Family split on Harawira Dotcom talks
The Mana Movement has a likely deal with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party and is now setting its sights on potential electorate agreements with other parties.
Mana members rubber-stamped ongoing negotiations with the Internet Party at their conference in Rotorua at the weekend, with an alliance now almost certain, although it has seen some members threaten to quit.
Mana leader Hone Harawira yesterday confirmed the arrangement was likely to go ahead and reiterated his party's commitment to seeking accommodations with other parties on the Left.
"I'd suggest that a party that's as bold enough as we are to sit down at the table with Kim Dotcom is likely to be sensible enough to talk to both Labour and the Green as well," he said.
"There are no deals - we are willing to sit down and discuss what our options might be."
Harawira has said previously that an arrangement like that proposed by the Greens - but rejected by Labour - that the two parties campaign together was an option, as was an agreement that parties with mutual interests agree not to attack each other during the campaign.
He confirmed his wife, veteran activist Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, was among party members concerned about the alliance and had raised her concerns in a closed session yesterday afternoon at the party's conference in Rotorua.
"She's wary of the deal and understandably so," Harawira said.
"She sees it from not just a perspective of a Mana member or the wife of the Mana leader but from a long history of involvement in politics and activism."
She told members yesterday she was worried about the mana of the movement being diminished by a relationship with other parties.
But Mana president Annette Sykes said that to change the Government they needed to establish relationships with other parties.
To help guide this, members at the hui had set rules of engagement and bottom lines to outline the way they could negotiate with other parties.
She pointed to the Te Tai Hauauru electorate where the Greens were standing Jack McDonald.
"We would perhaps look to that as an arrangement for the Left," Sykes said.
"I wouldn't call it a deal but it's about strategic positioning to change the Government."
She said Mana could decide not to stand in the electorate or throw its support behind him, she said.
The Green Party did not respond to requests for comment.