Police have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to consider a prosecution of then-mayoral candidate John Banks for an offence under section 134(1) of the Local Electoral Act 2001.
This follows complaints about returns filed relating to donations from Sky City Casino, Mr Kim Dotcom and a radio advertising donation to the 2010 Auckland Super City mayoralty campaign of Mr Banks.
The inquiry has established the return was compiled by a campaign volunteer who assured Mr Banks it was accurate before Mr Banks signed and transmitted the return.
The 2010 election was 20 months ago so even if there was evidence it would be too late.
In terms of Section 134 (2) of the Local Electoral Act relating to transmitting a false return there is a statutory limit of six months from the time of elections when complaints must be laid. Police first received the complaint for investigation on 27 April 2012, well after the expiry of six month period. Police are therefore unable to consider charges pursuant to Section 134 (2).
The case has done nothing to improve Banks’ reputation.
It has also shown that local body electoral law is looser than it ought to be and is in need of tightening.