Launch day for Kim Dotcom's Internet Party
Would you vote for Kim Dotcom's Internet Party?
The Internet Party will be represented in Parliament whether it brings home 5 per cent of the vote or not, Kim Dotcom says.
Internet entrepreneur Dotcom said this afternoon that a sitting electorate MP would join the party but he would not say who the person was, what party they currently belonged to or what electorate they represented.
Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said there were a further three sitting MPs that had expressed interest in joining the party.
Other candidates would be chosen in a process that was "almost like an audition", he said.
When members signed up to the party they could say if they were interested in becoming a party candidate, Dotcom added.
The party wanted to introduce "young, new talent" to the country's leadership, he said.
Dotcom said the Internet Party was open to working with any other party other than National.
The German-born millionaire said he would not work with, or support, the National Party in this term after a recent "disgusting smear campaign".
Dotcom also denied recent allegations that he was a Nazi sympathiser or bought into Nazi ideology.
The allegations that came about when it was revealed he owned a signed copy of Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf (My Struggle) were part of a "disgusting smear campaign", he said.
Dotcom said he would not go into any further detail on the subject as he wanted to focus on the party's launch and call for members.
He said a deal with the Mana Party was still a possibility.
"Mana's biggest problem was that we said we could work with anybody," Dotcom said.
Dotcom said one of the party's key policies focussed on stopping the online "spy culture".
The party needed to send a clear message that the "mass surveillance" of the world's population was "not acceptable".
However, the party would ensure "sensefull investigations" by law enforcement agencies were carried out to uncover and prevent cyber-crime, he said.
The Internet Party was well on its way to getting the 500 members it needed to become a registered party.
This afternoon there were about 25,000 visitors to the site every hour and 14 new website visitors every second.
The first person to sign up as a member was party secretary Anna Sutherland, who used the virtual currency Bitcoin to pay for her membership.
As part of the Internet Party's launch it released its key policies, which included pledging to cut internet connectivity costs by 50 per cent, creating a government-sponsored digital currency and stopping "mass surveillance" of New Zealanders by the Government.
The party also planned to get better internet connectivity and digital tools in schools.
Labour's leaked ICT policy also included a plan to give free computers to low-decile schools.
The difference between the Internet Party's policies and the policies of other political parties was the Internet Party had "the competence to make it happen", he said.
Promises were meaningless if parties did not have the experience and Dotcom said the Internet Party had a "team of experts" on board.
It was important for New Zealanders to understand what the party stood for and what it was trying to achieve before they voted, Dotcom said.
Kumar said it was still early days for the party and it would take about six weeks before the Electoral Commission had officially registered the party.
There was not a firm timetable in terms of when candidates and policies would be announced, but he acknowledged there was not much time to get everything sorted with the September election looming.
From today people would be able to sign up to the party using Apple devices, through the Android app or via the party's website.
Membership would cost each person $1.29 for three years.