Audrey Young

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

Dotcom to speak at Mana AGM

Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom will address the Mana Party annual conference in Rotorua next weekend ahead of Mana's decision about whether to form an alliance with the Internet Party.

Mana leader Hone Harawira and Mr Dotcom met for the second time in Auckland over the weekend to discuss the potential relationship.

The Mana executive invited Mr Dotcom to speak and he accepted "to talk to and understand the view of Mana members," a Mana statement says.

The speech will be late Saturday morning in the open session of the conference, which news media can attend.

Later in the afternoon the party will discuss relationships with other parties.

Party director Gerard Hehir said he did not expect a final decision would be made at the conference "but time is short."

The parties have already met about the possibility of the two parties forming an alliance with an integrated list.

Assuming Mr Harawira kept his electorate seat of Te Tai Tokerau, that could allow the Internet Party to gain MPs in the Parliament without having to reach the 5 per cent threshold.

It would also raise the profile of Mana in the run-up to the election on September 20.

Mr Harawira has set out several conditions for a deal with the Internet Party: it must not contemplate supporting National; it needed to set out its policies to see if there is common ground; clarify its membership base and candidates.

The party has yet to announce its leader or any candidates and Mr Dotcom cannot stand because he is not a New Zealand citizen.

He is also facing extradition proceedings by the United Sates where he is wanted on copyright, racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud charges.

Outspoken economist and author Gareth Morgan is speaking to the Mana conference too on the Sunday but there is no suggestion his appearance is linked to Mr Dotcom's.

Mr Hehir said Mana was interested in Dr Morgan's views on welfare reform, the universal basic income, and constitutional reform.

The meeting was at an Auckland hotel, not Mr Dotcom Mansion at Coatesville.

However it was not at the Sky City Hotel and not at The Rendezvous hotel where party activist Sue Bradford and Dotcom skeptic joined a demonstration on Saturday night against a Young Nationals' ball.

- NZ Herald

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