Audrey Young 's Opinion

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Audrey Young: Mana's Dunne ultimatum

36 comments
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Hone Harawira issued an ultimatum to Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party yesterday: if Dotcom does any sort of deal with Peter Dunne, Harawira is out.

It didn't sound like an ultimatum when Harawira delivered it pleasantly at the end of an interview on TVNZ's Q and A.

But it was one: he said his Mana Party would "pull the plug" on any deal with Internet if the electorate MP with whom Dotcom claims he has a deal turned out to be Dunne.

The reasoning is that Dunne is not committed to getting rid of National as Mana, Labour and the Greens are. And if the Internet Party wants a deal with Mana, it not only has to commit to getting rid of National, so do any of its other partners.

That is the only way Harawira and vice-president John Minto will be able to sell it to sceptics at the Mana conference on April 12.

Mana holds the ace card and can afford to set bottom lines for any deal with the Internet Party and has. Dotcom wasted no time last week in saying he is committed to getting rid of John Key.

Harawira was reinforcing that bottom line it yesterday, in case the other MP is Peter Dunne.

Dunne is an obvious suspect but not for defecting to the Internet Party.

That makes no sense.

But he is the obvious suspect for someone whom Dotcom could have approached about an alliance similar to the one he is proposing with Mana, someone with an electorate seat and a party who could help the Internet into Parliament and help themselves in the process to get more MPs.

Dunne has denied being Dotcom's "other MP" but that doesn't help. According to Dotcom, in his round of interviews last week, the MP has batted away media inquiries. So unfortunately for them, only the MPs who have denied it are suspects.

Dunne admits to having been in email contact with Dotcom in the past year.

Dunne said he had not met Dotcom which is believable.

He also told the Herald on Sunday "unless I am totally deluded, I can rule out any deal."

That could be interpreted in many ways, depending on whether you believe he is deluded or whether you believe Dotcom is deluded.

Dunne's record is not on his side either. At the time of Dunne's denials about leaking the Kitteridge report into the GCSB, the Herald DigiPoll showed that only 22 per cent of people believed his denial, 59 per cent thought he had leaked the report and 18 per cent didn't know.

If Dotcom contacted Peter Dunne now, I doubt he would have much truck with him. He is back in John Key's good books, and on Breakfast TV this morning, Key went as far as encouraging people to vote for Dunne's United Future, Act or the Maori Party - "all of the parties we pretty much know are coming with us'" he said.

But last year things were very different. Dunne was feeling unloved after being sacked as a minister under suspicion of leaking the GCSB report (prompted by illegally spying on Dotcom) and having his party deregistered. They may have had a lot to discuss.

All this is not to say that Peter Dunne had a discussion or reached any agreement with Dotcom at a bleaker time.

But you could hardly blame Hone Harawira for suspecting it.

And you could hardly blame Dotcom if he had sought him out.

- NZ Herald

Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor, a job she has held since 2003. She is responsible for the Herald’s Press Gallery team. She first joined the New Zealand Herald in 1988 as a sub-editor after the closure of its tabloid rival, the Auckland Sun. She switched to reporting in 1991 as social welfare and housing reporter. She joined the Herald’s Press Gallery office in 1994. She has previously worked as a journalism tutor at Manukau Technical Institute, as member of the Newspapers in Education unit at Wellington Newspapers and as a teacher in Wellington. She was a union nominee on the Press Council for six years.

Read more by Audrey Young

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 23 Oct 2014 03:18:23 Processing Time: 648ms