Will Hone’s wife have the final say?

The Mana/Internet Party alliance decision gets even more bizarre. Hone Harawira was previously reported saying that the Mana executive would probably decide.

Mr Harawira indicated the final decision would be made by senior party figures rather than a wider vote.

“It will probably be made by the executive in the final analysis.”

But now he says that if his wife says no “it’s probably no” - Harawira’s wife wary of Dotcom link

Mana leader Hone Harawira’s wife, veteran activist Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, is among party members concerned about a likely alliance with the Internet Party.

Halkyard-Harawira raised her concerns about the alliance in a closed session yesterday at the party’s conference in Rotorua, with Harawira confirming she remained wary of it.

“She’s wary of the deal and understandably so. She sees it from not just a perspective of a Mana member or the wife of the Mana leader but from a long history of involvement in politics and activism,” Harawira said.

He said his wife, who declined to comment, shared the concerns of others about the potential watering down of what the movement stood for. She told members yesterday she was worried about the mana of the movement being diminished by relationships with other parties.

Protecting that was important and the leaders needed to be wary of guarding that credibility, Harawira said.

“The funny thing for me is that I can convince the whole of the movement but if she says no, it’s probably no.”

Regardless of what “the whole of the movement” thinks it could come down to one person’s say? What position does Hilda Halkyard-Harawira have in the Mana movement other than wife of the party leader??

Minto on Mana/IP alliance pros, cons and questions

John Minto has posted at The Daily blog about the conference debate on the proposed alliance between the Internet and Mana Parties. It gives a good outline of party thinking and lays out how he sees the pros and cons.

Mana and the Internet Party – strategic alliance or wtf? 

The proposal for some sort of electoral relationship arose from a meeting between Mana leader Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom earlier in the year. The first benefit to both Mana Movement and the Internet Party – and the country for that matter – is to ensure all votes cast to get rid of the National government are counted. Under current law a party which falls short of the 5% threshold has its votes wasted – potentially up to 130,000 anti-National votes not counted.

This fundamentally undemocratic aspect of our MMP system is a result of pressure from National and Labour to keep parliament as a cosy duopoly and disenfranchise thousands of voters in the process.

So the AGM debated at length whether to proceed to formally explore a possible alliance. It was a riveting four hours as speakers spoke for or against the idea.

As part of the discussion I was asked to present what I saw as the “pros” and “cons” of a possible “strategic alliance” with the Internet Party.

Here’s what I came up with:

Pros

1.    Increased profile for Mana and as we are seen as more relevant with a larger combined party vote with the Internet Party.

2.    Creation of interest and even excitement among many younger voters and non-voters.

3.    A greater likelihood of getting Mana Movement list MPs through a combined party vote.

4.    Greater resources to fight a party vote campaign.

5.    Greater resources to help inspire and enrol current non-voters and get them to the polling booth.

6.    There is already some areas of strong policy agreement with the Internet Party to: stop GCSB spying, withdraw from the “five eyes” spy alliance, provide internet privacy rights and cheap/free access to the internet, provide free tertiary education and oppose the TPPA.

7.    Ensuring that the Internet Party and their supporters are committed to changing the government.

8.    MANA brand remains in Maori electorate campaigns which are a key focus this election.

Cons

1.    Damage to the public perception of Mana:

  •  Mana may lose respect as a kaupapa Maori movement and damage our chances in the Maori seats.
  •  Mana Movement may lose respect as a movement for the poor and dispossessed if we have an alliance with a high-profile wealthy partner.
  •  Mana Movement may be seen by some as compromising our principles for money (irrespective of the truth of this)

2.    A potential watering down of our policies to create a joint Mana-Internet Party vote campaign.

3.    A potential loss of control of Mana policy and direction to a new joint venture.

4.    A risk of ending up with fewer seats than we would have on our own.

The three key questions which arose from this are:

1.    Would an alliance enhance or damage Mana as a kaupapa Maori movement?

2.    Would an alliance enable us to gain greater parliamentary representation without compromising our policies or principles?

3.    How would we retain our integrity, and be seen to retain our integrity, in such an alliance?

 All speakers recognised the risks to the movement and to the individuals involved – we all value our integrity – but after four hours a clear consensus emerged that we should take the step to see if an arrangement agreeable to Mana can be reached. (Each of Mana’s seven rohe supported the decision to keep talking with the Internet Party).

