Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Dotcom's Internet Party unveils environmental policy

Kim Dotcom's fledgling Internet Party has begun fleshing out its policy platform, setting a target of having 100 per cent of the country's electricity supply coming from renewable sources within ten years.

It would also divert part of the Christchurch rebuild budget into "re-creating" the quake ravaged garden city as a "world-leading smart city".

Launching the party's draft environment policy, chief executive Vikram Kumar said New Zealand was already well placed to become "a world-leading clean energy economy" because it already generated almost three-quarters of its electricity from renewable sources such as hydro.

"But we can and must go further for current and future generations, so we will ensure all of New Zealand's electricity needs are met by 100 per cent renewable sources such as hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar by 2025. As well as being good for the environment, this will boost the economy, create jobs, strengthen our green reputation worldwide, and promote investment in green technologies."

The party gave little detail as to how that might be achieved other than saying that as a first step it would appoint a "multi-disciplinary expert panel to build the economic case and strategic blueprint to achieve the 2025 goal".

Mr Kumar went on to say the party would "encourage the development of smart cities, modelled on what we want to see done in the Christchurch rebuild, where we will direct a part of the already committed central government funding of re-creating Christchurch to make it a world-leading smart city that can serve as a blueprint for other cities here and overseas".

The third area of the party's draft environment policy was a plan to set up "green data centres".

"Inspired by the success of Dublin", Mr Kumar said the party would develop a "futuristic, global-scale, green data centre" using a public-private partnership model.

Other strands to the policy included supporting and promoting the accelerated roll out of smart electricity meters and "greater home automation and connectedness".

"The Internet Party will also launch one government-led project to demonstrate the possibilities and benefits of smart homes for elderly people living in their own home."

Meanwhile, Mr Dotcom's romancing of Hone Harawira's Mana Party continues this weekend as he travels to Rotorua for the Te Arawa Kapa Haka Regional competition as a guest of Mana President, Annette Sykes.

"The Mana AGM was the first time he'd ever been to a marae," Mr Harawira said last night.

"He said he'd love to come and watch some kapa haka, and the Te Arawa comps just happened to fit perfectly with his schedule.

"I understand Annette will be making a special announcement on Saturday as well so it should be quite a day."

- NZ Herald

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