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Dotcom's party poised for Parliament on Harawira's coat tails

Published: 7:56AM Tuesday May 27, 2014 Source: ONE News

Kim Dotcom's influence is set to be felt right at the heart of the corridors of power with his Internet Party looking like riding into Parliament on Hone Harawira's coat tails.

Mr Dotcom's party has secured top billing in the newly formed Internet-Mana Party alliance.

Mana's leader says the name was still being discussed right up until this morning.

"My own personal choice was Mana Dotcom, but clearly this isn't about Dotcom," " Mr Harawira says.

But Mana has made an even bigger concession, giving up the number two spot on their combined list to the Internet Party's leader, who will be named on Thursday.

"We were expecting to get the first two, possibly three. But we're comfortable enough that the Internet Party has chosen a person of calibre," Mr Harawira says.

ONE News deputy political editor Michael Parkin says taking the number two spot dramatically increases the chances of the Internet Party getting someone into Parliament if Mr Harawira retains his Te Tai Tokerau seat, as the Internet Party is unlikely to get the five percent of the vote needed under MMP to make it alone.

However the move to join forces with the Mana movement has drawn strong criticism.

"Utilising Maori seats to drag in somebody who is questionable about their knowledge about things Maori, and indeed the dreams and aspirations of the Tai Tokerau, it's not on," Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says.

The alliance has seen founding Mana Party member Sue Bradford follow through on her threat to quit if the party joined with the Internet Party.

"I don't want to be Kim Dotcom's play thing and I feel sorry that my friends in Mana have become that," Ms Bradford says.

Parkin says the bottom-line in the alliance "is of course cash", with Mr Dotcom's party set to fund the bulk of the joint campaign. He has chipped in a quarter of a million dollars, as a starter.

"The amount of money is still going to be worked out," says Vikram Kumar, Internet Party chief executive when asked how much it will put in.

What they have worked out, Parkin says, is that they won't support John Key.

"Everybody knows that Kim Dotcom is putting money behind the political party to try and stop himself being extradited," the Prime Minister says.

But Mr Harawira says the extradition hasn't been raised with Mana by Mr Dotcom or by any of the members of the Internet Party.

However, Michael Parkin reports, there were no sign of regrets about the deal in the Mana camp today.