Mana Party members agreed to “move forward in negotiations” (NZ Herald):

The Mana Party has given its leaders a month to negotiate, before they put any proposed alliance out to the party’s local branches for consultation.

Minto:

We are withholding judgement till we see what emerges from further discussion. At that point any possible agreement will be discussed by Mana rohe and branches before a final vote is taken. 

However Hone Harawira seems to have decided already and intimates it won’t be decided by a party vote…

Asked whether he thought the deal would go ahead, Mr Harawira said: “I’d certainly like to think so.”

And while the party is consulting the executive (led by Harawira) will decide.

Mr Harawira indicated the final decision would be made by senior party figures rather than a wider vote.

“It will probably be made by the executive in the final analysis.”

See  Harawira’s way or the highway.

In the meantime opposition continues - Dotcom a neoliberal millionaire who sounds like John Key – Mana’s Sue Bradford

  The Internet Party leader did not manage to seal an alliance with Mana when he visited the party’s AGM on Saturday (although talks will continue). And his charm seems to have singularly failed to winover one of Mana leader Hone Harawira’s key lieutenants, Sue Bradford.

Instead, Bradford hardened her opposition, and walked out of the meeting before the key vote – creating a schism Mana can ill-afford given Labour candidate Kelvin Davis is polling ahead in Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) seat.

“Getting into bed with a neoliberal millionaire who’s facing legal challenges is quite a curious proposal for a party like Mana that has stood so strongly and staunchly on its reputation for fighting for those who have less … and for standing up against the neoliberal agenda that John Key that others are running,” Ms Bradford told Firstline this morning.

“It’s not compatible and undermines everything Mana has achieved over the past three years … When I heard him speaking on Saturday, it was like listening to John Key,” Ms Bradford said.

It could be a challenging time for the Mana Party over the next month of consultations and decision making.

In the meantime the Internet Party remains in limbo, leader-less, candidate-less and alliance-less.

Harawira’s way or the highway

It’s apparent that Hone Harawira wants his way on the proposed Mana/Internet Party alliance, and he’s happy for anyone who doesn’t like it can choose the highway out of Mana.

Asked whether he thought the deal would go ahead, Mr Harawira said: “I’d certainly like to think so.”

He doesn’t seem to care about party dissent – Harawira shrugs off defections danger over Dotcom deal.

But there was strong dissent within those groups, including from veteran activist Ms Bradford, who Mr Harawira said left the meeting before the vote was taken.

Ms Bradford later told the Herald: “There was deep debate, deep dissension and resistance to the idea of going into an alliance with the Internet Party.

“Some of us, both Maori and Pakeha, are really disturbed by the idea of going into an alliance with a neo-liberal millionaire.”

After Mana president Annette Sykes said she was concerned the party was proving to be “fragile” over the issue, Mr Harawira said he accepted that not everybody in the party was going to agree on a deal with the Internet Party.

“There’s always going to be people who come in and out for various reasons and that’s fine.”

And he doesn’t seem to care about party members who choose the highway over his way.

Mana Leader Hone Harawira said there was always going to be differences of opinion over a proposal like the Internet Party alliance.

“Will there be resignations, quite possibly. There haven’t been today.”

He said he had the greatest respect for Ms Bradford, “the fact she disagrees where we’re going with this does not change that”.

“Should she decide to leave Mana I will still respect her ability and the strengths she brings as a campaigner for the poor and dispossessed but we can’t determine Mana’s future on the feelings of one activist or another.

It sounds like he’s happy if dissenting members just got out of his way.

Bradford walks out of Mana AGM but she hasn’t walked out of the party – yet. It was reported that Saturday’s delegate vote was to put the issue out to the party members for consultation.

After discussions which went into the night at Mataikotare Marae near Rotorua yesterday, Mana’s branches “unanimously” agreed to move forward with the negotiations.

Mana’s deputy leader has more concerns….

However, Mana President Annette Sykes this morning said : “Our movement, I was concerned that it may be fragile and some of our membership – I don’t know whether some have chosen not to come back today.”

“There’s quite a number. We’re not talking hundreds, but we’re talking people who I think are leaders young and old and they are principled people who I have respect for. They’ve gone back to reflect with their branches.”

Unlike Harawira Sykes recognises differences and potential division…

Meanwhile, Ms Sykes said there was “a very clear recognition that there are certain gaps that need to be fleshed out before any final decision was made”.

