The Internet Party's campaign launch has been overshadowed by comments about hacking from founder Kim Dotcom and a bust up with a party press secretary.
Party leader Hone Harawira was also late and did not give his planned speech to the 400 hugely enthusiastic supporters who turned out for the launch.
Controversy ensued when Dotcom regaled the party's hugely enthusiastic supporters with a story he has repeated often - that when he was 19 years old he was convicted of hacking.
Yesterday he said he had also used his hacking skills to manipulate a former German prime minister's credit rating.
"I hacked our German credit rating system and put our Prime Minister's credit rating to zero because I didn't like the guy," he said.
"And we have all figured by now there's another prime minister I don't like."
Dotcom has been accused of being behind the hacking of right-wing blogger Cameron Slater's computer but has steadfastly denied this.
The hacked emails formed the basis of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics which has dominated the election campaign so far.
Hager has also denied Dotcom was the source of the emails which are being drip-fed into the public domain by a Twitter account called Whaledump.
After the speech, Dotcom refused to take questions from reporters. When reporters persisted in wanting to talk to him, Internet Party press secretary Pam Corkery reacted angrily.
"We've talked about homeless, oh don't be a creep," she told one journalist.
"We've talked about jobs today and people living in poverty and you want to talk to Kim who said no interviews about a 19-year-old story, you work in news you puffed up little sh*t," she said.
When told Dotcom should address the question she said "he doesn't want to, he said three times "I don't want to give you an interview", he's not a candidate, he doesn't owe you anything, when will you glove puppets of Cameron Slater just piss off."
Party leader Laila Harre was also reluctant to comment, saying Dotcom had given the speech repeatedly on the party's national road tour and reiterating he had nothing to do with the hacking.
She denied it was a reference to hacking Key.
"This is not a scoop."
Harawira was a glaring absentee for much of yesterday and Mana's Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes spoke in his place, to MC Te Hamua Nikora's surprise. But rumours of a rift between Harawira and Harre were scotched by the two leaders, with Harawira saying he was still recovering from a serious car accident in Northland.
Harawira, who still had scratches visible on his hand, was obviously still affected by the crash and the response of the police department, comparing their response to his crash to the lack of action relating to the shooting of his electorate office.
The day was otherwise successful, with the crowd vociferous as the party launched a policy aimed at full employment and turning New Zealand into a world-leading digital economy and as 32 of the candidates on the combined party list were introduced.
- Fairfax Media
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