'Unfinished business with tertiary education' - Harre

LAILA HARRE: Last an MP in 2002, when she led the Alliance after the split with then leader Jim Anderton over New Zealand's role in the Afghanistan war.
LAILA HARRE: Last an MP in 2002, when she led the Alliance after the split with then leader Jim Anderton over New Zealand's role in the Afghanistan war.

Internet Party leader Laila Harre says she will make good on her promise to restore free tertiary education.

The former Cabinet minister and Alliance leader was officially named as the party leader today yesterday's reports that she was tipped to take the top spot.

Harre said she made a promise to restore free tertiary education before she took a break from politics to have children.

Her new role gave her the chance to honour that promise, she said. "I have unfinished business with tertiary education."

The party, launched by internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom in March, announced its co-operation with Hone Harawira's Mana Party on Tuesday.

Harre said the Internet Party made no apologies for strategically using MMP to form an alliance with the Mana Party to strengthen its election chances.

"It's time for the people to take MMP back for ourselves," she said.

Harre said stepping into leadership was a "natural progression" from her "long and rich apprenticeship".

She was ready to pass on her knowledge to Internet Party candidates and learn from them about the potential of the internet age.

The party was at the "cutting edge" of political reform.

She said her political career had always been about "dragging public policy into the modern world".

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said Harre had taken the leadership role because she believed in it.

Harre held several portfolios during her time in the Cabinet, including women's affairs, youth affairs, statistics and associate minister of labour and commerce.

She has had a career in industrial relations and was recently employed by the Green Party as issues director.

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