Media “let’s not do this” on TPPA protest meeting

According to The Daily Blog there was a ‘Let’s Not Do This!” public meeting protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership lst night in Auckland, the first in a nationwide tour by Jane Kelsey, Laila Harre and Burcu Kilic.

But the media seem to have a ‘let’s not do this’ attitude to TPPA protest these days, a big change from two years ago. I can’t find any reports.

Even The Daily Blog seems to be largely disinterested given scant reaction shown there.

Here is the only feedback on the meeting I can find, at The Standard:

At last night’s anti-TPPA-11 meeting in Auckland, Laila Harre said that there is no protection for NZ sovereignty over it’s labour/employment laws in the TPP agreement our government plans to sign on 8th March.

Harre has been researching and writing a thesis on it.

She says such agreements cannot protect our labour laws and this needs to be done through the ILO.

Under the TPPA that our government plans to sign, they could be sued for the labour regulations the government is planning to implement.

Harre and Kelsey say that if this agreement is signed, it will be used as a model for other trade agreements.

Kelsey said some in the labour caucus won’t to maintain such a model. But this model is in crisis, and we need to respectful campaign to shift the balance in the government to something more progressive.

National Day of anti-TPPA action on Sunday 4th March.

Demo in Wellington on day of signing, 8 March.

FUrther meetings around NZ before then.

The protest movement seems to be in ‘let’s not do this’ mode.

Media funkstille as far as I can see.

What happened to Laila Harre?

NZH last December: Long-time activist Laila Harre returns to the Labour Party

Former MP and restaurateur Laila Harre has rejoined Labour and says the party’s chances at next year’s elections have been boosted by John Key’s departure.

Harre told the Herald that Key’s resignation as Prime Minister would give people on the left confidence that next year’s general election was “a whole lot more winnable”.

Harre said she had talked to a number of people in the past year or two about how to advance progressive politics, particularly with younger people and those who had been involved with the Alliance and in trade unions.

“In advising others I realised my strong view was that rebuilding confidence and support for Labour is really the critical factor for electing a progressive government next year.”
She said she had a similar background to Labour leader Andrew Little, both being lawyers who had worked for trade unions.

Harre said she had talked to people within Labour about standing in next year’s election, and had received encouragement from some to do so.

“I feel that I can make a really strong contribution, I think I’ve got excellent experience, a lot of policy and historical knowledge, which would be very helpful. I can demonstrate through my achievements a pretty good record of effectiveness in Parliament. I think it’s a place that I can make a really strong contribution.”

Harre was welcomed by Labour.

Labour’s general secretary Andrew Kirton said Harre shared Labour’s values and had a wealth of experience.

“She is great talent and she is welcome. She will have to go through the same process as everyone else. If she wants to stand in a seat she will have to put herself forward in front of local members and make the case.”

Yesterday 1 asked:

Whatever happened to Laila Harre. Did she withdraw?

She was not on Labour’s party list that was published yesterday, and she is not listed by Labour here: 2017 candidates

Harre responded on Twitter:

No I didn’t go for anything – maybe next time.

Didn’t consider New Lynn & decided against others suggested. Happy helping out the MP for Te Atatu for now. Appreciated support & awhi tho.

December was late to be seeking a winnable electorate, especially for a party newcomer. And her political history was potentially a problem – she led Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party to a poor result last election and was accused of selling out her principles.

She may have been eyeing up Mt Albert but Jacinda Ardern had that in her sights so there was no chance for Harre.

There is no indication she tried for the list or was offered a list placing that could get her into Parliament. Given the controversy over Willie Jackson that may not have worked well if she had put herself forward.

Interesting though that Little promoted Jackson but seemingly not so much Harre.

Whatever happened Harre is out of the running this election – unless she tries for the vacancy left by Sue Moroney in Hamilton West – see Labour Party seeks candidate to win Hamilton West seat.

Jackson jumps to Labour

After months of speculation that Willie Jackson would stand in an electorate for the Maori Party it is being reported that he has jumped to Labour and will stand on the list only.

NZ Herald: Willie Jackson dumps Maori Party for Labour

Willie Jackson has dumped the Maori Party and is set to announce he is standing for Labour instead.

The Maori broadcaster and former Alliance MP was considering standing for the Maori Party in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate, but sources said he had since been approached by Labour and now planned to stand on the list for them instead.

It is understood Jackson had met with Labour leader Andrew Little and believes he will secure a high list ranking to secure his return to Parliament.

