Banks as Minister


Dumped Auckland Mayor John Banks has been chosen to stand as ACT’s Epsom candidate -and in media interviews says he would love to get a Cabinet seat.

Here’s an interesting scenario: Imagine if Transport Minister Steven Joyce gets promoted after the next election to an even bigger Cabinet role as pundits predict - and Banks gets handed transport!

How would you feel about that?

National publicly supported Banks when he ran his supermayor election campaign giving him speaking time at their conference in Auckland.

Banks won;t get his beloved Police portfolio back because Crusher Collins loves it too much.
But with transport such a hot issue in Auckland, wouldn’t that portfolio for Banksy be a great way for National to put the brake on Len Brown’s plans with someone whom they think really understands Auckland’s needs?



  1. rtc says:

    Problem is he doesn’t understand Auckland’s needs, hence why he lost the election (twice). It should also be noted that most people associate him with the Eastern Motorway so I’m not sure National would see him as a good transport candidate. I’m sure Banks would like it to effect retribution on Len Brown.

  2. Cam says:

    There is no way they would give an ACT MP a portfolio as important as transport. He’d get something like consumer affairs, and considering ACT is currently still polling at 1.5 - 2% they should be grateful if they get anything.

  3. Matt says:

    ACT being the super-nasty wing of National, has the official role of making National look less nasty. It’s a strategy that doesn’t really work, as National looks nasty enough.

    But appointing ministers who don’t understand their portfolio has a long tradition in National. Their talent pool is a puddle after all. So the nightmare scenario you present here is certainly plausible, if not of course desirable.

    Heaven help Auckland.

    On another note, growing up in Adelaide, in Year 1 in primary school we were learning the cities of New Zealand. (As a 6 year old I therefore knew where Oamaru was, and it is scary how many Kiwi adults don’t even know which state Adelaide is in), and my Year 1 teacher had big loopy handwriting. My buddy Damien thought for years afterwards that the biggest city in New Zealand was Duckland.

    I like that name better, and hereby declare Duckland Trains open for business.

    Heaven help Duckland.

  4. Joshua says:

    Cam - Rodney Hide was in charge of setting up Auckland, although maybe that is not a important portfolio.

    I’m not to sure that would be a bad thing with John Banks supporting CBD rail. especially when we get more done under a National Government than a Labour one.

  5. James B says:

    @Matt I still think Melbourne should have gone with Batmania that would have been o for oarsome.

  6. James B says:

    On the other hand if Banks was given transport one would argue that he could feel compelled to help complete his election promise of last year and build the CBD rail tunnel. Hmm… on the other hand that may be too much to ask.

  7. Matt L says:

    If Banks was made transport minister it would be a true test of whether he genuinely supports the CBD tunnel or if he just said he did in the name of votes.

  8. Patrick R says:

    Banks is nightmare prospect. First of all he is actually insane- have you heard him ranting about Russian orphans etc, he’s bonkers. Second he will spend all his energy scoring points with Brown, and that certainly means no CBDRL, and anyway like the rest of Act he is a twice failed backward relic from another century. Not yet at the corpse-that- walks level like Brash and Douglas, but he still has too many old battles to revisit to be of any use to society this century…. I really hope the good people of Epsom show some self respect and actually vote for the candidate of party they like and this sad and self delusional game of gerrymander can end.

  9. rtc says:

    Banks said he supported the tunnel simply because Len Brown did and he knew it as a vote winner, he certainly doesn’t support it at ‘heart’ so to speak - he’s a seasoned politician (a washed up I IMO but that’s a different subject).

    Regardless, current polling suggests National won’t need Act after the election and if they have their way they’ll get rid of MMP and will happily govern alone for a few years to come, unless Labour finally comes out of their stupor and gets active on confronting National about issues. Gareth Hughes is currently the only opposition MP who seems to really have a clue about Tranport AND is actively campaigning on this issue. I’m sure many others agree with his views but are pretty silent about it. I’m confused as to why Labour doesn’t come out and state that they’ll fund the tunnel with the money being wasted on the RONS, they don’t even need to find new money they simply have to change the one sentence inserted by Joyce that prohibits money from the LTF being spent on rail. Sounds like a vote winner to me.

