The candidates list for Kim Dotcom's Internet Party has been announced this morning.
The fledgling party says it showcases "a strong and diverse group of Kiwis committed to leading positive change" for New Zealand in the digital age.
A list of 15 candidates, headed by Internet Party leader Laila Harre, will contest the 2014 General Election, with a focus on Internet MANA's drive for the all-important party vote.
"The candidates were selected following a tough nationwide selection process designed to find the best and brightest people able to champion the Internet Party's core policies and principles," a statement says.
Ranging in age from 23-48, the Internet Party's candidates reflect an impressive depth and breadth of expertise and experience, Ms Harre said.
"We ran a rigorous, merit-based selection process, with rankings reflecting a combination of party membership input, using digital technology, alongside executive consideration," she said.
"The candidates we've selected had no sponsors, no 'machine' behind them - they put themselves forward because they believe in what the Internet Party stands for and are committed getting the change of government we so urgently need on September 20."
Ms Harre said the Internet Party's candidates, who would stand in strategic electorates throughout the country, would be excellent servants of the party's membership.
"This lineup gives me huge motivation for our voter mobilisation campaign to succeed, because the more Internet MANA votes we earn, the more we'll see of this high-calibre of leadership in Parliament," she said.
"Each individual candidate brings integrity, intelligence and innovation. As a team we've already started working positively together.
"Each candidate has proved they're fired up to run successful electorate and party vote campaigns that embody the goals of the Internet Party and our members."
Ms Harre said the party's candidates were particularly strong in the critical Auckland region.
Miriam Pierard, third on the party list, is standing in the Auckland Central electorate against Jacinda Ardern and Nikki Kaye.
On the topic of the three young women contending the seat, party-mate Chris Yong joked "we've got the best babe."
Ms Pierard is a secondary school social sciences teacher and thinks her party can empower young people.
"They need politicians who will listen to them and fight for them."
Internet Party members will be able to access the policy-making process online and contribute to the shaping of policy.
Ms Pierard was the spokeswoman of the "Aotearoa is Not For Sale"movement.
Party founder Kim Dotcom has been an advocate for foreign investment, however this didn't conflict with Ms Pierard's anti-asset sale movement, she said.
She said she hoped to raise voter participation for young people in her electorate.
"It's a university area. I want to empower young people to get out and vote. There's so much expertise in our generation and it's sad to not see it being harnessed."
The Internet Party's candidates will join the combined Internet MANA list to contest the party vote.
The Internet Party Top 5 pic.twitter.com/7Y0k6e4iqU— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 18, 2014
MANA will have first, third and fourth positions on the list. Ms Harre will be second on the combined list, with the Internet Party also taking fifth and sixth spots. Subsequent places on the Internet MANA list will be assigned on an alternating basis between the two component parties.
Both parties will contest electorate seats with their own identity, candidates and policies.
The parties will not compete against each other in any electorate.
Full candidate information can be found here: internet.org.nz/candidates.
1. Laila Harré (Leader), TBA
2. Chris Yong, Te Atatu
3. Miriam Pierard, Auckland Central
4. David Currin, Whangarei
5. Beverley Ballantine, Ilam
6. Gil Ho, Northcote
7. Pani Farvid, Palmerston North
8. Patrick Salmon, East Coast
9. Roshni Sami, Kelston
10. Callum Valentine, Wellington Central
11. Grant Keinzley, Taranaki-King Country
12. Lois McClintock, Wigram
13. Robert Stewart, Dunedin North
14. Raymond Calver, Hamilton East
15. Andrew LePine, Dunedin South
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