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Maori Party: No Internet Party link

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 14:04 25/03/2014

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The Maori Party has ruled out any discussions with internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom or his Internet Party.

The announcement comes after Mana confirmation it had held exploratory talks with Dotcom's planned political vehicle.

In a clear swipe at Mana, Maori Party president Naida Glavish said today her party had no interest in talks with Dotcom or his party.

"There is no benefit for te iwi Maori in aligning with sideline splinter parties," she said.

"The Maori Party is first and foremost dedicated to benefits for te iwi Maori as an integral part of a happy, healthy and prosperous Aotearoa."

The party was clearly focused on that kaupapa, and had shown over the last two terms of government it could achieve that by being "at the governance table where the decisions are made".

Gains had been achieved for Maori in health, education, jobs and wide-ranging benefits flowing from the Whanau Ora policy, Glavish said.

Mana has not ruled out a deal with the Internet party, which is due to launch on Thursday and will seek the 500 members needed to register for the September 20 general election.

But some Mana members are strongly opposed to such a move, saying the two parties do not have enough in common.

Mana secretary Gerard Hehir has said the party was waiting to see the Internet Party's policies, personnel, philosophy and attitude to working with National before taking any further steps.

Mana leader Hone Harawira and Dotcom met in late February when the possibility of a deal was raised.

An umbrella organisation, similar to the old Alliance structure from the 1990s, could be on the table. It would preserve the parties as separate entities but see them campaign on a joint ticket.

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