18 Sep 2014

Kim Dotcom looms large over debate

9:48 am on 18 September 2014

Kim Dotcom loomed over the last leaders' debate of the election campaign as Labour and National argued over which party could most easily form a government.

Kim Dotcom speaks to media after his "Moment of Truth" event at Auckland's Town Hall.

Kim Dotcom Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

National leader John Key said the only way Labour could possibly form a government would be with the support of Mr Dotcom's Internet-Mana coalition.

Mr Key and Labour leader David Cunliffe met for their final debate at Television New Zealand last night before Saturday's general election.

Spying allegations dominated much of the first part of the debate with Mr Key trying to make it clear there was is no wholesale spying on New Zealanders by the GCSB or the United States.

John Key during the final debate.

John Key during the final debate. Photo: TV One

"They aren't. Look, in the end there's an agreement between the Five Eyes partners that they don't spy on each other, they aren't spying here," he said.

"Let's be honest, America has got way bigger issues to worry about."

Mr Cunliffe argued that was not enough clarity for New Zealanders.

"If the American authorities interrogate the Google servers in the United States that take a New Zealander's gmail, is that spying on a New Zealander? I think that is."

The debate quickly moved on to potential coalition partners.

David Cunliffe speaks during the final debate.

David Cunliffe speaks during the final debate. Photo: TV One

Mr Cunliffe outlined how he would form a government after Saturday's poll, saying it would do so with the Green Party and New Zealand First but not Internet-Mana.

"Labour plus the Greens plus New Zealand First has more than National and its rag-tag of right-wing weirdoes," Mr Cunliffe said.

But Mr Key argued Mr Cunliffe's numbers did not stack up, and there was no way Labour could get across the line without Internet Mana.

He said Mr Cunliffe had had a problem with his numbers all the way through the debates; the election was a race to get 61 seats, and Labour needed Internet-Mana to get there but Mr Cunliffe did not want to link himself to Mr Dotcom.

Mr Cunliffe repeated his previous stance that he would form a Government with the Greens and New Zealand First - but would not make his position clear on whether he would accept confidence and supply support from Internet-Mana.

The decision on who forms the next Government rests with voters, and how those numbers fall will start to become clear from 7pm on Saturday.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs