6 Aug 2014

PM defends 'Sugar Daddy' comment

9:41 pm on 6 August 2014

Prime Minister John Key is standing by his view that Kim Dotcom is the "Sugar Daddy" of the Internet Party's leader, Laila Harre.

Laila Harre and Hone Harawira at the Internet Mana rally in Wellington.

Laila Harre and Hone Harawira. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

Mr Dotcom, an entrepreneur, is funding the Internet Party with about $3.5 million. Mr Key made the comment on Wednesday and doesn't believe it is sexist.

"I think she is literally being funded by Kim Dotcom. That's why she's with the Mana Party and if he wasn't putting up the money, she wouldn't be there."

Mr Key said he would say the same thing about Mana leader Hone Harawira.

Mana has a deal with the Internet Party which combines their votes at September's election in the hope that if Mr Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau it will bring in Internet Party MPs.

John Key.

Prime Minister John Key. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

But Ms Harre said on Wednesday that John Key's comment is offensive and sexist - and belongs in the 1950s.

Ms Harre says everybody knows the term Sugar Daddy is used to denigrate women "and in this particular case to denigrate me as a political leader. It has nothing to do with issues of funding.

"We know that there's a big difference between the funding that we are receiving as the Internet Party and the funding that National receives thorugh its donors is that it is completely transparent."

Ms Harre said she'd like to debate Mr Key on how women should be viewed and treated.