Claire Trevett

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

Right bloggers donate to Labour campaign

David Farrar, left, Kelvin Davis, centre, and Cameron Slater. Photos / File
David Farrar, left, Kelvin Davis, centre, and Cameron Slater. Photos / File

Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis says he will donate money given to his campaign by National-aligned bloggers to Rape Crisis.

National's pollster David Farrar and Whaleoil blogger Cam Slater both donated about $100 to Mr Davis' campaign after a Facebook post Mr Davis wrote criticising Kim Dotcom and the deal with Internet Mana, and asking for donations.

Mr Davis said he had received the donations in his campaign account and would not return them, but nor would he use them on his electorate campaign.

"I'm going to donate it to Rape Crisis and thank them very much for their contribution to my anti-sexual violence campaign. I'm pleased people want to give so generously to the sexual and domestic violence campaign. It's fantastic of them and it's great that men are stepping up."

When he returned to Parliament following Shane Jones' resignation earlier this year, Mr Davis said he intended to make addressing domestic and sexual violence his focus.

A proposed fundraising website for Mr Davis was vetoed by Labour's head office because of its criticism of the Internet Mana deal, which is intended to help Internet Party candidates into Parliament on the back of Hone Harawira's Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

Mr Davis said he would leave the Facebook page up for people to read and make up their own minds about the arrangement, but would not make further comment. He denied he had been reined in by the party. "I know there is good Labour policy coming out and that is what needs to take the focus."

Labour leader David Cunliffe has previously said it was extremely unlikely any Internet or Mana MPs would be ministers in his executive - but he appeared to have hardened that further, saying on Breakfast this morning that he had ruled them out completely. "I've said yesterday, I've said before Mana will not be part of a government I lead, fullstop."

Mr Farrar does National's polling through his Curia Market Research company and also writes the Kiwiblog blog, which has the motto "fomenting happy mischief."

He posted comments Mr Davis had made about the Internet Mana Party deal on Facebook, and tweeted that he had donated $100 to Labour.

Leaked emails between Te Tai Tokerau campaign organiser Kaye Taylor and General Secretary Tim Barnett showed Mr Barnett vetoed a planned fundraising website for Mr Davis, partly because it was critical of Internet Mana Party and both were progressive parties.

Mr Davis wrote on his Facebook page last night that the website was "designed to take down Kim Dotcom and stop him from buying the seat of Te Tai Tokerau with his $3 million dollars."

"I make no apologies about looking at a website that asked the public to donate $5, $10, or whatever they wish to koha to bring down a fake. I'm just an ordinary Maori living up North trying to stop the biggest con in New Zealand's political history from being pulled against my whanau, my hapu, my iwi."

He said Mr Harawira was copping a lot of flak over the deal in the electorate, including at settlements hearings in Pipiwai this week.

"This is the same Kim Dotcom who donated $50,000 to far-right wing disgraced politician John Banks. This is the same Kim Dotcom who said the police turning up at his front door was as bad as the suffering Maori have endured for close to two centuries. This is the same Kim Dotcom had nothing to do with Maori until he found a way to take advantage of some to try to keep himself out of an American jail. This is the same Kim Dotcom who's garage is bigger and flasher than 99% of homes in Te Tai Tokerau, and still cries 'poor me'"


Ms Taylor had argued that the contest in Te Tai Tokerau was different to that in other electorates so the fundraiser was not aimed at traditional supporters: "honestly, I think National supporters may contribute."

Mr Harawira had cried foul over yesterday, saying he was trying to change the Government while Mr Davis appeared to be soliciting donations from National.

"Changing the Government is going to be tough enough - it will be bloody impossible if Labour does dirty deals with National."

Mr Davis said Mr Harawira deserved what he was getting.

"I make no apologies if there's another Maori politician in the north feeling pretty sensitive about all the criticism he's copping from hapu throughout Te Tai Tokerau because of the con job. I'm prepared to cop the criticism from him because it's just the price a person pays when he stands up for his people and his principles."

Mr Farrar said it was the first time he had donated to Labour, and he would urge others to follow his lead.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 17 Sep 2014 10:04:36 Processing Time: 325ms