The party has given its leaders a month to negotiate, before they put any proposed alliance out to the party’s local branches for consultation.

She said the vote to continue discussions “was a unanimous outcome the way we vote regionally but within those regions there is dissent and we have to respect that dissent so there are some limits on the next steps and the way they negotiate forward”.

That sounds like a good process, until…

Mr Harawira indicated the final decision would be made by senior party figures rather than a wider vote.

“It will probably be made by the executive in the final analysis.”

A done deal with token consultation? It sounds like Harawira has already made his mind up. And anyone who disagrees is dispensable.

He was happy that Mana had seen “hundreds and hundreds” of new members sign up since the party had begun talks with the Internet Party.“You win some you lose some.”

Harawira has indicated he wants to win his alliance with Kim Dotcom and the losers can choose the highway.

“Will there be resignations, quite possibly. There haven’t been today.”

“There’s always going to be people who come in and out for various reasons and that’s fine.”

“We can’t determine Mana’s future on the feelings of one activist or another.”

Unless it’s the feelings of the activist Harawira. It sounds like it’s his way or the highway.

How much mana is there in that?

Dotcom’s road to Rotorua?

An alliance between the Mana and Internet parties has raised interest and eyebrows. Many see Mana and Internet, Harawira and Dotcom, as the unlikeliest of political bedfellows.

Mana represent Maori, socialists and poor people, Dotcom appears to represent his own interests, he supports the free use of intellectual property (from which he has made hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hui-net versus the Internet.

Northland poverty versus Coatesville opulence.

Dotcom seems to have the power to decide – Internet Party Chief Executive Vikram Kumar said Dotcom “is leading the discussion with MANA on behalf of the Internet Party” – and seems to have already decided. He was reported yesterday:

Kim Dotcom says a deal between his Internet Party and Hone Harawira’s Mana party is likely to go ahead after addressing Mana’s AGM this afternoon.

In contrast the Mana Party follow established Maori discuss and decide processes.

Yesterday Dotcom went to Rotorua seemingly keen on doing a deal. Last night Mana Party members agreed to “move forward in negotiations” (NZ Herald):

The Mana Party has given its leaders a month to negotiate, before they put any proposed alliance out to the party’s local branches for consultation.

It’s very unlikely that the Mana Party (the Harawira’s and Northland Maori, John Minto, Sue Bradford, Socialist Aotearoa) will journey on a hikoi to Coatesville. Unlike a number of other party leaders and MPs who have met Dotcom at his ‘mansion’ Harawira and Mana have wisely met on neutral territory.

Mana doesn’t need the Internet Party to get into Parliament. Dotcom sees an alliance with Mana, or an alliance with any electorate MP (the mystery MP seems to be a Dotcom myth), as a ticket to success.

So what is Dotcom prepared to do to be palatable to Mana and to successfully leverage off Harawira’s likely electorate win in Te Tai Tokerau?

And how much will be smoke and mirrors versus a genuine coming together? Politics is very different to any business enterprise or computer game Dotcom has been involved in. His future is precarious.

Are Dotcom’s political ambitions and his courting of Mana simply ego-driven self interest and an attempt at self-preservation? It’s easy to come to that conclusion and many people have.

But could the process and the experience change Dotcom? Being welcomed onto a marae and being embraced by Maori, as happened to Dotcom yesterday in Rotorua, can be a humbling, moving experience.

A commenter at The Daily Blog has come up with an intriguing idea. Marc says:

Very, very well then, I saw the news on TV, not that I was surprised, I know how the “bastards” work (the journos). But I listened up, and was a bit taken, here Dotcom talks about his childhood and youth, having an alcoholic father, having a mother work in 3 jobs, and going to bed hungry, or only with some toast with sugar or ketchup.

Now this is interesting. We never heard much about this stuff. Indeed, while I doubt Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz was all that poor, living in a block of flats in North German Kiel, but he seems to at least come from humble beginnings, and did not have it that easy.

This is stuff that actually a fair few rich and successful and powerful people have as their history. They are not all the Bill Gates garage to success stories, some come from troubled backgrounds, and that actually made them tough and aspirational, and ambitious, to make it. Now here we have one person, who is so despised by some, also disliked or hated by one John Key, and he may have a similar background after all.

No wonder he connects with Hone and Maori, not all, but a fair few. No wonder he can reach out across divides and barriers, that are dictated by income and social norms, last not least by ethnic belonging.