He thinks he can waltz into the party and get a special promotion up the list? (A high ranking on the Labour list is no guarantee of  success, especially with Little and King in the top spots).

Jackson is a close friend of Little’s advisor Matt McCartern.

Jackson was a former Alliance colleague of Laila Harre who has now also joined Labour, but does not intend to run for Parliament this year.

At least Harre is doing her time after floating around a few parties before trying to stand – unless she also gets a promise of a high list position.

McCarten seems to be trying to convert Labour into New Alliance. Little must presumably  be on board with this sly takeover.

What about Internet Party 1.0?

Dotcom’s Internet Party, combined with the Mana Party, failed to get close to the 5% threshold in the 2014 election, getting 1.42% of the vote (34,094), and with Hone Harawira failing to hold his Te Tai Tokerau seat so they missed out on getting into Parliament.

After the election Laila Harre resigned as leader – she recently indicated she had joined Labour and wanted to stand in an electorate for them.

Since then the party has maintained an online presence but with no sign of who is running the party and with a very low profile – Dotcom seemed to desert it.

Since the election in the monthly Roy Morgan poll the Internet Party has had no result (less than 0.5%) in every poll except for getting 0.5% in June and October this year.

They still have a website but there appears to be little new, and there is no sign of any people being involved – perhaps it’s become a robot party.

They keep things ticking over on their Facebook page. After Trump won the US election they posted:

Internet Party was feeling optimistic.
9 November ·
If Britain can get Brexit
and America can get TrumpNew Zealand can get the Left into power in 2017

That got 288 likes so there is still interest in the party. In early December:

We are stoked, of course.

But we still need people to write good articles for us, the Internet Party, the Infomation Party, the one which is genuinely about a better future in all aspects … as much as ever. Please put the word out to the good investigative journalists that you know, or who are friends of friends and so on …

Mid December:

KDC is being given a bad rap from radio announcers since Laila Harre joined the Labour Party. Laila is a great person but small parties never served her well. We are delighted to see anyone with her vision and passion achieve a position of influence and we sincerely wish her great success in achieving this.

While The Internet Party has an identity, a life and policies all of its own – KDC started this good work, and the fact that this party even exists with it’s awesome policies is completely down to him.

I am no spokesperson, but all of the positive things that our members can say about the Party or KDC will help. Speak it, write it, show your support, every bit helps.

Thank you 🙂

For political parties to have identities they need people, and there is no sign of who is involved.

They have a Twitter account but it’s not very active, with the last tweet in February. The account is authorised by Fred Look, from Colville on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Internet Party Constitution & Rules on Elections.Org.NZ states:

10 PARTY LEADER

10.1 The Internet Party will have a Party Leader. The Party Leader is responsible for managing the Internet Party’s Parliamentary affairs, should it be represented in Parliament.

10.2 The Party Leader is an automatic member of the Executive Committee with full voting and speaking rights.

10.3 Should the Internet Party not be represented in Parliament, the Party Leader will be either:

10.3.1 The candidate ranked number 1 on the Party List by the Executive Committee in an election year; or

10.3.2 A Full Member of the Internet Party approved by 75 per cent of the Executive Committee

Harre was ranked number 1 on the party List in election year and has resigned so that provision no longer applies.

I’m not aware of a new Party leader being approved by the Executive.

I thought that the original constitution gave special power to the party founder but can’t see any reference to that now.

The party received 16 donations in 2015 totalling $676.65
internet_party_return_of_donations_and_loans_2015.pdf (PDF 11.29 MB).

That’s in contrast to 2014 donations of $3,500,000 from Kim Dotcom (and no other donations)
Internet_Party_return_of_donations_and_loans_2014.pdf (PDF 10.12 MB)

Both those returns were signed by Fred Look, who seems to be the only person publicly associated with the party now.

I presume that Dotcom’s money and input would be welcomed again but I also presume that would have to go through a democratic process.

Getting credible candidates and especially a credible and high profile leader could be a challenge.

The Auckland revolutionaries seem to have moved on from the Internet Party and are quietly taking over the Labour Party.

Perhaps Labour will do a Memorandum of Understanding with the Internet Party – involving money for influence?

Laila Harre joining Labour

It has been hinted at recently but has now been confirmed – Lalia Harre is re-joining the Labour Party.

1 News: Laila Harre rejoins Labour Party, sets her sights on standing in election

After 30 odd years, Laila Harre has re-joined the Labour Party – and she wants to be a Labour candidate at next year’s election.

