It turns out that that one of the biggest donors to Act has some very nasty views about Maori. And he claims that all “white New Zealanders” (his phrase, not mine) share his views. Just for the record, I don’t.
Louis Crimp gave $125,420 to Act, in order to get support for his opinions. His views about Maori are racist, and factually inaccurate, exactly the sort of thing that any responsible political leader would reject. But Mr Crimp has been encouraged in holding these views by Don Brash and John Banks, both of whom have snuggled up to him, and taken his money, which he gave to Act in order to support more Maori bashing.
“I supported Act because I thought Brash would go along the way for Maoris to be treated like equal New Zealanders … they don’t get any more than a normal New Zealander and we’re all the same.
“The money I gave was to get Don Brash in to go with his things about the Maori.
Act has defended him on the grounds that he is entitled to his views. Well… yes. But Act did not have to take his money. It’s one thing to cherish freedom of speech, and another thing to endorse outrageous racism by cosying up to someone who speaks hate.
Any responsible political leader would have walked away from this man. But all Don Brash and John Banks could see was the big cheque he was waving about.
And it turns out that Act intends to continue taking Louis Crimp’s money and racism.
Act’s president, Chris Simmons, said he disagreed with Mr Crimp on some areas but respected his right to have a view.
He said he saw Maori culture as “part of our culture”.
“One of the beauties of the Act Party is we believe everyone should have their say.
“That’s his view.”
Mr Simmons said the party would take Mr Crimp’s money again.
Mr Banks, Act’s sole MP, did not respond to calls.
One thing that intrigues me about this is story is exactly why the NZ Herald is giving space to this man’s views. But the by-line on the article is revealing: David Fisher. Journalist David Fisher has been pursuing the links between Kim Dotcom and John Banks with vigour, and in the process, revealing more and more about Banks’ character. This is more of the same.
I welcome it. Our MPs do not need to be perfect, but we do expect them to be reasonably decent people, with a bit of integrity. Fisher’s ongoing revelations about John Banks and the type of people he likes to associate with are exactly what journalists should be doing: holding our political rulers accountable for their words and actions.
I wonder if the good people of Epsom will ever hold their noses and vote for Banks, or any Act candidate, again?
And for just how long does Prime Minister John Key want to be associated with Banks and his merry band of racists?