I am a bit intrigued now. But to really get this moving, that Mana and especially their leader Hone want to work on, we need to perhaps see the full commitment by Kim Dotcom, to offer to share, to perhaps make his mansion a Ratana style residence, an open home, a refuge for some, a place where every downtrodden one is welcome at the door, to be housed, counselled, helped and fed perhaps. Turn the Coatesville Mansion into the Marae of Aotearoa New Zealand, for all in need to meet, consult, to seek guidance, support and reinvigoration.

I suggest Kim and his wife go home and reflect on their first close encounter with Mana Whenua, with Tangata Whenua, it may be important and a radical chance for them, in their lives.

I really see a need of some revolutionary actions by Kim to come across convincing, and not be mixed up with other successful and rich people, who also came from humble beginnings, but forgot that once they were at the top and well off. And we know also, wealth is not endless, and can go away and be lost again.

Is this moment a game changer for Kim, for Hone and others, perhaps? Is Kim going to become one of us mortals, of us commoners now, a spirited being, humbling himself, and do the journey to Damascus, or become a Saulus to Paulus conversion?

A Mana-Internet Party alliance is a risky game, especially for Mana. It could be the game-changer that Dotcom wants, a credible foot in the political door.

Could it be more than cynical opportunism? Could Dotcom’s journey to Rotorua have a similar effect as Paul’s journey to Damascus had on him?

Has (or could) Dotcom have an epiphany, convert and become a disciple of Hone and his Mana?

Harawira and Dotcom sound keen, what about the Internet Party?

Harawira (Hone) and Dotcom seem keen on an alliance. There’s some enthusiasm in the Mana Party.

Dotcom was reported after speaking:

Kim Dotcom says a deal between his Internet Party and Hone Harawira’s Mana party is likely to go ahead after addressing Mana’s AGM this afternoon.

He said a tie up with Mana was “a win win situation so I think it’s more likely than unlikely.”

And the Mana Party get to debate it and decide:

However a decision on whether to continue discussions towards an alliance is expected after Mana members thrash out the issue this afternoon.

Dotcom still seems to be calling all the shots.

A Harawira/Dotcom alliance will be interesting if it happens.

But where does the Internet Party come in to this?

At the time of the Internet Party launch their Chief Executive Vikram Kumar said that the party was going to distance itself from it’s founder Kim Dotcom, but Dotcom dominated the launch.

Two days later Kumar took over the interview on The Nation after Dotcom ‘withdrew’.

Well the problem is, how can you move away from Kim Dotcom because he is the founder, I mean this party seems to be the whim of a rich man, and probably a vanity project?

VK: Yeah and that’s absolutely incorrect, but I understand why some perceptions might be like that. I would have loved it if we had more progress by now, and had a party leader who could be sitting here talking to you about that. But that’s the reality is, we need a few more weeks, we are very early in the stage, we are on track. I know it’s a short election and we have to move at internet speed, but we’ll get there.

Yeah, but people want to know, if it’s not Kim Dotcom, who’s going to be the face of this party? Who’s going to be the president? Who’s going to be the person sticking their hand up and saying vote for me?

VK: Yup, and part of that is going to be answered. As Kim has said there is discussions going on with a sitting electorate MP
All right, well who is that?

VK: well, I don’t know…
You don’t know?

VK: No I don’t.

Since then @InternetParty has been busy on Twitter but Dotcom remains prominent. He has promoted a member’s only picnic at his residence in Coatseville.

And he is dominating the alliance with Harawira and the Mana Party.

Members (who are in the Auckland area) get to picnic, but do they get any say in the alliance? Does anyone in the Internet Party other than Dotcom get to have any say?

It will be a challenge for the Internet Party to work with the very different Mana Party should an alliance go ahead.

It also looks to be a challenge for the party to be seen as a party and not just one ‘visionary’ who can’t stand for Parliament.

UPDATE:

The Chief Executive of the Internet Party was asked:

Kim Dotcom and Hone Harawira are promoting a Mana/Internet Party alliance. The Mana Party get to discuss and decide this afternoon.

What involvement does the Internet Party have in this decision?

He has replied:

Kim is leading the discussion with MANA on behalf of the Internet Party.

Reference: PoliticheckWill party members decide on Mana/Internet Party alliance?

