John Banks and Adoption

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of Grafton Bridge.



Also known as John Morris

New Zealand politician

Banks was a New Zealand National Party MP from 1981 to 1999 and has been Minister of Tourism; Sport, Fitness and Leisure; Local Government; and Civil Defence (he resigned his cabinet posts in 1996). In 2001 he was elected mayor of Auckland.

His parents were both convicted criminals and he spent his first 14 years as a foster child in a large family of farm laborers (10 children), the Morrises, who worked for a leading National Party MP, who became Banks' mentor. He then lived with his birth parents for two years, but was sent to boarding school when they were again sent to prison.

He has had contact with his birth sister, but that has stopped.

He also has had a career as a restaurateur (and is the former chairman of the New Zealand Licensed Restaurant and Cabaret Association) and property developer, and he is a licensed pilot. He and his wife adopted three Russian children in 1995.


McLeod, Rosemary. "Is John Banks Mad?" North and South, February 1993, pp. 44-48, 50-53 New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. 1998 edition, edited by Alister Taylor. (Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Publications, 1998)