here it is: The Teapot Tape. Listen and marvel!

Here’s the tape that’s caused all the fuss. Fairfax has confirmed that it’s the real thing.

After listening to it, you might well decide that it is truly a storm in a teacup. But – it got Winston Peters and his motley crew into Parliament, so the PM may now be wishing he’d released it on the spot!

It’s difficult to decipher, but here’s a link to a transcript on The Jackal’s blog.



‘Ello, ‘Ello, Ello’, I’ve come to raid your media premises on the instruction of Prime Minister Key.’ A far-fetched fantasy.

‘Ello, ‘Ello, ‘Ello, I’ve come to raid your newspaper/radio station/TV station on the instruction of my superior officer, PrimeMinister Key. So hand over the document or recording, according to whichever is in your possession.’

‘What document or recording are you referring to, officer?’

‘Now don’t play the smart-arse with me, sonny. You know very well it’s the recording illegally and criminally made of Prime Minister Key having an entirely private chat with the former Minister of Police during an entirely private meeting in an off-the-beaten-track Auckland eatery. Oh, and the transcript thereof.’

‘You mean the recording made when a cameraman accidentally left his microphone on the table, and couldn’t go back in to retrieve it, because your people wouldn’t let him back in.’

‘No comment. Just hand over the recording or document before I slap the cuffs on and escort you back to the station.’

‘No, I won’t.  And I’m still waiting for you to tell me what I’m charged with and to read me my rights.’

‘Harbouring an illegally and criminally obtained,  subversive recording or transcript thereof, likely to destabilise the government.’

‘But Prime Minister Key has said there’s nothing of consequence on the recording/document. He called it “bland”.’

‘We’ll have none of your clever-clever, smarty-pants media debating tricks here, mate. If Prime Minister Key says you’ve broken the law, then you’ve broken the law. And if you haven’t, he’ll change it.’

‘Really? I thought we lived in a democracy.’

‘That’s a good one!’ Read the rest of this entry »


John Banks confuses Q & A with Sesame Street and (unwittingly) insults the good people of Epsom

 On yesterday’s Q&A there was widespread agreement that the voters of Epsom –  the Auckland suburb colourfully described in the programme as ‘home to champagne wishes and caviar dreams’ – were nobody’s fools.  According to former National Party Chairman, John Slater, Epsom voters were ‘intelligent people, politically astute and smart’.

Former Auckland mayoral candidate Colin Craig, leader of the newly formed Conservative Party of New Zealand, agreed:

‘Epsom voters are actually relatively intelligent voters. And I’m not sure they enjoy being taken for granted.’

Christine Fletcher, who won the  seat for National in 1996 with a massive majority, wasn’t sure either. ‘The people of Epsom,’ she said, ‘won’t be told what to do.’

What the people of Epsom are being told to do – by John Key, Don Brash, John Banks and, though not in so many words, by the  National Party candidate, Paul Goldsmith, is to give their electorate vote to ACT’s Mr Banks  and not to Mr Goldsmith, who will get in on the National Party list anyway. That’s if they want to ensure that National stays the Government in November and John Key the Prime Minister.

The polite term for this is ‘strategic voting’. True-blue Epsom voters were reasonably willing to do it in 2008, sending Rodney Hide and ACT back into Parliament with five MPs but only 3.5 percent of the party vote. But a recent Herald poll suggests that for many the ‘champagne wishes and caviar dreams’ may no longer include Mr Banks or ACT.  Read the rest of this entry »


Banks or Brown? Brown or Banks? Who’s really Mr Nice? Who’s really Mr Nasty? Who’s neither?


It’s confusing. I thought I knew who Len Brown was and I thought I knew who John Banks was. Crudely expressed, Brown was Mr Nice and Banks was Mr Nasty. There’s something reassuring about that sort of simplistic delineation of character. For one thing, it makes political options easier. Given the choice of having Mr Nice or Mr Nasty run things for us, we’d all choose Mr Nice of course. Or would we?

Deborah Hill Cone expresses an interesting view of this in this morning’s Herald. In a column headlined Bad is best – the good guys don’t get the job done, she writes: 

‘Personally, I’d choose a bolshie Churchillian with a filthy mouth and bad temper but great leadership chops over a well-spoken, mild-mannered, hand-holding type.’ 

