Internet Party party not a free bash

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 16:40 17/06/2014

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The Internet Party is having another shot at holding a concert for potential voters, but this time it is confident the "Party Party" won't fall foul of the Electoral Commission's laws on treating.

The difference is that would-be concertgoers will have to pay for tickets.

Party founder Kim Dotcom originally planned to launch his party in January with a free concert, in conjunction with his 40th birthday and an album release.

He was forced to cancel the bash - called the Party Party - at the last minute after the commission warned it could be seen as an attempt to sway voters.

The commission said the rules applied "even if the treating is direct or indirect, and outside the election period, and applies to every elector and not just the promoter of an event such as the Party Party".

It said it was concerned the Party Party may expose those promoting it and attending it to the risk of prosecution for treating.

Internet Party spokesman John Mitchell said the new Party Party had been run past the party's legal counsel, Graeme Edgeler, and he was confident it did not breach electoral law.

It will tour Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin from July 23 to 26 and feature some of New Zealand's top acts, including Optimus Gryme, Brad Kora and Tommy Ill.

Internet Party leader Laila Harre said the tour was focused on getting younger voters interested in politics in a way that was "fun and entertaining".

"Young people simply aren't going to rock up to town hall meetings to hear politicians talk at them over a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches," she said.

"We're serious about getting the message out that young people need and deserve to have their say on September 20, and to get that message out we're taking it to them in a way they can connect with and enjoy."

Tickets will be restricted to people aged 18 and over and cost between $20 and $30.

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