30 May 2014

Dotcom move 'progressive' - Harre

8:05 pm on 30 May 2014

Internet Party leader Laila Harre doesn't think internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is funding her party to avoid being extradited to the United States on copyright charges.

The Internet Party this week formed an alliance with Hone Harawira's Mana Party to campaign for the party vote in the general election on 20 September.

From left, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre, Kim Dotcom and Vikram Kumar.

From left, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre, Kim Dotcom and Vikram Kumar. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker-Wilson

Ms Harre, a long-time unionist and former Alliance Party politician, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Friday that it was refreshing to see a wealthy donor backing a progressive party rather than supporting the status quo.

"I feel very lucky to be in a position where resources are available to take on the establishment rather than the conventional approach, which has been for big money to support the status quo and to shut down change, particularly for young people."

Ms Harre said Mr Dotcom's funding of her party was not an example of money corrupting politics.

Prime Minister John Key said the only people who would vote for the Internet-Mana Party would be those from the far left of politics.

He said Ms Harre and Mr Harawira were extreme left-wing politicians, so from National's point of view it was of no great relevance.

"But if you're Metiria Turei and Russel Norman and maybe David Cunliffe, you might be just a little bit more worried."

An internet and technology commentator said Ms Harre's appointment as leader was a further move away from the party's original intent. Ben Gracewood said he is completely baffled by the move.

"It started off, the Internet Party, as a single issue, quite clearly articulated. And since then merging with Mana and Laila Harre joining, I literally am quite confused."

Mr Gracewood said the appointment of Ms Harre had firmly planted the Internet Party on the left wing.

Corkery to be press secretary

Laila Harre has chosen former Alliance MP and broadcaster Pam Corkery as her press secretary.

Ms Harre said on Friday they were in Parliament together, Ms Corkery has a sharp intelligence and wit, and she trusts her.