Harawira wants to spend ACC fund on policies

In an interview on The Nation this morning Hone Harawira was asked how the Mana Party proposed funding their policies. Harawira suggested raising taxes “on the rich” and using the ACC fund would help pay for them.

Lisa Owen: So, to be clear, you think you can cover several billion dollars worth of spending through taxation?

Hone Harawira: That’s one of them, there’s another one as well. Did you know there’s 22 billion dollars sitting in the hands of ACC, simply amassing wealth, amassing wealth through the corporatisation of injury? There’s something wrong with that notion. That money should be spent on the needs of New Zealanders, not on investments which are aimed at maximising the wealth of the corporates that are running it.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/nation-lisa-owen-interviews-hone-harawira/5/187533

How big is the ACC fund? NZ Herald reported ACC fund doubles to $24.6 billion.

Latest figures show ACC’s investment fund was worth $24.6 billion.

The ACC Annual Report summarises their financial position as at 30 June 2013:

ACC Financial Position 2013So even though they have $24 billion ACC say they need to increase this to cover their liabilities.

This would mean maintaining existing levels of income to grow the fund. ACC explains how they’re funded.

The money we need to provide our services comes from levies on people’s earnings, businesses’ payrolls, petrol and fees from vehicle licensing, as well as Government funding. When working out how much money to collect through levies, we balance the likely cost of claims against the need to keep levies fair and stable. We distribute the money collected into one of five ACC Accounts, each Account covering a specific group of injuries.

If the fund was reduced then over time the Government would have to pay more to cover ongoing costs, so using up the fund now would cost taxpayers more later.

Mana Party draft policy supports returning to ‘pay-as-you-go’ for ACC. From their (Draft) ACC Policy:

MANA supports the principles originally formulated by Justice Owen Woodhouse in his 1967 Royal Commission report, in which he recommended setting up a new, universal, 24 hour, no-fault system for accident compensation and support. The five principles are: community responsibility; comprehensive entitlement; complete rehabilitation; real compensation; and administrative efficiency.

MANA believes that everything should be done to return ACC to the Woodhouse principles so that individuals and whānau are protected and supported when people suffer injury.

Key policies include:

  • Government to return to ‘pay as you go’ for ACC, rather than expecting ACC to collect enough money to cover all future costs in each year.
  • Make health and wellbeing the priority, rather than forcing people off ACC as quickly as possible.
  • Get rid of the vocational independence (work capacity) test which is unnecessary and is often used simply as a way of forcing people off ACC at the soonest possible opportunity.
  • Ensure that people who suffer from work-related gradual process injury, disease or infection, including from chemical poisoning, and from hearing loss induced by industrial noise, receive full cover from ACC.
  • Require ACC to continue cover as long as an injury remains a cause of a person’s current condition, rather than using pre-existing conditions or age related degeneration as an excuse to withdraw support.
  • Remove the inequity in access to services and healthcare between ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the higher level of access to resources.

So Mana want to dig into the ACC fund and spend it on their social policies while adding to ACC coverage and costs with their ACC policies.

To do this they would need agreement from Labour.

David Parker: ACC levy equals 350 years of Govt funding for food in schools

“The Government is taking $700 million more than is needed from New Zealanders through ACC levies over two years. That’s a stealth tax, pure and simple. They’ve been advised to reduce it but are still overcharging New Zealanders.

“That money is enough to cover the Government’s new role in feeding the kids for 350 years. That’s how badly Kiwis are being ripped off.

“The Government is using ACC as a political jelly bean jar, overcharging New Zealanders to fill to the jar to overflowing in order to dole out lollies in election year for political advantage.

“This isn’t prudent financial management, it’s taking directly from New Zealanders’ back pockets to try to win an election,” says David Parker.

Mana are trying to win an election by promising to spend from the ACC fund.

Sue Moroney: ACC levies higher than they need to be

“Money collected in ACC levies can’t be used to fund anything else, as it is ring-fenced for injuries resulting from accidents, so its use to prop up a sham surplus is misleading.

“That money would be better off circulating in the economy, than being tied up in an ACC’s coffers where it is not needed,” Sue Moroney said.

https://www.labour.org.nz/media/acc-levies-higher-they-need-be

This is just opposition and election rhetoric, there’s no guarantee Mana would get a say on use of the ACC fund and there’s no guarantee Labour would substantially change how ACC operates and is funded.

Mana want to spend from the ACC fund. Labour want to reduce levies. Mana want to increase payouts.

