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Dotcom-Mana decision expected after launch

Monday 24 Mar 2014 5:36 p.m.

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An ugly spat has erupted within Hone Harawira's Mana Party over whether it should become involved with Kim Dotcom and his new Internet Party.

Veteran activist Sue Bradford is threatening to leave the party if a deal is done, saying it would end in disaster.

Inside Dotcom's mini-mansion, known as 'The Prom'", is a war room for his new Internet Party, which officially launches on Thursday. One option being looked at is working with the Mana Party.

"It's a possibility," says Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar. "In a sense I would say Kim is already the kaumatua of the Internet Party. He is the visionary and founder."

Talk of a deal between the two parties has outraged Ms Bradford, a Mana member and long-time activist.

"Getting into bed with a right-wing billionaire internet entrepreneur facing a number of legal challenges is the last thing a party like Mana should be doing," she says.

The Internet Party needs 5 percent of the party vote to make it into Parliament. Working with Mana as a two-party alliance would make that a lot easier.

If Mr Harawira won Northland's Te Tai Tokerau seat, under the one-seat threshold coattails rule he would need only 1.2 percent of the party vote to bring in another MP.

So Mana and the Internet Party would join forces to campaign together for the party vote, bringing in MPs on a combined list.

If the proposal went ahead it would require both parties to sign up to some sort of shared outcomes, shared goals.

"First Dotcom went to the right and tried to buy John Banks off, now he's coming to the left, having failed with the right and trying to buy the left off," says Ms Bradford.

Mr Harawira would not comment today. In fact no one from the party's hierarchy would. They do not want to give the idea too much early publicity, which could scare their membership.

They say they will wait for the Internet Party to officially launch on Thursday before giving the proposal any serious consideration.

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