Mana party leader Hone Harawira says a New Zealand election campaign deal with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party is still a goer, despite senior member Sue Bradford’s claims it would damage the party.
Mana has decided to proceed with talks with the fledgling Internet Party following its AGM in Rotorua on Saturday and Dotcom – the internet piracy-accused who is fighting extradition to the US – says a deal is more likely than not.
German-born Dotcom cannot run for office but can be president of a political party.
It is possible the two parties – considered unlikely bedfellows – could run a joint candidates list for the party vote and bring more MPs into parliament on the coat tails rule – provided Mr Harawira retains his seat in the electorate of Te Tai Tokerau.
There was a unanimous decision following Mana’s AGM to continue talks and a final decision is expected within a month.
However, Ms Bradford posted on social media that members were not unanimous in support and there was strong resistance from some.
Some believed a venture “would damage the movement’s credibility beyond repair”, she said.
Ms Bradford has previously threatened to quit if the deal goes ahead.
But Mr Harawira told TVNZ’s Q+A program Ms Bradford had left the meeting before the decision was made to keep talking to the Internet Party.
Mana was still waiting to see who the Internet Party’s candidates were and what its policies would be.
There was still no guarantee it would go ahead, Mr Harawira said.
Mana was about “feeding the kids, housing the homeless and jobs for everybody” while the weeks-old Internet Party was about internet security and “keeping spooks out of the lives of New Zealand citizens”.
Mana also supported that and the two could find common ground, Mr Harawira said.
Dotcom hadn’t offered Mana any money and Mana hadn’t asked for any, he said.