3News played "gotcha" with John Banks last night; once again, with the assistance of Kim Dotcom, who seems to have it in for the Epsom MP.
Banks last night released this statement:
On a personal trip to Hong Kong I received a gift basket at my hotel from Mr Kim Dotcom. I did not accept the gift and gave it to hotel staff. I did not give the matter any further thought.I have learned through the media today that the gift was supposedly worth more than $500, an amount which requires disclosure under the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests.Subsequently my office sought clarification from the Registrar on the appropriate course of action. As we are unable to confirm the actual value, their advice was to make an addition to my return as set out in Standing Orders Appendix B 20(1) which I have now done.
On this occasion, Banks seems to have played with a very straight bat. Getting advice from the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests before going public was a sound strategy, and it's unlikely that this matter will go any further.
But John Key's comments about the media are further borne out by this story. And we reckon that some questions should be asked of 3News as to just what their motivation is with regard to Jon Banks and Kim Dotcom.