The Internet Mana Party roadshow came to New Plymouth last night with loud music, a bit of hype and a call for change.
More than 200 people of all ages attended the meeting at the New Plymouth Boys' High School hall, which started about 30 minutes late as everyone waited for the arrival of the man himself, Kim DotCom.
A few minutes earlier there was a false start when Internet Party youth ambassador Bill Urale, aka King Kapisi, started working the crowd for a big welcome before pulling up short and saying he would play a few more tracks. At that point some of the older generation walked out only to be replaced by a group of teenage boys who timed their arrival to perfection.
After a karakia Internet Party candidate Chris Yong, from Auckland, announced they were going to "save the country from a national disaster. We want to change the government."
King Kapisi wound up the audience, getting them to yell "change" louder and louder.
"The message is, these cats up here can make the changes we need to happen."
He was after the disenfranchised youth who did not vote last election, he said. "I want the kids' voice to be heard."
After a debate with the crowd over the population of New Plymouth party leader Laila Harre settled on the number of children who don't have an internet connection at home to be four times the population of New Plymouth.
They were the only party standing for free tertiary education, which was essential for a free knowledge economy, she said.
"We need a knowledge tsunami."
Then she got a big cheer when she said talked about the need for a moratorium on deep sea drilling and other risky forms of "extraction", such as fracking. These had the potential to cause environmental and human health risks, Harre said.
"We are going to help Taranaki transition to clean green fuels."
Taranaki was one of the wealthiest regions in the country because of the fossil fuel industry, she said. The industry had provided good well-paid jobs for people over many generations.
"But the fossil fuel industry is reaching its use-by date."
- Taranaki Daily News
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