Is that affordable? If so who should pay?

If it’s not for the cash?

Hone Harawira claims that he’s not trying to do a deal with Kim Dotcom for the cash. Newstalk ZB with Tough road ahead for Harawira:

 Mana Party members are promised the final say on any deal with the Internet Party – but Hone Harawira admits it’ll be tough to convince them to back Kim Dotcom.

He’s denying the Maori Party’s claim he wants Dotcom for his cash.

Mr Harawira says Dotcom’s wealth is actually proving an obstacle for a deal because Mana members are concerned Dotcom has different political values to their own.

It’s not surprising that Dotcom’s wealth is seen as an obstacle with some Mana members. There are other obvious obstacles too – a clash between Mana socialism and Dotcom’s capitalism, Dotcom’s lack of connection with both Mana’s main constituencies, Maori and the poor.

Harawira knows how to be controversial and attack media attention, and possible party alliance has been successful for that.

But it’s difficult to see what Mana will get out of this. They might see it as worth a potential list seat or two, but the risks and the possible political price are very high.

Harawira pulls back from Internet Party

Hone Harawira has been reported as stating a bottom line for any agreement with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party – that the Internet Party rules out and possible deal with National – and he has also said there will be no more discussions between the Mana and Internet parties in the meantime.

Martyn Bradbury has posted quotes from Harawira at The Daily Blog (but doesn’t give a source) in Hone to Kim – Lose the Square.

“Dotcom would have to commit to getting rid of National and changing the government before MANA would consider any deal with his Internet Party” said MANA Leader Hone Harawira.

“That’s a bottom line for MANA. I resigned from the Maori Party because their relationship with National was, and continues to be, destructive to Maori. We won’t be going back there for anyone”

MANA will work co-operatively with any party, as we do with the Greens and Labour, that is committed to changing the government we’ve got now” said Harawira “And I don’t think the Internet Party is ready to take that stand at the moment”.

“They don’t have a real membership base, clear policies, recognisable political leaders or any candidates.”

“We were happy to talk about the potential for co-operation, but time is short” said Harawira. “We’ve got an election coming up and campaigns to organise, especially in the Maori Seats. Asking the membership to put all that on hold while we wait for the Internet Party to decide what they stand for is just not an option”.

“Our Executive has decided that there won’t be any more meetings on possible co-operation until their intentions are clear” said Harawira “and we’re just going to get on with planning our electorate and party vote campaigns.”

Harawira has sent a strong message – it seems to be common sense but possibly also because he got a strong message from some in his party to bail out of any possible association with the Internet Party.

This has also been reported on 3 News in Mana: Dotcom deal comes with conditions which suggests more consideration  has been given to the strong reaction. A previous report Dotcom-Mana decision expected after launch:

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.

 

UPDATE: there was no press release on the Mana Party website this morning but it is there now: No to National or no Deal with Mana – Harawira

Concerns at Mana links with Dotcom

There’s disappointment and concern being expressed over any potential association between the Mana Party and Kim Dotcom’s yet to be registered Internet Party.

Hone Harawira admitted meeting Dotcom earlier this year. A press release from 19 March – Mana meets with Kim Dotcom.

I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues.

“We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn’t ask him to fund MANA, and he didn’t offer to either. I didn’t ask him to join MANA, and he didn’t ask me to join his party.”

Their common interests seem be concentrated on a dislike of John Key.

A Herald on Sunday article indicates an intertwining of interests amongst the Unite union, Mana, Labour and potentially the Internet party.

Anna Sutherland, 40, is different again. She is a true believer. For her, the Kool-Aid is engaging 800,000 non-voters, many young and cynical. Appointed secretary after the resignation of her brother-in-law, Scoop journalist Alistair Thompson, Sutherland’s background is also in left-wing politics.

When she was in her 20s, Sutherland worked at Parliament in Alliance president Matt McCarten’s electorate liaison unit, a hotbed of hard-left politics that was shut down after a Parliamentary Service inquiry identified the use of taxpayer funds to promote the political party. The unit’s five staff lost their jobs, and director Gerard Hehir went on to run McCarten’s Unite union.

Sutherland ran for Parliament as an Alliance candidate, had two children and worked at the Electoral Commission before the left pulled her back into politics this year.

Hehir says: “From my point of view and that of the left, it’s in our interests if we encourage the Internet Party to the left side of the spectrum.”

