Humour and raps to woo voters
Almost 200 people turned out to hear Internet-Mana's representatives speak at Lower Hutt's Naenae College this afternoon.
Adopting its own two-track strategy, with Mana's candidates providing the emotion and humour and Internet Party leader Laila Harre outlining the vision, the party's promises including a digital future, free tertiary education and a ban on offshore drilling were well received.
With fresh allegations of dirty tricks swirling around the party's founder, Harre also railed against 'dirty politics" and called for Justice Minister Judith Collins to stand down.
Clutching a copy of Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty Politics, Harre railed against the National Government and allegations in the book that National Party sympathisers were trying to stop people voting.
"That is their intention, to manipulate public opinion to turn people off democracy because they know that when you stop voting they win."
As Justice Minister, Collins was responsible for the Electoral Commission, charged with getting people out to vote, and her association with party activists allegedly trying to drive voter turnout down compromised this, she said.
At the meeting, Mana leader Hone Harawira slammed the Government's priorities, saying it was too focused on issues such as a UN seat and funding America's Cup challenges while the number of children living in poverty climbed.
"That sucks... We want to play with the big boys but we can't look after ourselves, well the Government can't."
Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate Te Hamua Nikora, a television personality and comedian, proved a crowd favourite, beginning his speech with a rap and speaking of his own experiences on a benefit and using tape to hem his suit pants because he preferred to spend the $15 it would have cost him to do it properly on food.
Nikora said the aim of the party's candidates who all had their own experiences of poverty was "to climb up to the top then reach down and help you all up with us".
"Those people are down there working for everybody who's not you and not me."
Truck driver Tama Little said he had always been a Labour voter but "I'm looking for a change".
"Too many lies mate, too from rubbish [from] politicians in general."
Thomas Satherley said he had not voted at the last election "because I see them all as the same" but he would give Internet-Mana his support this time.
He said he supported the party's approach to privacy and individual freedoms and its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
"I strongly support their policy on stopping the TPPA because I think that's a huge threat to... everyone's sovereignty."