Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Harawira tells Maori Party to 'butt out' of Dotcom talks

Hone Harawira. Photo / File
Hone Harawira. Photo / File

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has told the Maori Party to butt out of its plans to talk to Kim Dotcom's internet Party after Pita Sharples said there was nothing in it for the Mana Party other than money.

Maori Party MP Dr Sharples said today he was perplexed about Mr Harawira's willingness to entertain joining up with Mr Dotcom's Internet Party.

Mr Dotcom is due to speak at Mana's annual conference this weekend where the Mana Party will decide whether to enter an arrangement with his party in the election.

Dr Sharples said Mr Dotcom had done "absolutely nothing" for Maori.

"I think [Mr Dotcom] just wants to make a name for himself in New Zealand. It's totally politically motivated and he's using the Mana Party and they're probably using him." He said the only possible motivation he could see for the Mana Party was money.

"What else he is offering? Seriously. What else is he offering that could be useful for Mana?" He also said he found it offensive that MR Dotcom owned a signed copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf.

"Considering how many Maori we lost in that particular war. We really make a contribution to world peace as Maori and as New Zealanders, and I just think it's offensive for him to have that book and be prancing round talking to heads of government and organisations."

He said he could not understand Mr Harawira's motivation for aligning himself with Mr Dotcom in any way.

In return, Mr Harawira issued a press release with a cartoon of the Maori Party co-leaders kneeling beside a table like dogs, taking crumbs from Prime Minister John Key and said Mana was "grateful to the Maori Party for highlighting the pitfalls of badly managed coalitions".

Mr Harawira split from the Maori Party and set up the Mana Party after ongoing disagreements over the Maori Party's relationship with National.

Mr Harawira said Mana and the internet Party had several things in common, including getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB spy agency. He said talks were continuing and Mana would not forget its principles and its people.

"If after listening to the pros and cons, we choose to walk away from any arrangement with the internet Party or any other party for that matter, that is a decision Mana will make. If we choose to enter into an agreement with the internet Party or anyone else, that too is a decision for Mana to make."

Mr Harawira said it would be up to the members, not the leadership, to make the decision.

Dr Sharples said he had never met Mr Dotcom and had no interest in doing so.

"It is the things he says, but also the way he assumed responsibility for certain things and the way he wants to make his way the way in our society."

He said that did not fit with the Maori Party's view of life. "Our kaupapa is that you share things."

- NZ Herald

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