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Encyclopedia > John Banks (New Zealand)

John Archibald Banks QSO (born 2 December 1946) is a New Zealand politician. For three years (2001 - 2004), he served as Mayor of Auckland and was re-elected to this office in 2007, and is a former Cabinet Minister for the National Party. Male Companions Badge of the Queens Service Order for Community Service The Queens Service Order was established by Queen Elizabeth II on 13 March 1975. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Mayor of Auckland is the head of the municipal government of Auckland, New Zealand, and presides over the Auckland City Council. ... The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of New Zealand governments executive branch. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or the Nats) currently forms the second-largest (in terms of seats) political party represented in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus functions as the core of the parliamentary Opposition. ...


Before politics

Banks, born in Wellington, moved to Auckland while still at high school. In his career before entering politics, he worked as a market researcher in the pharmaceutical industry, as a commercial property developer, and as a restaurant owner. He served for a time as Chairman of the New Zealand Licensed Restaurant and Cabaret Association. For the first Duke of Wellington, see Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. ... For other uses, see Auckland (disambiguation). ... Market research is the process of systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about customers, competitors and the market. ... For other uses, see Pharmacy (disambiguation). ... A real estate developer builds on land, thereby increasing its value. ... For other uses, see Restaurant (disambiguation). ...

Banks began his political career in local-body politics with election to the Birkenhead Borough Council. Local governments are administrative offices of an area smaller than a state. ... Map sources for Birkenhead at grid reference SJ3088 Birkenhead is a town on The Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, on the left bank of the River Mersey, opposite Liverpool. ...

Member of Parliament

In the 1978 general election, Banks stood as the National Party candidate for the Roskill electorate, but was unsuccessful. In the 1981 election, he stood in a different seat, Whangarei, and won. He would retain this seat for the remainder of his parliamentary career. The 1978 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to elect the 39th New Zealand Parliament. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or the Nats) currently forms the second-largest (in terms of seats) political party represented in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus functions as the core of the parliamentary Opposition. ... Mount Roskill is a volcanic peak and suburban area in the city of Auckland, New Zealand. ... The 1981 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament. ... Whangarei (the initial consonant is pronounced F as in fa-nga-ray) is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. ...

Cabinet minister

When National won the 1990 elections, Banks entered Cabinet, becoming Minister of Police, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Sport. He quickly gained a high public profile due to his controversial views, most of which reflected a highly conservative political outlook. His political opponents accused him of racism towards Māori and immigrants, and of homophobia. Despite this, Banks earned the respect of the Police force and senior police hierarchy as "one of their own". Banks also had a troubled relationship with some of his political colleagues, who were concerned over his allegedly confrontational style. Banks sometimes clashed with Prime Minister Jim Bolger and other senior ministers. In 1996, he resigned from Cabinet, becoming a backbencher after he refused to participate in the same cabinet as New Zealand First leader and coalition partner Winston Peters. At around the same time he also gained a position as the host of a talkback radio programme, taking over from former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon. The 1990 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliaments 43rd term. ... Ths article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... This box:      Racism has many definitions, the most common and widely accepted is that members of one race are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. ... This article is about the Māori people of New Zealand. ... Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ... A protest by The Westboro Baptist Church; a group identified by the Anti-Defamation League as virulently homophobic. ... The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ... The Right Honourable James Brendan Jim Bolger, ONZ, (born 31 May 1935) was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1990 to 1997. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... A backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. ... New Zealand First functions as a political party in New Zealand. ... Winston Raymond Peters, PC, (born April 11, 1945) is a New Zealand politician and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, outside cabinet. ... Talk radio is radio format which features discussion of topical issues. ... The Right Honourable Sir Robert David (Rob) Muldoon GCMG CH (25 September 1921–5 August 1992) served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984. ...

Mayor of Auckland

Banks retired from Parliament at the 1999 elections. His valedictory speech is said to be one of the better valedictory speeches in the last 25 years. The 1999 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 46th session of the New Zealand Parliament. ...

In 2001, he contested and won the Auckland City mayoralty, defeating the incumbent Christine Fletcher (herself also a former National MP). Banks remained controversial in his new role, although often regarding financial and management issues rather than social policy. He governed with the support of the traditional incumbent ticket at Auckland City, Citizens and Ratepayers Now. Banks brought in a streamlined decision making process at council, kept spending increases within inflation, sold half of the Auckland International Airport shares to pay off Auckland City's increasing debt and proposed massive roading and public transport projects such as the "Eastern Corridor". Banks' personal style, coupled with his mayoral agenda, polarised many Aucklanders. A serious challenge to his mayoralty came from philanthropic cereal-maker Dick Hubbard in late August 2004. Six weeks out from the next election, a New Zealand Herald public opinion poll gave Hubbard 32.2 per cent and Banks 27.3 per cent, with Christine Fletcher trailing by a wide gap. Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Christine Fletcher has been prominent in New Zealand politics, both in Parliament and as Mayor of Auckland. ... Citizens and Ratepayers Now is an established centre-right leaning local body ticket in Auckland, New Zealand. ... Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL, ICAO: NZAA) is the largest and busiest international airport in New Zealand serving over 12 million passengers a year, which is expected to more than double in less than 15 years. ... Dick Hubbard ONZM, B.Tech. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New Zealand Herald is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand. ... Christine Fletcher has been prominent in New Zealand politics, both in Parliament and as Mayor of Auckland. ...

