'Super hero' Dotcom launches Internet Mana campaign

Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom was hailed as "New Zealand's newest super hero" as the Internet Mana Party kicked of its campaign today.

The party's policies - including free tertiary education, living wage for all and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 - were outlined in brochures handed out at the door.

The hall at Western Springs College was full with a mix of people.

The presentation followed the formula of the party's recent road-shows around the country and began with karakia and kapa haka.

Kim Dotcom was welcomed to the stage as New Zealand's "newest super hero".

"I can tell you right now we will get over 5 per cent in this election," he said.

Dotcom had a message for John Key: "We are going to stop your National disaster."

He said as a 19-year-old he hacked the German credit rater because he wanted to ruin the German's Prime Minister's credit rating and hacked in to NASA to find out if aliens existed.

He said he was given a second chance by a judge because they saw potential in his offending.

He said he wanted to give other young New Zealanders that chance.

"There is no rock star economy in New Zealand and there will be no rock star economy under National," he said.

"We re going to take this country forward and take this country back from the Americans."

Dotcom introduced Laila Harre as an "amazing leader".

"She has given us a voice and she is going to take us over 5 per cent and into government."

Ms Harre acknowledged the "humanity, compassion and capacity for sheer hard work" of Hone Harawira and Dotcom.

"Today is a celebration of the possible," she said.

Ms Harre announced the goal of achieving of full employment for the country to a round of enthusiastic applause from the audience.

"The management of unemployment is a dead end street," she said.

"The solution does not lie in punishing the unemployed ... The solution lies in full employment."

If in government, Internet Mana would spend $1.1 billon a year for the next five years to create short term jobs for young people, young single parents, people who have been unemployed for a long time and for students, Ms Harre said.

A specialised digital workforce would create 50,000 new permanent jobs in the next five years, she said.

"And this is all addition to our plans to reintroduce free tertiary education."

A programme to take away student loan debt would also be introduced, she said.

Annette Sykes was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation from many members of the audience.

Ms Sykes said Hone Harawira had asked her to deliver the policy speech after he was in a car accident.

Mr Harawira had been asked to take it easy and would only be at the campaign launch for the later part, she said.

Ms Sykes said eliminating child poverty must be on the mind of the government, and asked how it could commit to backing Team New Zealand while children go hungry.

"We are abolishing charter schools and taking the money they're putting to charter schools and giving it to Kura Kaupapa Maori," she said.

Her speech had the audience cheering "kia ora" and stamping their feet.

She finished by announcing that Mr Harawira had arrived, and passing over to "our beloved leader" or "King Hone".

After a musical interlude, the audience gave a standing ovation and cheered as the Internet Mana list MPs took the stage, lead by Mr Harawira.

The MPs were brought up to the stage to the Kora song 'Politician' and were accompanied by Mana movement flags being waved.

A net of red, black and white balloons dropped on to the audience as the launch came to a close with chants of "Mana hard" and "Internet".

Mr Harawira gave a brief speech saying "our aim is to change the government."

He handed over to his son who stole the show with a freestyle rap about Internet Mana.

After the official launch Ms Harre said the only reason Mr Harawira played a supporting role in the launch was because of medical advice he received after his car crash.

Mr Harawira lost control of his car and crashed south of the Mangamuka Gorge on Thursday.

Mr Harawira said after the campaign launch he could be facing a charge of careless use of a vehicle for his car crash.

He said he lost control of a rental car on the Mangamuka Hills, flipped the car and ended up down a bank where the car landed on its roof.

"I'm very lucky to be alive," he said.

He said he was happy to have Ms Sykes deliver the speech for Mana.

"I'm really comfortable I have people like Annette, Laila, John Minto who can deliver the kaupapa."

- by Sophie Ryan