The faint fingerprints of longtime comrades Hehir and McCarten are on the Internet Party, a nexus linking it to Mana (for which Hehir is Parliamentary chief of staff and party secretary) and Labour (for which McCarten is chief of staff). Labour, the Greens and Mana are working to create a three-headed coalition that can topple National, and they see an ally in Dotcom.

Hehir seems to be the driving force behind a Mana-Dotcom arrangement.

On Monday, February 24, Mana MP Hone Harawira and Hehir invited Dotcom to a friend’s house on the North Shore, where they looked out over the sea and chatted, says Harawira, about “what wonderful beaches we have in Aotearoa”.

They also discussed their mutual enemy, John Key, and a structural alliance of the two parties.

This week, the Mana Party leadership and executive are expected to discuss a proposal to unite the two parties under one umbrella for the election.

“There’s a whole lot of things that could stop it dead in its tracks, but at this stage we’re keen to look at it,” says Hehir. “It’s got to be in the interests of both parties.”

The Herald article closes with…

… the established parties have to weigh up Dotcom’s potential to embarrass them if they ally themselves too closely.

And they have to consider whether an association will split their supporters.

In a Herald article today – Bradford: Any Mana-Dotcom deal would be bad

Any electoral deal between Kim Dotcom and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira may find resistance from activists within Mana.

Mana member and former MP Sue Bradford is worried at the prospect of any deal with Mr Dotcom’s internet Party, which has yet to be launched.

“I would be extremely concerned if Mana was to go into any arrangement with Kim Dotcom because what I think he stands for is the anti-thesis of what Mana is about to me,” she told the Herald last night.

Sue Bradford, a former Green MP, left Parliament in 2009 and joined Mana when it was formed in 2011.She said Mana stood for tino rangatiratanga [self determination] and for all New Zealander on low or no incomes.

“It’s a left rangatiratanga party which had invited the tau iwi [Pakeha] left even though it is Maori-led and Maori-focused and in my political history it is the first time anything like that has happened and so I joined and stood for it in 2011.

“In any way joining forces with a billionaire who is very likely a fraudster and under various legal challenges would really go against the kaupapa that I believe in.”

She said there had also been concerns about the poor payment or no payment of staff and poor payment or low payment of creditors.

“All this does not really one to think he is a person of credibility that a political party with mana in Aotearoa would want to be associated with.”

Far more concern than support has been expressed at The Standard in Which MP is Kim Dotcom talking to?

Disraeli Gladstone:

How can Mana even be considering this? It goes against nearly every principle in the party. Hopefully, Harawira and Sykes just comes out and shut it down, explaining why Dotcom is incompatible with Mana’s political ideals.

The Al1en:“I don’t know why so many people on the left are in love with him. He is a typical rich, frivolous, latent mean-spirited tendencies of a man. He donated money to John Banks. If Key didn’t have him arrested, he’d probably be one of National’s biggest supporters.”

That’s the nail on the head, like whoever jumps in to bed with .com, is a nail in their coffin.

lurgee+1 billion.

Don’t normally do that, but the .com worship sickens me.

Murray Olsen

I also stand alongside my friends and comrades in Mana in not wanting too be part of any amalgamation with the non-existent Internet Party. I have let them know this and as far as I know, there will be no merging. Quite simply, it would be the death of the Mana movement.

Ant

Any MP to sign up with dotcom would have to be thick. A great thorn in the government’s side, but he is like Owen Glenn but with worse baggage — has $ but is more trouble than what he is worth.

papa tuanuku

Manipulation of the system without any grass roots involvement is plain manipulation. Mana – elected by the poorest voters – siding with the fulla that lives in the most expensive house in the country.

bad12

Hone can’t be so stupid as to take anyone from the proposed Internet Party into the Parliament with Him,(and probably Annette Sykes via a win in Waiariki), simply because the Mana Party kaupapa is diametrically opposed to that which drives Mr Kim DotCom,(we would like to think this at least).

drongo

KDC is nothing but a poisoned chalice, a true merchant of death for any politician involved with him.
Horan, Norman and Harawhira should know better.

Te Reo Putake

Hone has reasonable hopes of getting a second MP anyway, and has bugger all in common with Dotcom so doesn’t need the risk of the association. That’s not to say that advisors such as John Minto might be asking him to consider an alliance anyway. But, well, ….really?

