John Banks to become a Justice of the Peace for the second people

Former politician John Banks will be back in court next week.
Former politician John Banks will be back in court next week.

Former politician John Banks will be back in court next week but it will be a much sweeter occasion this time.

The ex-Act Party leader will be sworn in as a Justice of the Peace at Auckland District Court on Monday after he gave up the role in 2014 amid allegations of filing false electoral returns.

After a High Court trial, Mr Banks was initially convicted over donations he allegedly received from Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign which were not disclosed on his electoral return and which Mr Banks claimed were anonymous.

But the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial after Mr Banks' wife Amanda tracked down witnesses to a lunch at which Mr Dotcom had claimed the donations were discussed.

Those witnesses corroborated Mrs Banks' version of events and the court ruled the defendant be acquitted.

Having cleared his name, and been awarded $66,200 in costs earlier this month, Mr Banks is set to resume his role as a JP.

Auckland Justices of the Peace Association president Selwyn Haworth confirmed the former politician would be among eight people being added to the 2200 JPs across the city.

"He goes through exactly the same process as everyone else. There's the training programme, then of course he gets sworn in ... and then there's mentoring after that," Mr Haworth said.

Nominations for appointments are only accepted from the Member of Parliament for the electorate where the nominee resides -- Auckland Central's Nikki Kaye -- or from a list Member of Parliament with the endorsement of the appropriate electorate Member of Parliament.

According to the association website, JPs should be educated and have a "genuine desire to serve the community".

"They should be of good standing in the community (which is not to be identified with material prosperity), and should be respected as persons of good sense, character and integrity," the website says.

The eight new JPs will be sworn in by Judge Philippa Cunningham on Monday.

- NZ Herald

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