The campaign gained notoriety as one of the "nastiest" and hardest-fought in memory. In September 2004, Banks's campaign manager, Brian Nicolle, resigned amidst allegations of "gutter politics" after he anonymously distributed copies of a National Business Review article highly critical of Hubbard to hundreds of letterboxes in Auckland. This was done without the authorisation of Banks as the candidate, which helped make the story even more controversial during the campaign. The National Business Review is a weekly New Zealand newspaper aimed at the business sector. ...

The New Zealand Herald poll's pattern held for most of the campaign as the postal votes came in. On October 9, 2004, Hubbard defeated "Banksie" in his bid to be re-elected as Mayor of Auckland. At the same time, the city also elected a centre-left council, dominated by the City Vision and Action Hobson councillors. In early interviews after his election loss, Banks stated that he would look after his varied business interests, both in New Zealand and Australia. is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The City Vision is a local newspaper in the Bellville region of Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. ... Action Hobson are a centre-left/centrist council ticket in the conservative Hobson Ward of Auckland City, New Zealand. ... In economics, a business is a legally-recognized organizational entity existing within an economically free country designed to sell goods and/or services to consumers, usually in an effort to generate profit. ...

Post-Mayoral career

For a time, rumours suggested that he might return to national politics, standing as a candidate either for the National Party or for ACT New Zealand. Speculation eventually focused on ACT, and several meetings took place between Banks and senior party members. In the end, however, Banks declined to become an ACT candidate, despite indications that he could win a seat for the ailing party that would guarantee them representation.[citation needed] ACT New Zealand is a free market liberal party in the New Zealand Parliament. ...

In February 2005, Banks returned to talkback radio reprising his "Breakfast with Banksie" early morning radio show on Radio Pacific. February 2005 : ← - January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December - → Pope John Paul II is taken to a hospital suffering from a serious case of influenza. ... Radio Pacific is a New Zealand talkback radio station owned by CanWest Global Communications. ...

Re-election bid in 2007

In October 2006, Banks announced he was giving serious consideration to standing for the Auckland Mayoralty again. He indicated that if he did become Mayor again, he would practise a more inclusive style of leadership with a firmer focus on financial matters. He has indicated qualified support for the proposed 2007 "Hero Parade", which was an annual gay parade held in the 1990s prior to his becoming Mayor. [1] Banks has confirmed that he has ditched the controversial Eastern Corridor proposal that caused a split in his voting base.

In July 2007 Banks announced his intention to stand for Mayor in the October 2007 local body election, running on a platform of "affordable progress" and transparency in council meetings. A NZ Herald poll of July 2007 gave him an almost six point lead over incumbent Dick Hubbard, with a further Herald poll in September 2007 suggesting Banks had increased his lead to 8.5%. Online surveys have also indicated substantial support for Banks to return to the Mayoralty. Banks has campaigned heavily on platforms of affordable progess, plus openness and accountability, particularly in regard to Auckland City's leaky homes crisis. Dick Hubbard ONZM, B.Tech. ...

On 13 October, 2007, Banks was re-elected as mayor of Auckland, becoming the only the second Mayor in Auckland City's history to have come back to the Mayoralty after defeat, the other being Dove-Myer_Robinson in 1968. Sir Dove-Myer Robinson (15 June 1901 - 14 August 1989) served as Mayor of Auckland from 1959 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1980. ...

Personal matters

Married and with three adopted children from Russia (who are all from the same family), Banks participates in Rotary International, and has received the Paul Harries Fellow Rotary prize. He also holds membership of a Masonic Lodge. Banks was also awarded a Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to politics. Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. ... “Freemasons” redirects here. ...

His parents were convicted criminals, with his father a getaway driver in a bank robbery gang. Banks spent some years in foster care, and was enormously self-disciplined when commencing his post-education career in business. Banks owned a number of businesses when young including a shareholding in the "Tony's" chain of restaurants. Banks described his years of public service as a way of "balancing the ledger" regarding good deeds to outweight the bad deeds of his parents.


At present, there are two biographies of his life available. Paul Goldsmith's work is largely celebratory, while Noel Harrison takes a more critical perspective about its subject.

  • Paul Goldsmith: John Banks: A Biography: Auckland: Penguin: 2001: (Updated. Originally published 1997): ISBN 0-14-301819-1
  • Noel Harrison: Banks: Behind the Mask: Wellington: Estate of Lyndsay Rae Gammon: 2002: ISBN 0-476-00990-1

Campaign website for 2007 Mayoral bid: www.johnbanks.co.nz

Preceded by
Christine Fletcher
Mayor of Auckland
Succeeded by
Dick Hubbard

Christine Fletcher has been prominent in New Zealand politics, both in Parliament and as Mayor of Auckland. ... The Mayor of Auckland is the head of the municipal government of Auckland, New Zealand, and presides over the Auckland City Council. ... Dick Hubbard ONZM, B.Tech. ...


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