Would Minto support this? He’s not saying in a Stuff article today – Mana waits to see Internet Party ideas.

Of crucial importance will be the attitude of Mana’s No 2, Annette Sykes, and its co-president and third-ranked candidate, John Minto, who is keen to broaden the party’s support among urban voters of all ethnicities.

Mr Minto referred questions to Mr Hehir. Mr Harawira answered his phone briefly to say he was driving and to “send a text”. A text was sent but he did not respond.

If Dotcom wants his own candidates on a mixed Internet Party/Mana list it would reduce the chances of Sykes and Minto getting into Parliament on the list.

The Stuff article suggests a more cautious Mana approach:

The Mana Party is taking a rain check on linking up with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party until it sees its candidates, its policy planks and gets an assurance it is committed to a change of government.

And Hehir:

Former Alliance activist Gerard Hehir, now Mana’s party secretary, said it was early days and there was no paper or proposal on the table. The two sides had held only one meeting.

He said it would be unfair to describe him as enthusiastic about a deal. The Internet Party was yet to be formed, had not announced its policy platform and had not yet named candidates. More would be known on Thursday, but there was little time before the election.

The Mana executive had been briefed last week. “We are looking at policy, philosophy and attitude to government. If they’re not aligned, there’s no point in going on.”

There’s no point in going on it it doesn’t have the support of the whole Mana Movement either. The talk of association may have already damaged Mana.

 

Harawira explanation raises questions

This morning Whale Oil raised a number of questions with a bog post What is the relationship between Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom?

My sources deep within the mansion have been telling me for weeks about an “arrangement” between Hone Harawira and his Mana party and the nascent and unlaunched Internet Party.

The post went on to explore possible arrangements between Mana and Dotcom. A press release from Harawira’s uncle David Ranking is also quoted.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has been involved in negotiations with internet tycoon Kim Dotcom over funding for the Mana Party, and a possible role of Kim Dotcom in the Party.

This is according to Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin, who says he is frustrated after having repeatedly asked Harawira for the past week if there is any truth to the allegation.

“Everyone knows about the meetings.  Even Whale oil’s Cameron Slater has been informed and wants to break the story,” says Mr Rankin, “and my nephew Hone has suddenly gone quiet whenever I mention Kim Dotcom.”

Mr Rankin says that unless Harawira explicitly denies the allegation that he sought funding from Dotcom then the Mana Party is in trouble. “Mana will face a major credibility crisis,” says Rankin, “and the longer he keeps silence, the more suspicion grows.”

Harawira responded via a press release on the Mana website today.

MANA MEETS WITH KIM DOTCOM

“Last year I was invited to meet with Kim Dotcom, but I declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“But when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept, but not at Coatesville. I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues:

· How much we both dislike the way John Key has allowed NZ’s intelligence services to be used as pawns by American big business against a New Zealand resident;

· How much we both dislike John Key’s cavalier dismissal of the rights of ordinary New Zealanders;

· How well things are going in the Bundesliga;

· How bleak NZ’s future under National will look if John Key keeps floggin’ off our key assets;

· What MANA would like to see in a positive future for Aotearoa;

· What Dotcom might want to see happen in Aotearoa; and

· What wonderful beaches we have in Aotearoa.

“We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn’t ask him to fund MANA, and he didn’t offer to either. I didn’t ask him to join MANA, and he didn’t ask me to join his party.”

“I haven’t spoken publicly about the meeting because I haven’t yet spoken with the MANA Exec about it. That’s set for later this week.

“There are no further meetings planned.”

Harawira says he was invited to meet Dotcom last year but “declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion”.

It wasn’t publicly known that Clare Curran or Russel Norman had visited Dotcom until this year. Also this year both Dotcom and Winston Peters said their meetings had been covered by a confidentiality agreement.

How could Harawira have known about other parties meeting Dotcom? Especially as he said he declined to meet.

Then Harawira says “when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept”. He isn’t clear about how much earlier this year they met. He then says he hasn’t talked to the Mana Party executive yet – “that’s set for later this week”.

The revelations that other MPs met Dotcom (over a month ago) were very newsworthy and controversial. Thios leaves two possibilities, equally astounding.

Harawira either met Dotcom before the news of other MPs meeting last month and is only going to talk with his party executive now his meeting has become public knowledge.

Or he met Dotcom after the controversy without consulting with his party.

Harawira has a lot of explaining to do to his party and to the public.

 

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