“It’s been a while. It’s really great to be back,” says Ms Harre, who first joined Labour in 1982 at the tender age of 15.

She parted ways with Labour in the late 1980s; disillusioned by the reforms at state asset sales of the David Lange Labour Government and the “Rogernomics” policies of the then Finance Minister Roger Douglas.

Jim Anderton left too and Laila Harre joined him at NewLabour, which later morphed into the Alliance, which was a grouping of NewLabour, the Democratic Party, Mana Motuhake, and the Greens.

After the Alliance fell to pieces in 2002 Harre had a break from politics.

Then in 2012-13 she worked for the Green Party as ‘ inaugural issues director’.

The next year, 2014, she became leader of Kim Dotcom’s Internet party.

The veteran campaigner says she does regret her four months with the Internet Party because of the damage it did to her reputation.

I’m not surprised. Then she had a break from parties until returning to her roots now, Labour. He ex-colleague from the Alliance Party Matt McCarten is wheeling and dealing for Labour in Auckland and I expect has had some influence in this move.

Now she believes that the time isn’t right for new political parties.

“The Left, I guess have consolidated around Labour and the Greens – and Labour, I think, are really strongly reconnecting to their roots and they are my roots in the trade union movement.”

Nick Leggett was rubbished by left wing activists, first for leaving Labour and then for joining National. He was criticised for not being committed. I wonder what they will say about Harre’s party hopping.

Labour general secretary Andrew Kirton says that Harre will have to go through the same process as other hopeful candidates.

Rumours have linked her to New Lynn, which will become available with David Cunliffe’s exit, but others have also expressed an interest there – New Labour candidate for Rangitikei with Deborah Russell hoping to head north.

Deborah Russell said she had been approached by several Labour associates to seek the nomination for the New Lynn seat David Cunliffe is vacating.

She would have run again in Rangitikei if the New Lynn opportunity had not come.

That sounds like virtually a done deal in New Lynn. Perhaps Harre will stand in Auckland Central as it looks like Jacinda Ardern wants to pick up Mt Albert now David Shearer is leaving.

Minimum wage and social welfare

Last week the Government announced that New Zealand’s minimum wage would increase 50 cents to $15.25 per hour on 1 April (2016).

The starting-out and training hourly minimum wages rates will increase from $11.80 to $12.20 per hour. It is set at 80% of the minimum wage.

“An increase to $15.25 per hour will directly benefit approximately 152,700 workers and will increase wages throughout the economy by $75 million per year.

For a 40 hour week that works out at $610. Annually it is $31,720.

“With annual inflation currently at 0.1 per cent, an increase to the minimum wage by 3.4 per cent gives our lowest paid workers more money in their pocket, without imposing undue pressure on businesses or hindering job growth.

“The Government has increased the minimum wage every year since coming to office, from $12 to $15.25. This is an overall increase of 27% compared to inflation of around 11%.”

New Zealand was the first country to set a minimum wage, in 1894. Relatively we have one of the highest minimum wages in the world. The current Australian minimum wage is higher at A$17.29, but is as low as US$7.25 in the USA (it varies state to state).

Yesterday Radio NZ had a debate on at How high should the minimum wage be set? (link to audio there).

Eric Crampton, who is an economist and the director of the New Zealand Initiative…

…said among developed countries New Zealand already had the highest minimum wage in relation to the average wage.

Mr Crampton said it was unreasonable to set the minimum wage high enough for people to live off it without any subsidy.

“I don’t think that there is any problem that is solved by the minimum wage that is not better solved through things like wage subsidies and Working for Families,” he said.

The minimum wage was poorly targeted and welfare systems were better placed to support lower-income workers, he said.

“We should look at where the burden of supporting lower productivity or lower income workers should fall,” he said.

“Should it fall on the employers and customers of firms that supply goods and services that are produced by lower income workers? Or should it fall on the tax base more broadly?

“We’ve got a tax system that’s progressive – it tries to spread the burden to where it can be afforded. When we instead put that burden onto employers of lower productivity workers, we knock them out of work.”

Former MP Laila Harré, now the co-owner of a living-wage restaurant…

…said full-time workers should not need to rely on government handouts.

“If people go to work, one should expect to learn a living from that job,” Ms Harré said.

“We have many non-viable businesses keeping themselves viable by surviving on these incredibly low rates of pay, [and] often extraordinarily dangerous working conditions.”

University of Auckland economics professor Tim Hazledine…

…said businesses generally had a great degree of ingenuity to adjust to change.

