Sue Bradford and other leading Mana Party figures have
walked out of the party's AGM over its decision to continue
negotiations towards an alliance with Kim Dotcom's Internet
After discussions which went into the night at Mataikotare
Marae near Rotorua yesterday, Mana's branches "unanimously"
agreed to move forward with the negotiations.
The party has given its leaders a month to negotiate, before
they put any proposed alliance out to the party's local
branches for consultation.
However, Mana President Annette Sykes this morning said :
"Our movement, I was concerned that it may be fragile and
some of our membership - I don't know whether some have
chosen not to come back today."
"There's quite a number. We're not talking hundreds, but
we're talking people who I think are leaders young and old
and they are principled people who I have respect for.
They've gone back to reflect with their branches."
Ms Bradford this morning confirmed she was among those who
had walked out.
"We left us last night so she perhaps includes us among those
people because there was deep debate, deep dissension and
resistance to the idea of going into an alliance with the
"Some of us, both Maori and Pakeha, are really disturbed by
the idea of going into an alliance with a neo-liberal
Meanwhile, Ms Sykes said there was "a very clear recognition
that there are certain gaps that need to be fleshed out
before any final decision was made".
She said the vote to continue discussions "was a unanimous
outcome the way we vote regionally but within those regions
there is dissent and we have to respect that dissent so there
are some limits on the next steps and the way they negotiate
Mr Dotcom put his case for an alliance to about 200 Mana
members gathered for their annual meeting yesterday.
The internet tycoon and his entourage arrived at the Mana
annual meeting in large Porsche and Mercedes SUVs but he
pulled out all the stops to convince Mana of his
working-class credentials and his commitment to "social
However, Ms Bradford said she was suspicious of his use of
that term which believed was carefully chosen and was not
exactly the same as Mana's commitment to social justice.
Businessman Gareth Morgan is to address the Mana meeting this
Mana Leader Hone Harawira said Dr Morgan had been " as keen
to meet with us as Kim Dotcom has been".
"It's because Gareth Morgan has publicly stated on numerous
occasions that he made tens of millions of dollars off the
TradeMe sale, and he asked the question, "I didn't earn that
why am I not paying tax on that".
"He is a believer in taxing the rich, we don't agree on the
detail just like we don't agree on the detail with Kim
Dotcom, he's also a believer in a universal basic income and
he wanted to talk to us because we are the only party that
he's seen that believes in that."
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald