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Bank of New Zealand v Bad Dad

Media release from the Political Busker.

On Tuesday July 7th the Bank of New Zealand has filed proceedings against Wellington’s Political Busker, Benjamin Easton. The Bank is responding to proceedings of judicial review filed against them by Mr Easton. Easton claims that in June 2008 the Bank funded an advertisement that was gender offensive and unlawfully discriminatory against fatherhood.

In the proceedings the Bank states it has made no decision that is able to be judicially reviewed, that it has not compromised the Human Rights Act 1993 (the Act) as Easton claims and that regardless of these matters Easton has no standing to bring proceedings against the Bank. Easton counters that the Bank has sponsored a charity that has promoted gender discrimination and has therefore benefited off that discrimination, that the Act defines a “grant” and that includes sponsorship which is consistent with the Bank’s action and that he has every standing to bring the complaint against the advertisement because it targets people like him.

Easton is becoming well known to the Courts as he files other actions. His planned proceeding against the Wellington City Council has made its way to the Internet.

The busker believes that the hardest thing to convince the judge will be on his standing to bring the Bank to such an account by way of a judicial review.

“In my experience the judge will want to protect the Bank from unnecessary and expensive proceedings. If I were the judge the first thing I would look at is whether this unemployed citizen was abusing the Court process using his unemployed rights to clog and impugn the function of a legitimate commercial operation and its rights of sponsorship. The judge would need to consider if the purpose of the Court in a review of such an event was in the interests of the public and that there are not other and more appropriate jurisdictions that would serve the same if not better purpose,” he states.

“The irony of this is that the advertisement is about trying to get dads to stop hitting their children and I am a father who has never hit or hurt my children but I have a domestic protection order against me stopping me from seeing them. I cannot figure that anyone has a better standing to bring the Bank to some kind of responsibility for doing damage to fatherhood than me. I am not claiming to be puritan or angel but I can rightfully claim that the Bank shouldn’t be making custom marketing propaganda that is dishonest and misleading. Not only men commit domestic violence and not only European men either as the advertisement seems to suggest. I do not know how anyone can believe that the advertisement is fairly protecting children from domestic violence where that violence is presented on a look a like birthday cake like it is something for everyone to celebrate”.

No one from the Bank was available for comment. The proceedings will be held at the High Court of Wellington and begin at 10.00am.

Benjamin Easton
Political Busker
Phone: 027 390 2169