New Zealanders had a social and cultural expectation that adults should go to work and receive a living wage, he said – and the economy could adjust to that.

The Living age Movement Aotearoa New Zealand increased their suggested minimum to $19.80.

The Movement calls on Government, employers and society as a whole to strive for a Living Wage as a necessary step in reducing inequality and poverty in our society.

Striving for a ‘living wage’ is fine. Whether a much higher minimum should be imposed is debatable.

A problem with a set ‘living wage’ is that one size doesn’t fit all workers.

And if it is set too high then some businesses (and jobs) may not be viable, so the risk is that it would result in higher unemployment and make it more difficult for low skilled and especially young people to get jobs.

New Zealand also has an extensive and increasingly complex social welfare system that supports the unemployed and the unemployable, and also substantially subsidises many low paid (and not so low paid) workers through Working for Families.

Working for Families on it’s own is complicated enough with four types of payments:

  • family tax credit
  • in-work tax credit
  • minimum family tax credit
  • parental tax credit.

As well as that Accommodation Supplements are available and their are subsidies available for pre-school and out-of-school care.

Few would argue over having a minimum wage, although the level will always be debatable.

A higher ‘living wage’ is much more questionable except as an aspiration.

Both broad and targeted social welfare to some extent is expected in a modern society but the levels and availability will always be up for debate.

One problem is that social welfare tack-ons make it increasingly complex, at risk of being in inefficient use of taxpayer resources.

Some call for a Universal Basic Income (UBI):

An unconditional basic income (also called basic income, basic income guarantee, universal basic income, universal demogrant, or citizen’s income) is a form of social security system in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere.

A UBI may simplify things but would be difficult to transition to if it meant (as it would probably have to) that some people would get less than they do now, unless it was encumbered with supplemental assistance.

It’s easy to tack on increases, but reducing benefits and subsidies when people have adjusted to and become reliant on current income and welfare levels is tricky and risky.

Some sort of overhaul and simplification of our wage and welfare systems has some merit but would be very difficult to implement unless the country suddenly became rich enough to pay a lot more.

Harré has officially resigned from the Internet Party

It wasn’t clear whether was resigning from just the leadership or completely from the Internet Party. Last month she only announced stepping down as leader. On Facebook on 22 November:

As Internet MANA members move into decision mode I have shared my own intentions today. I will step down from Party leadership in December. I personally favour a network, rather than electoral party option. However, I intend to take a guiding (rather than leading) role in this process so that members have plenty of chance to generate options and decide between them.

I want to acknowledge all the member and supporter engagement that has come through this page since May 29 – I am not leaving the frontline, just the post. So I’ll keep sharing here (if Facebook lets me stop being a politician!).

It’s not clear whether “the post” means as leader or as a part of the party. And also posted on The Daily Blog – EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds:

Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members.

Again, just the leadership.

Next time around I’d like to think we can do better than just a political jigsaw. To that end I am stepping away from the electoral focus for now to pay more attention to the “why” of the “Why we need change” question.

A hint she could be separating further but not clearly.

And in in an interview on The Nation:

Are you still here as leader of the Internet Party?

Yes, I am here as leader of the Internet Party, and at the moment I’m guiding the party through a review of the future. I’ve also made a personal decision that once that review is completed, I will step down from the leadership of the Internet party.

Again just stepping down from “the leadership of the Internet Party”. But she also said she would love to be in Parliament.

Look, I would love to be in parliament. I would love to be articulating the kind of fundamental agenda and values that Internet-Mana promoted in the election campaign, and I’m not prepared to say never again to being personally at the front line.

She has just announced on Twitter:

@lailaharré

Officially resigned as @InternetPartyNZ Leader and as a member today. Onwards!

So she is right out of the party.

She expands on it on Facebook:

Today I have officially stepped down as Leader of the Internet Party. I have also resigned my membership.

This year many of us saw the opportunity to connect some newcomers to progressive party politics (in the form of the Internet Party) to a kaupapa Maori movement with a solid base in working class and poor communities – MANA. I have already shared my analysis of the election result on this page and elsewhere.

I first joined a political party 32 years ago and have always promoted participation in parliamentary politics. For major progressive gains to be made our parliamentary parties need to be rooted in real constituencies and supportive non-party institutions which build wide support for our values and ideas.

That’s what I will keep working on. I really enjoyed the interactions that I had through this year – online and on the road. I hope you will stay connected.

Her next plan is a road trip around the North Island next February with her sister to engage with grass roots supporters.

