28 May 2014

Internet leader 'understands' Maori politics

8:52 am on 28 May 2014

Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar says its soon-to-be-announced leader has an extremely credible track record and a total understanding of Maori politics.

He's also defending the part of the agreement with Mana which will reassess their relationship - reconsidered six weeks after the election - saying it is a sensible review clause and not a dissolution clause.

The two groups are to work together as a joint party called Internet-Mana.

Meanwhile Mana Party leader Hone Harawira dismissed claims its alliance with the Internet Party is a misuse of Maori votes.

Mr Harawira told Morning Report he works for the people of Te Tai Tokerau, and they will judge him when they vote for who will take the seat.

But the Maori Party says the merger of Mana and the Internet Party is a slap in the face for Maori voters.

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said Mana made the wrong choice and the merger undermined the Maori seats.

He said Internet-Mana Party will be utilising a Maori seat to drag someone else into Parliament who had questionable knowledge of Te Ao Maori, and the dreams and aspirations of the people of Te Taitokerau.

Mr Harawira who is now also the leader of Internet-Mana and number one on its list.

He said the relationship was about far more than money. Mr Harawira said there will be resources made available to help electorate campaigns for both parties and the party vote campaign for Internet-Mana as well as a 'get out the vote' campaign for all New Zealanders.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, left, and Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, left, and Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar. Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

Labour MP and Taitokerau candidate Kelvin Davis said it was pretty obvious that the deal was just a blatant resource grab, because everyone knew that Kim Dotcom had plenty of money.

He said the two parties were disparate, and questioned how someone could claim to be on the side of the poor and destitute, and yet get into bed with someone else who was a raging capitalist.

Mr Kumar said the relationship would go both ways, and he hoped the two parties would learn from each other.

He said the Internet Party completely supported Mana and its values, including the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Internet Party will announce its leader, who will become number two on the Internet-Mana list on Thursday afternoon.