  10. Patrick R says:

    I agree rtc, have directly raised this with Labour
    MPs, remain puzzled. If they’re playing some timing game it looks dangerous to me as the RWC will take over soon enough (as planned). Perhaps they’ve all but surrendered this one and are focussing on the post election internal power struggle. Although even that doesn’t convince as what better way to position yourself for that than to perform well in this election? Perhaps they are simply having trouble accepting that the right policy is the Greens one? Branding issues?

  11. richard says:

    Banks is hardly a rail supporter. Do not forget that had Christine Fletcher’s council not managed to get the Britomart station contract signed a week before the election John Banks was going to cancel the project if elected, which he was.

  12. ingolfson says:

    “and if they have their way they’ll get rid of MMP”

    MMP is going to get a two-stage public referendum to decide it’s future (if I remember right, first a referendum on whether people want it replaced at all, and then, if applicable, a referendum on what should replace it).

    So while National will likely campaign heavily for their favoured change, it’s extremely unlikely to be something they will just rush through on the basis of a “simple” election win. I am unsure whether that would be even possible, legally.

    Oh, and Banks could easily become Minister of Local Government, like Hide. He’d even have experience for THAT position, not that I want him to have it. And he will ride the “CBD tunnel is a nice idea, but too costly right now” sentiment all the way.

  13. Anthony says:

    Honestly, I wonder how John Banks ever became a Mayor, I can’t even bear thinking about him as a Prime Minister, if that ever happens I would set myself on fire….


  14. Cam says:

    Cam – Rodney Hide was in charge of setting up Auckland, although maybe that is not a important portfolio” - He was given Local government, not generally seen an important portfolio, i wouldn’t think. Yes he was charged with rolling out the Auckland refoms and the consenus on both right and left was that he did it in a hamfisted clumsy way.

    Do you seriously think the Nats would hand the transport portfolio to a mamber of a party which is likely to receive about 2% (or less) of the vote? Particulalry a party of fringe right wing nutters of which most of the public are pretty wary.

    “I’m not to sure that would be a bad thing with John Banks supporting CBD rail. especially when we get more done under a National Government than a Labour one” - He doesn’t support any such thing, it was just expediant to say that when he was running for Mayor because he got kicked out off office for not being pro PT in the mid 2000s.

    As for your second statement, with regards to infrastructure, the 1990s would prove that to be completley false.

  15. Joshua says:

    I’m not talking about governments in the 1990′s, both parties, and in particular National have changed. More aligned to the left than ever before.

    At the time the Auckland portfolio was a very important one, given the huge task that was at hand, however we have already seen the advantages taking place.

    Key is not the type of person who will decide on a minister because of the amount of party vote they get, thats a real amateur move. Key has a business background, he will pick who he believes is best for the job, and give him the results he wants. Not saying he or I want John Banks as transport minister, just saying its possible.

    I’m not sure on the Banks not supporting CBD rail thing, but I do agree he will prob use the we cant afford right now it card. But I have not heard any positive noises coming from Labour either.

    Patrick R - The people of Epsom will vote for Banks to ensure National have a partner, MMP will only be axed if the people vote it to be, so they wont take that risk. They vote Banks and party vote National. Unless Labour come out and specifically attack National on Transport Policies, I cant see them gaining much in the electorate.

  16. Matt says:

    “National have changed. More aligned to the left than ever before.’

    Those space cakes are just way out.

    “They vote Banks and party vote National.” - or maybe it’s in the water.

  17. Patrick R says:

    Joshua I understand the reasoning but I also know that not everyone of whatever political stripe likes being told what to do or appreciates being played… optimistic I know but I look forward to seeing the result in Epsom as I have a feeling that the people there may not be so enamoured of Act this time whatever the tactical niceties. And Brash is delusional about his appeal. Death walking.

  18. The Trickster says:

    Brash is as Proposition Joe on The Wire would describe:

    “A cadaverous motherf****r”

  19. Patrick R says:

    or as Bunk would say ‘sheeeee-ittt, that there is some shameful shit’

    apologies for language but all rules are off when quoting from the best work ever made for the small screen……

  20. The Trickster says:

    I think you’re confusing Clay Davis with Bunk a little there.

    Is it bad that I was sad when Prop Joe was killed?

  21. Patrick R says:

    Hey fan-boy you got it bad. There got to be a bit of competitive ‘sheeee-itttttttt’ action there towards the end.

  22. The Trickster says:

    That I do…. fav season would still be Season 3 though.

    And Clay Davis was ALWAYS going to win that one.


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