So I’m going on a journey in February with my sister. It’s called ‘Rethink the System’. We’ve got a website. Rethinkthesystem.org. We’re going on a sort of pilgrimage meets activism to connect with people over fundamental social change issues.”

There’s plenty of time before the next election but her party options to help her get back into Parliament may be limited. Would she rejoin the Internet Party again in 2017 if they offer her enough money? Dotcom says he’s broke, and presumably he’ll be more broke if he starts an Internet Party to contest the US election in 2016.

Harré may not be welcome at the Green Party after she deserted them and took their policies with her to the Internet Party.

The Mana Party is an obvious option andn it may be the only one, if they survive and contest the next election.

Another party could emerge but the chances of getting into Parliament for any new party are very slim.

Harré’s resignation may have resigned her to being a non-parliamentary political activist.

Internet Party may contest again in 2017

Mana have officially taken steps to end their relationship with the Internet party – see Harawira on what he and Mana are up to – and Laila Harre is stepping down, so Dotcom’s party is partnerless and leaderless.

And Dotcom says he is broke.

But he said yesterday he “would not be surprised if the Internet Party has another go”, as reported in NZ Herald’s Dotcom’s lost Mana but Internet Party may ride again at 2017 election.

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom says his party could still make another bid for election in 2017 despite its merger with the Mana Party coming to an end.

The Internet Party will soon be leaderless as Laila Harre plans to stand down and its main backer, Mr Dotcom, says he has run out of money fighting his extradition to the United States.

But the internet entrepreneur suggested yesterday the movement was still alive, saying he “would not be surprised if the Internet Party has another go” in 2017.

He did not want to comment further as he was focused on getting the US branch of his party up and running for the US elections in 2016. The US Internet Party will be backed and run by American citizens, but Mr Dotcom is likely to play some role.

He says he has no money but that may be just in New Zealand.

Financing a party in the US would have to be on a much bigger scale. Perhaps others will front up with the dollars but Dotcom hasn’t got a good campaign record – he has a reputation as a political wrecking ball.

It would be hard to see any political ambitions as anything other than an anti US Government publicity stunt – which was how his attempt to bring down the Prime Minister and government of New Zealand was seen.

If Dotcom survives financially and legally his chances in 2017 don’t look good. This year he tried to piggy back into power off the Mana Party and that failed.

It’s very unlikely any other party here would consider campaigning with him no matter how much money he offered.

Russel Norman and Winston Peters visited him last year to discuss options and saw the dangers. They will be even less interested now.

I don’t think Labour would risk going anywhere near Dotcom’s financial incentives.

Internet-Mana got 1.42 per cent of the party vote in the September 20 election and won no seats. Its chances hinged on Mr Harawira keeping his Te Tai Tokerau seat, which he lost to Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

Harawira will find it hard enough to beat Davis in 2017. Mana have been burnt badly by their Dotcom association so a repeat must be unlikely.

And Mana isn’t the only self inflicted victim.

Harre’s political credibility has been scorched. The Internet Party will find it very difficult to attract a high profile leader with political experience, especially if the money has dried up.

It’s a long way from 1.42% to the 5% threshold. Dotcom misjudged his political chances badly this year. He must see the odds of turning that resounding failure around are very slim.

I would be surprised if the Internet Party will be a serious contender in 2017.

Harawira on what he and Mana are up to

Patrick Gower interviewed Hone Harawira on The Nation on Saturday and asked him what he’d been up to. The answer was not very much since turning his back on politics after a disastrous election result.

Gower: What are you up to, what are you doing for a crust these days, what’s Hone Harawira been up to?

Harawira: Actually for the first couple of months absolutely nothing. Just hanging about home ah with the mokopunas, doing a bit of paddling, trying to get my health back.

He seemed to have struggled through the election campaign, perhaps that was to do with his health.

Ah, yeah and then a trip to South Africa, then the Nga Puhi claims.

Now starting to look at a couple of projects to get started in the New Year.

Gower: Sweet. And what about Mana itself, is Mana still alive?

Harawira: Yeah no we had a great week just a couple of weeks ago at Auckland University Marae. We had about seventy, eighty people come from all around the country from as far south as Dunedin, and everybody’s really focused on getting back to stuff in their communities, which is what I’m doing as well, and rebuilding from that level.

Gower: And what about Kim Dotcom, have you had a chance to catch up with Kim Dotcom?

Harawira: No actually, no we missed a chance ah last weekend, ah we’re trying to do it this weekend, probably catch up some time soon.

