21 Sep 2014

Harawira goes to ground after loss

12:33 pm on 21 September 2014

Mana leader Hone Harawira has gone to ground after losing the battle for the Te Tai Tokerau electorate. He is refusing to concede defeat until special votes have been counted.

Labour's Kelvin Davis is 1100 votes ahead of Mr Harawira in the Northland electorate.

Hone Harawira.

Hone Harawira. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

But Mr Hawawira last night said it was not in his nature to concede, and he certainly wouldn't lie down and die.

He said he has work to continue. But today, Mr Harawira has gone to ground.

His spokesperson said he needs 24 hours alone, and with his family, and they will let the media know when he is ready to talk about the loss.

But the man who defeated him is talking.

Labour's Kelvin Davis says Mr Harawira's allegiance with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party proved to be his achilles heel.

"Te Tai Tokerau wasn't for sale. They were quite upset about it and they thought that Hone had sold out his values.

"We exploited that and, at the end of the day, it worked in our favour."

Mr Harawira said he will continue to work for his people in the North regardless of the outcome and does not regret Mana's alliance with the Internet Party.

Kelvin Davis

Kelvin Davis Photo: Supplied

Internet Party founder, Kim Dotcom, said he takes the responsibility for Internet Mana's loss and has apologised to Mr Harawira and Mana.

"I take full responsibility for this loss tonight because the brand Kim Dotcom was poison for what we were trying to achieve, and I did not see that before and it only became apparent to me in the last couple of weeks."

Internet Party leader Laila Harre, meanwhile, has put the loss down to the right being smarter and more strategic than the left.

The party will have no representation in Parliament, after failing to make the 5 percent threshold, and the failure of Mr Harawira to retain Te Tai Tokerau.

Ms Harre said the result may have been different had the left worked together.

Mana Party co-vice president Annette Sykes said Mana assessed the risk of joining the Internet Party, deciding it needed to be more strategic and the alliance was need to broaden its support.

Annette Sykes

Annette Sykes Photo: MANA PARTY

"What we failed to take account of, in the risk assessment, was the levels of hatred, sometimes from within the media itself, against the relationship of a German billionaire and poor Maori, and then the ganging up that took place in the last week by the New Zealand First leader, the Labour Party, the Maori Party leaders, the National Party leader, as they targetted Mr Hone Harawira."

Norman says he 'warned' Dotcom

Greens co-leader Russel Norman has taken a dig at the Internet Party founder saying he warned him his efforts to unseat John Key would backfire.

Dr Norman said he visited Mr Dotcom last year to try persuade him not to set up a political party. He was asked last night whether Mr Dotcom's plan had backfired.

Russel Norman

Russel Norman says he warned Kim Dotcom not to set up a political party. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

"Well, I mean, I did say that to Kim Dotcom. I did say a long time ago that it was a bad idea but anyway, there you go."

Dr Norman said the Dirty Politics book and Mr Dotcom's so-called Moment of Truth event had crowded out coverage of Green Party policies.

Despite that, Dr Norman said the Greens ran a strong campaign and held their ground, against a clear swing to the right in the polls.

He conceded the Green's vote had dipped slightly, but was hopeful it would lift after special votes were counted.

National Party leader John Key said his party's victory is in part a backlash against the influence of Mr Dotcom.

In the last week of the election campaign, Mr Dotcom hosted a so-called 'Moment of Truth' event, in which the National-led government was accused of mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens.

Mr Key said people saw through those claims.

"I think a lot of New Zealanders would see a group of people from offshore coming for what looks like not a very savoury kind of event on [last] Monday night.

"I think New Zealanders would say 'it's our election, you might have something you want to talk to us about but doing it five days before an election - I think a lot of New Zealanders were offended by that'."

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