Allegations about former Cabinet minister and Auckland mayor John Banks’s personal life have been detailed in a court as he faces a paternity lawsuit.
Antony Shaw, 47, has asked a court to declare that the wealthy former politician is his father.
Today in the High Court at Auckland, a hearing was held for arguments in the case, but like at two previous hearings, no one appeared for Mr Banks, leaving Mr Shaw’s lawyer, Jacqueline Lethbridge, to argue the case alone.
She said Mr Banks had been personally served with documents but had not replied.
Ms Lethbridge outlined in detail the allegations made by Mr Shaw’s mother, Pamela Mayes, in an affidavit, describing how she met Mr Banks when he was a pharmaceuticals salesman in 1966, and their romantic relationship until 1969.
Mrs Mayes specifically named the occasion on which Mr Shaw was conceived in July, 1969 in a motel.
Afterwards, Mr Banks tried to get her to have an abortion even offering pills he could get through work but when she refused, Mr Banks ended the relationship and wanted “nothing to do with her,” Ms Lethbridge said detailing Mrs Mayes’s statement.
“They’re serious allegations and they could have been responded to,” she added.
Mrs Mayes said another man, who not could be Mr Shaw’s father, ended up paying child support for 15 years and no father’s name was put on Mr Shaw’s birth certificate.
Mr Banks had also temporarily come back into Mrs Mayes’s life, “rekindling” their relationship, before leaving again after Mr Shaw’s third birthday, according to the affidavit.
When she got in touch with Mr Banks decades later, he was unwilling to take a DNA test following a meeting, Ms Lethbridge said.
Justice Patricia Courtney has reserved her decision.
Mr Banks, a former cabinet minister and two-term Auckland mayor, has three adopted children.
Mr Shaw lives in Japan and says he first pursued the paternity issue in the early 2000s, but put it on hold to raise his son.
Courts cannot compel someone to give DNA in a paternity case.
In a read statement outside court, Mr Shaw said he was “extremely disappointed” the issue had been dragged out into a costly legal debate. NZN