Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, left, and Internet Party
chief executive Vikram Kumar announce their deal to form
the Internet Mana Party at a press conference at
Parliament. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Hone Harawira's Mana Party has confirmed an election year
deal with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party - prompting senior Mana
member Sue Bradford to quit.
Ms Bradford told Radio Live this morning she had quit the
Mr Harawira announced earlier this morning the deal had been
finalised at a joint press conference with Internet Party
chief executive Vikram Kumar in Parliament this morning.
Mr Harawira will be at number one of the joint entity's party
list with an Internet Party candidate at number two.
Mana would take positions three and four.
It had taken "a while" to strike the deal because Mana
members took time to "get their heads around what an alliance
may mean", Mr Harawira said.
However an "overwhelming majority of members" were in favour,
"We're looking forward to where we go from here."
Mr Kumar said he was "absolutely delighted to have come to an
The alliance which will be known as the Internet Mana Party,
represented "a credible choice for New Zealanders in the
coming election" and it was hoped the alliance would
encourage young New Zealanders to engage in the coming
election and help reverse the declining trend for young voter
Mr Kumar said the Internet Party's leader, a key issue in
discussions between the two parties, would be announced on
Mr Harawira said Mr Dotcom's looming extradition trial and
whether Mana would support his efforts to remain in New
Zealand had "not even come up once" during discussions over
the last few weeks.
"It's not a matter on the table at all."
Mr Kumar acknowledged the Internet Party would contribute
more money to the alliance than Mana but finances were only
"a small part of resources" involved.
The Mana Party brought expertise and experience to the
alliance while the Internet Party brought communications and
other resources which Mr Harawira said would add up to a "new
and very vibrant organisation I hope will shake up the
Mr Harawira acknowledged some Mana Party members were not
happy about the alliance.
Senior member Sue Bradford has previously indicated she would
leave the party if the deal went ahead.
Mr Harawira said he understood she remained a member at this
Asked whether the alliance may spell the beginning of the end
for his party, Mr Harawira said: "I see this as being a
brighter furture for Mana and I see us doing far better in
this election than commentators might have thought three or
four months ago."
Asked how many MPs he hoped the joint entity might take into
Parliament, Mr Harawira said: "More than what we've got right
Commenting on the recent recording of he and Shane Jones
discussing the prospect of Mr Jones returning to politics and
Mr Harawira departing, Mr Harawira downplayed his comments as
"a throwaway comment between close relations".
The marriage of convenience is designed to maximise the
chances of both parties gaining MPs in the next Parliament.
Mr Harawira is the sole Mana MP and holding on to his seat is
If he retains his Te Tai Tokerau seat on September 20, the
new alliance will be able to claim its percentage of the
party vote even if it falls under 5 per cent.
If the Internet Party were not tied to an electorate seat, it
would have to get 5 per cent of the party vote on its own
before getting seats in Parliament.
Prime Minister John Key said the alliance was about Kim
Dotcom putting money behind a political party to try and stop
himself being extradited to the United States, where he is
facing copyright charges.
"I find that pretty odd but if people want to vote that, they
are welcome to do it, but in the end everybody knows that if
you vote that way, you are voting for a left-wing party."
Mr Harawira and Mr Dotcom were "the odd couple."
If Labour's vote was under pressure, as National's was in
2002, its supporters might go to them but he did not think it
would become a very significant force.
Labour leader David Cunliffe Labour, like most New Zealanders
"will be interested to see how that romance works out over
"For us it is a matter of observing and the New Zealand
public will make their judgment on election day."
He said Labour 's Te Tai Tokerau candidate, list MP Kelvin
Davis, would be running hard to win the seat from Mr
"Kelvin Davis is a fine MP and our approach is to run hard in
every one of the seven Maori seats. I want Kelvin Davis to
win and I want all our Maori MPs to win."
He refused to say whether Labour would be prepared to work
with Internet Mana, as he has done with the Greens and New
"We will allow the public their right to decide who comes to
Parliament and when they have made their decision, our door
will be open to those who want to change the Government."
He said Labour had ruled out working with Act or the
According to the memorandum of understanding struck between
Hone Harawira's Mana Party and Kim Dotcom's Internet Party,
their new joint entity will:
# Have Hone Harawira as its founding leader
# Develop a constitution, candidate selection rules and logo
for the new party "that reflects the principles of the
# Establish a joint council comprising of the leaders and
secretaries of both component parties to make decisions on
behalf of the new party
# Submit a joint party list with Mana having the first, third
and fourth spots and the Internet Party having the second
fifth and sixth positions.
# Develop an agreed policy platform for the new party that
all list and electorate candidates agree to vote for if they
make it into parliament
# Allow each party to develop, promote and vote for its own
# Allow each component party to have its own policy
spokespeople who may advocate their own party's policy
# Publicly and formally commit in writing that all candidates
from both parties if elected to parliament will not support
the formation of a Government with the National Party
# Run a national "Get out the Vote" campaign targeting the
young, Maori and Pasifika voters
- by Adam Bennett, additional reporting by