28 May 2015 - A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the Police investigation into John Banks’ return of expenses and donations at the conclusion of the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election was thorough and robust and was not subject to political interference.
In April 2012 Police received a number of complaints alleging that the Hon John Banks had provided a false return in respect of donations, in breach of section 134 of the Local Electoral Act 2001.
Following the Police decision not to prosecute, the Authority received five complaints from individuals about the Police investigation, none of whom were personally involved in the matter. Following the first High Court trial the Authority decided to conduct an independent investigation.
Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers, said today’s report looks at the adequacy of the Police investigation and decision not to prosecute based on the information known to Police in July 2012.
“The report has found that the investigation conducted by the Police was comprehensive and thorough. In the Authority’s view, all documentation that was relevant to the inquiry was obtained, and all relevant witnesses who could be identified were interviewed,” Sir David said.
“The Authority is satisfied, from its inquiry and interviews, that there was no interference or pressure on the investigation team from the Police Executive or politically.
“The Authority has found that the approach Police took in focussing on Mr Banks’ knowledge of the specific information in the electoral return at the time it was signed i.e. on 9 December 2010 was reasonable.
“Police concluded that they could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that at the time Mr Banks signed the return he did so knowing that the particular donations were falsely recorded as anonymous. It was reasonable for Police to reach their own judgment on evidential sufficiency and therefore not to prosecute Mr Banks,” Sir David said.
The Authority notes that it completed its investigation into this matter in April 2015 but could not publicly release its report until ongoing court proceedings had concluded.