Internet Party, Mana explore relationship
Hone Harawira has kept the possibility of a deal with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party alive, confirming talks over the weekend to explore a political relationship.
Dotcom and the Mana Party leader have held discussions previously but Harawira ruled out a formal merger after a backlash from members of his party.
Long-time activist and former Green MP Sue Bradford is among those who balked at any prospect of a deal and threatened to quit.
In a statement this evening, Harawira confirmed talks with Dotcom in central Auckland over the weekend to discuss possibilities "for a relationship between the Mana movement and the Internet Party".
He said the Mana executive had extended an invitation to Dotcom to address its AGM on Saturday,.
Dotcom had accepted the invitation in order to "talk to and understand the views of Mana members" Harawira said.
A formal deal between Mana and the Internet Party could give the fledging party a shot at seats in Parliament by riding the coat tails of a Harawira victory in Te Tai Tokerau.
But that could squeeze out Mana candidates, making any formal deal fraught.
The Internet Party has just started registering in political parties at 0.5 per cent but Dotcom has said it will withdraw and throw its weight behind another party should it fail to reach the 5 per cent threshold in polls prior to the campaign getting underway,.
The party is yet to select its candidates or finalise policy. Dotcom can't stand for Parliament himself because he is not a citizen.
Bradford has previously labelled it "incredible" that Mana could do a deal with Dotcom – "a man who tried to buy off the right and failed and now he seems to have turned to the left to buy the left off".