Internet Party leader Laila Harre has accused the Prime
Minister of lying during a TVNZ interview in suggesting the
Internet-Mana coalition was behind an effigy-burning video.
During an interview on yesterday's Breakfast show, John Key
was shown the video of the effigy being burned -- which had
previously been highlighted by National Party-aligned blogger
Cameron Slater -- and asked for his reaction by host Mr
The latest video emerged just days after a furore over
another Internet-Mana video that included footage of Internet
Party founder Kim Dotcom egging on a crowd chanting of "F**k
Mr Key told Mr Christie: "Internet-Mana, you know, put that
-- both these videos together and put it on their sites under
their banner so they're the ones promoting it."
Ms Harre was on TVNZ's Breakfast programme in response to the
Prime Minister's interview.
She told host Rawdon Christie that she was "quite cross" with
him for allowing Mr Key to make the connection between the
video and the party.
"The Prime Minister cast a slur and told a lie on your
programme yesterday," she said.
"You presented that video to the Prime Minister and you knew
from your research, or should have known from your research,
that it had no relationship with the internet Party."
The effigy-burning video appears to have been first posted on
a Facebook page called National Party Billboard Makeovers,
which features pictures of defaced National Party hoardings.
But an internet-Mana spokesman said the group behind the
Facebook page "has no links to the Internet Party or
The coalition yesterday afternoon said it was considering
legal action over Mr Key's comments and was seeking a
retraction from TVNZ.
However, although a TVNZ spokeswoman confirmed last night
that a complaint had been received from Internet-Mana, "we're
not making an apology".
Mr Christie had not suggested any connection between
Internet-Mana and the video, she said.
"It was the PM who made this association."
Mr Key later said he was "not in the slightest" worried about
the threat of legal action over his comments.
Asked whether he thought Mr Dotcom was behind the
effigy-burning video, Mr Key said: "I don't honestly know.
That was the way it was indicated.
"My broader comments were really around the one that
internet-Mana put up on their site that they actively
encouraged people to watch, and look, in the end New
Zealanders will judge whether that's all positive."
- By Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald and Sophie
Ryan of APNZ