It sounds like he has just shrugged and turned away from Dotcom. That’s odd considering the huge cash provided and major alliance in the campaign.

Gower: You might pop out to Helensville after this?

Harawira: No I can’t, ah I’m going to be too busy after this. I’ve got um Newstalk ZB, I’ve got a kuruwhanau (?) to see, then I’ve got yo fly home.

Gower: Now we had Laila Harre on the program a little while ago, she said that…

Harawira: Where, here?

Gower: No on The Nation a couple of weeks ago. She said that the Internet Party completely mismanaged that last month of the campaign, do you agree with her?

Harawira: Oh look, those days are gone. Suffice to say from our point of view it was a shot worth taking, it didn’t come off, ah but Laila, wonderful person, ah a great political commentator, a woman of great principle.

Harre was widely criticised for her lack of principle in teaming up with Dotcom.

So, I missed the opportunity to be working with her but I wish her well whatever she’s going to be working on in the future.

Gower: And what about yourself, you’re still keen to come back to Parliament?

Harawira: Well a lot of people are keen for me to come back to Parliament, including some strangely enough right wing types. I think I just get a sense there needs to be somebody in there who’s going to be strong on the basic issues of poverty and homelessness, those sorts of things.

A curious non-personal response, as if he doesn’t make his own decisions. And while Harawira spoke strongly on poverty and homelessness he failed to work effectively with other parties in Parliament, something that’s essential to progress policies.

Gower: Will you have a crack against Kelvin Davis again in 2017?

Harawira: Oh if I have a crack it won’t be because I’m having a crack against Kelvin Davis, ah, it will be because I’m having a fight to support the rights of  te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the homeless.

Gower: And will it be with the Internet Party, will it be with Kim Dotcom, will you go with him again?

Harawira: Ah no, look we’ve just we’ve just ah formerly closed off that relationship, so I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s public yet but the letter’s just gone off to ah the Electoral Commission I think.

It sounds like someone else is managing the formal split and Harawira is a semi-interested spectator.

So that’s over, but ah certainly the relationship with some of the people we met in the Internet Party, that will continue.

Harre?

Gower: All right then, is there anything more on that split or is it just all over completely?

Harawira: Ah well you never know, ah you never say never, ah suffice to say though that right now it’s focussing on what’s happening at home, what’s happening with the mokopunas, what’s happening with the whanau.

We’ve got to rap this up Paddy.  Thank you very much.

As Harawira said that he walked away, shutting down the interview.

Just as he seems to have shut off and walked away from his political career.

It sounds like he’s over Parliament and while others have tried to to talk about him having a go at returning his heart isn’t in it at all.

He looked shattered on election night and it looks like he isn’t over it. He could possibly recover, and the next election is a long way away, but he and Mana really need to campaign right through the term.

Otherwise they are likely to fade away into political history, a movement that lost it’s mojo after an unsuccessful Parliamentary stint brought to a close after a disastrous decision to try and benefit from Dotcom’s millions.

Harrés rethinking the system in the north

Laila Harré’s post Internet Party project is a campaign with her sister to try and Rethink the System. Part of the aim could be to rebuild her self esteem after a brutal election result by finding the crowd adulation she got early in the campaign..

After the 2014 election result Laila wanted to go bush and Niki wanted to go on a pilgrimage to inspire social change. So we made a pact to spend February on the road  in a quest to explore new ways of living well together. We want to discuss all possibilities. Even (especially!) those that seem impossible given our current poltical establishment, the media, and the narrow field of public debate. Those, good people, are ours to change if they do not suit us.

This website is your connection to the jouney, a journey which is in your hands as much as ours.

We will be carrying no money with us. Instead we will donate $4000 to four grassroots groups in lieu of our nominal living costs.

We are seeking hosts from the places we visit to arrange meetings and put us up for the night. We will walk and hitchhike between towns.

And interesting concept early in a parliamentary term.

The first part of this is The Harré Sisters do the North Island 1-28 February 2015.  Laila announced on Twitter last night:

Finalised dates for rethinkthesystem.org Hosts and meetings in 26 towns over 28 days – will email hosts next couple of days to confirm.

I asked if the South Island was part of the rethink. She responded:

Not this time for us but maybe others keen or maybe we get there later

Sounds like there’s not much thought been put into the south.

Harré’ will appeal to a small niche. Time will tell whether the sisters can build it into some sort of political movement, or whether it’s little more than a personal repair mission.