Adam Bennett 's Opinion

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Adam Bennett: Talks over tie-up with Mana set to drag on

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The official line is that Kim Dotcom will have to persuade Mana Party members today that he and his Internet Party are committed to their core Maori rights and social justice principles to even keep alive the prospect of an election-year alliance between the two parties.

With his commitment to ousting John Key's Government and his party's "Ten Point Action Agenda" released two weeks ago, Mr Dotcom has demonstrated he is willing to at least pay lip service to Hone Harawira and Mana's bottom lines.

Along with assuaging the concerns of some Mana members, the resounding commitment to Mana's principles Mr Dotcom will give today would provide the party with some defence against charges from Mr Harawira's former colleagues in the Maori Party that he is selling out by working with the German millionaire.

But while Mr Harawira and party president Annette Sykes say it is up to Mana's members whether talks continue, at least one party insider - who questions the strength of the party's internal democracy - believes "the fix is in".

They expect the outcome today, which has been predetermined for weeks, will be that the talks which have kept both parties in the headlines over that period will continue. So far, Mr Harawira has deftly stage-managed the saga. But as he has pointed out, Mana members who oppose the Internet Party tie-up, including veteran activists such as John Minto and Sue Bradford, are a feisty bunch.

If he tries to keep the proposal live for too long, he risks tearing his party apart.

- NZ Herald

Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald. He joined the Press Gallery in 2010 after nine years as a business and finance reporter for the Business Herald and New Zealand Press Association. He has a degree in English Literature from Victoria University and a post graduate diploma in journalism from Massey University.

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