Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Dotcom's Internet Party app approved

Kim Dotcom.
Kim Dotcom.

Apple has approved an app allowing Kim Dotcom's Internet Party to sign up members via their iphones, ipads and Macs Party chief executive Vikram Kumar confirmed this afternoon.

"We just got an email from Apple a short while ago that the app for iOS (Apple operating system) has been approved, therefore we are confirming that the launch for the call for members will happen on Thursday", Mr Kumar told the Herald this afternoon.

"Now it's definite."

The green light from Apple was the final hurdle for the German internet businessman's party before it could begin signing up members online, making it the first political start up to gain Electoral Commission approval to do so. A political party requires 500 confirmed members before the commission will register it.

"What we did with them was to try and understand what the requirements were", Mr Kumar said.

"We then found a way to meet those requirements, then showed them both through a concept stage then took them through a prototype and they were happy with that and they've approved the use of that."

The iOS app and one for Android devices as well as the website will collect information, collect signatures and collect their names, "then we will give the Electoral Commission all the information they need and in addition we will give them the printout of the paper result which then meets the Electoral Act requirement".

Prospective members will be able to use a touch screen, mouse or track pad to sign the necessary declaration after filling out the membership form on the Apple or Android app or on the party's website.

"Whatever people have it works for everyone. Essentially you've signed it as a document."

While the ability to sign up members online will speed up the process of getting to 500 members, Mr Kumar was unsure how long that process would take.

"There hasn't been a way of trying to gauge interest. We've had a lot of people contact us, people working for the party and Kim directly asking how they can sign up. There's definitely substantial interest. That has to be converted to people signing up and paying $1.29.

"I'm reasonably optimistic it will happen quickly."

Once the the party submits the information to the commission Mr Kumar expected it would take about four to six weeks for the commission to verify the members. A party launch would take place after that.

In the meantime the launch of the call for membership on Thursday would consist of the launch of the apps and the sign up capability on the Internet Party's website, media interviews with Mr Dotcom and publicity on social media.

Mr Kumar said some "high level policy" would be discussed but party spokesman John Mitchell said there would be no information about candidates as they would be drawn from members once the party was registered.

- NZ Herald

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