Mana merger 'slap in the face'

By Matthew Martin

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Kim Dotcom talks to the Mana Party. Photo/File
Kim Dotcom talks to the Mana Party. Photo/File

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the new relationship between Kim Dotcom and the Mana Party is an insult to Maori.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar yesterday announced a deal to merge the parties, which will be known as the Internet Mana Party.

The move has already caused a rift with senior Mana member Sue Bradford quitting after the announcement was made.

Mr Harawira, who is the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, said the deal was good news for Mana.

"It'll help us connect with rangatahi [youth] and get more people out to vote, attract a wider voter base and increase our presence in Parliament - all while holding firm to our policies."

Mana and the Internet Party will register the new joint party and will contest the party vote by submitting a joint party list.

Hone Harawira is the leader of the new party and the Internet Party leader, who will be named tomorrow, will be the chairperson.

However, Mr Flavell said Dotcom and his party had no idea about the hopes and aspirations of Maori in New Zealand.

"It's an absolute joke that our Maori seats are going to be used to bring Dotcom into Parliament, it's a slap in the face to our tipuna [ancestors] and a slap in the face to Maori.

"Hone [Harawira] has brought someone in with him who does not give a damn about what Maori believe in.

"His favourite past time is throwing stones at us for our relationship with National but we have not ceded our position to them as an independent party."

Mr Flavell said he hoped Maori voters would reject the deal.

"Those [Maori] seats have been hard fought for and are now being abused by dragging in a party that is highly questionable in their ethics and morality,' he said.

Te Arawa kaumatua Sir Toby Curtis said political parties could create interesting bedfellows.

"I would like to think Hone is astute enough to know the value that can be extracted from Dotcom and I suppose Dotcom is equally astute enough about his move to be with Mana."

Sir Toby said Mr Harawira must be given credit for his almost 10 years in Parliament.

"I would say he has sufficient experience to know what is good for his party, Dotcom and the Maori people."

The Rotorua Daily Post was unable to contact Rotorua Mana Party candidate Annette Sykes.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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