Patrick Gower blogged:
The Hone-Dotcom-Laila political triangle is one of the dirtiest deals in New Zealand political history.
It is as dirty as National-Act in Epsom.
It is as dirty as the Key-Dunne deal in Ohariu.
Frankly, Lalia Harré made me feel sick today when she said “it’s time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.
That’s because Laila Harré is wrecking MMP.
Hone Harawira is wrecking MMP.
And Kim Dotcom is wrecking MMP.
They are using Harawira’s seat and MMP’s “coat-tail” rule to get a back-door entry into Parliament.
It is a rort.
It is a grubby deal, made all the worse by the fact Harawira holds the Te Tai Tokerau seat – a Maori seat.
The Maori seats are special. They have a unique constitutional role which is to give the Tangata Whenua a place of their own in the New Zealand Parliament.
The Maori seats have been hard fought for.
Never, ever was it envisaged they would be used as a back-door entry for a German millionaire to get his proxy into Parliament.
His $4,000,000 proxy. We should refer to Laila as the four million dollar woman!
Gower is right to point out that this does weaken the case for retention of the Maori seats.
This will give those opposed to Maori seats ammunition to get rid of them.
A referendum on keeping MMP at the moment would be very interesting. Likewise on the Maori seats!
Sadly, the Internet Mana deal has diminished the mana of the Maori seats.
And even sadder too, this deal involves money.
Harawira wants Dotcom’s money.
Annette Sykes wants Dotcom’s money.
John Minto wants Dotcom’s money.
They are all willing to pervert the MMP system for the sake of money and it is a venal deal.
Don’t try and tell me Laila Harré cares deeply about the internet. She cares about getting into Parliament.
Her first press conference was about pretty much every leftwing issues there is, and almost silent on Internet issues except vague platitudes on the importance of the Internet – something that was dated even back in 1996 – when Harre entered Parliament initially.
I have a lot of respect for Harawira, Sykes and Minto. They have spent their lives fighting for what they believe in – for points of principle.
But that respect has been tarnished.
They are obsessed by power, obsessed by money and will trample over the rights of New Zealand voters to get it.
This Internet Mana deal is so wrong.
I feel sorry for all those who signed up to the Internet Party thinking it was about Internet issues. Instead it is merely a vehicle for Dotcom to fund the Mana Party into Parliament. They should be honest and cut out the middle man, and just have Dotcom give the money directly to Mana. Harre is not a candidate for the Internet Party. She is a candidate for Mana. I bet you there isn’t a single Mana Party policy she disagrees with, and she probably doesn’t even know what policies the Internet Party has.
The Press editorial is no less strong:
There can have been fewer link-ups in New Zealand politics more cynical and crassly opportunistic than the one just formed between Hone Harawira’s Mana Party and the Internet Party, masterminded and financed by the internet developer Kim Dotcom. There is not the shadow of any principle involved in it.
Before he arrived in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom’s public image was of a high-living, luxury-loving party animal. For all his technical skills, there is not the slightest evidence that either now or in the past he has had a serious political thought in his head.
It is almost certain his only contact with the poor and dispossessed whose interests Harawira purports to represent would have been as employees. Indeed he may be a little startled to find that he is financing the far-left Laila Harre, the newly announced leader of the Internet Party.
As for the internet issues the Internet Party is supposedly concerned about, if Harawira and Mana had any particular interest in them before Kim Dotcom and his money came on the scene they kept very quiet about them.
Sames goes for the Internet Party Leader.
The ultimate composition of the next New Zealand government may wind up in the hands of a fringe collaboration bankrolled by a German fugitive from American justice. New Zealand politics should be better than that, surely.
The Dom Post editorial notes:
Harre’s arrival sharpens a dilemma for Labour. If its Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis defeats Harawira, it could cut Internet-Mana’s throat and waste a lot of votes for the Left bloc. The best strategy might be for Labour to go softly on Harawira without actually cutting an Epsom-style deal with him. This would require a U-turn, even if it is done in semi-secret.
I understand there is a huge shit fight in Labour over this. Kelvin Davis thinks that he can win the seat as Hone cuddling up to German multi-millionaires will go down like cold sick with many Te Tai Tokerau constituents. If Davis is allowed to run an aggressive campaign for the seat, he could win it.
But Cunliffe and McCarten don’t want to win it. They need Mana-Dotcom in Parliament. So they’ve decided that they will unofficially not campaign to win the seat. This makes Davis the sacrificial lamb who would love to the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, not a List MP.