She’s not alone. If you look at the men and women New Zealanders have chosen to lead the country, a very clear picture arises of our taste in Prime Ministers. A perception of strength, bordering on tyranny, is the essential prerequisite. We prefer the bully to the (perceived) wimp. Muldoon and Rowling provide the clearest example. Muldoon, most people would agree, looked like a bully; Rowling, in reality a very strong personality, came across as weak and ineffectual. Muldoon beat him in three elections. 

At the local body level, Banks and Hubbard illustrate this phenomenon. Aucklanders got rid of Banks because he was nasty and they thought they wanted someone nice. Hubbard was nice. But it didn’t take the citizenry long to realise that nice wasn’t what they wanted after all. Banks was back. As Hill Cone rightly observes: ‘Hubbard would be welcomed into anyone’s knitting circle but that may not be the first quality on the list for great mayors.’    Read the rest of this entry »


John Banks – A Personal Reassessment

In a slim file in my office, marked ‘Legal’, I have a document dated ‘Thursday the 9th day of December 1993’.  It’s headed STATEMENT OF CLAIM. The claim is made by one John Archibald Banks of Whangarei, Member of Parliament (Plaintiff) and TV3 Network Services Limited (First Defendant) and Brian Finbar Myram Edwards of Auckland (Second Defendant). It’s a writ for defamation.

The writ refers to comments I’d made about Mr Banks on The Ralston Group. I can’t recall the context, but I began, ‘John Banks has to go,’ and finished, ‘So he has to go.’ I can’t repeat the lengthy bit in between, because Mr Banks might decide to issue another writ for defamation. Suffice to say, it expressed my opinion of his character at the time and it wasn’t flattering.

Anyway, TV3 indicated that it would defend the writ, Mr Banks (to my knowledge)  did nothing more about it and that was that.

You’ll understand that I was not a fan of the current Mayor of Auckland then and continued not to be a fan, until very recently. On numerous occasions I expressed my dislike of him publicly,  though rather more circumspectly.

I disliked him as a talk-back host on Radio Pacific. His world, it seemed to me, was divided into ‘good people’ and ‘bad people’, a view I thought simplistic and untrue.

I wasn’t much impressed when he was Mayor of Auckland from 2001 to 2004 either and did my bit to see that he wasn’t re-elected.

More recently, during Jim Mora’s The Panel, I described him as ‘that dreadful man’.  Read the rest of this entry »


Of Bullies and Sensitive New Age Guys [Some free advice for Brown and Banks]

Now here’s a curious thing – when the people of Auckland tossed John Banks out as Mayor what they were looking for in a replacement was someone decent, nice, caring, maybe even just a bit saintly. And that is precisely what they got in Dick Hubbard.  But three years later they threw out the decent, nice, caring, maybe even just a bit saintly chap and brought back the not-so-decent, not-so-nice, not-so-caring and definitely not a bit saintly Mr Banks.

What had gone wrong? Well, Mr Hubbard was no less decent, nice, caring, saintly after three years than he was at the beginning. So it can’t have been that. And, though Mr Banks claimed to have turned over a new leaf, we all knew that leopards never really changed their spots and voted him back in anyway.

You see, the trouble was that Dick was a bit wishy-washy and somewhat  eccentric in the way he talked and looked and moved. He wore his religious belief on his sleeve and used high-flown words like ‘vision’ and ‘community’. He really was a nice man, but we didn’t know what to make of him. He made us feel uncomfortable and ill at ease. We’d thought he was what we wanted, but he wasn’t. Read the rest of this entry »


The Art of the Makeover – New and Improved Advice for Mayoral Hopefuls



Photo: NZ Herald/Richard Robinson
Photo: NZ Herald/Richard Robinson







 I see that John Banks has taken his media trainers’ advice and begun to appear wearing an open necked shirt. According to a recent story in the Sunday Star Times, the candidate for the ‘Super Mayoralty’ was also counselled to be ‘more chatty’ when he talks and to ‘speak up’ about  his difficult childhood.

Political makeovers are tricky at the best of times. To be effective they need to be both gradual and subtle, their effect on the electorate’s consciousness almost subliminal. Obvious makeovers  make the public suspicious and resentful. They suspect that someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes and are offended by the idea that they can be swayed by mere cosmetic change.  Read the rest of this entry »