Claims made by Kim Dotcom about mass surveillance in New Zealand have sparked concerns from Tauranga election candidates, with one asking for an independent inquiry.

The calls come after Mr Dotcom hosted Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald at an event in Auckland onMonday night, at which Mr Snowden and Mr Greenwald claimed New Zealand citizens were being subjected to mass surveillance and that the American spyagency, NSA, had two bases operating in this country.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has called for an end to the "Kim Dotcom circus" and urged New Zealanders to focus on the issues which mattered this election.

However, Tauranga Labour candidate Rachel Jones, pictured, said Mr Snowden's claims of mass spying on New Zealanders must be addressed.


Labour would review New Zealand's security services and the replacement of the law governing the GCSB, she said

"I think we need to be able to feel that we can trust our security agency and our Government to be working in our best interests. Last night's discussion cast doubt on that."

New Zealand First candidate Clayton Mitchell said Mr Dotcom did not have the "ammunition he claimed to have".

"He looked a bit foolish."

He believed there was some truth in what Mr Snowden and Mr Greenwald had said but it needed to be backed up by substantial evidence.

Independent candidate Rusty Kane said recent events questioned Prime Minister John Key's integrity.

"I now think there needs to be a royal inquiry into John Key and the National Government."

New Zealand Independent coalition candidate Michael O'Neill said surveillance was a reality of the digital era.


"If you are involved in illegal activities then there is a greater likelihood of being caught and NZIC supports Safer Communities. Mass non-transparent surveillance by a government agency, however, erodes our sense of freedom, our sense of free speech, that which we hold special as New Zealanders."

Act candidate Stuart Pedersen said he did not favour mass surveillance of private information, but said he was sceptical about this week's claims.

"All I would like to see happen now is that we put this aside, get on with the election, and come back to it later with a review of the system of check and balances over the operation of our intelligence agencies."

United Future candidate James Maxwell said transparency and full disclosure was important.

Prime Minister John Key has challenged Mr Snowden and Mr Greenwald to front up with evidence of their claims.

"What they're doing is making unsubstantiated claims. The Government has provided evidence that shoots down their arguments.

"If they want to provide evidence that supports their claims, [Monday] night was their chance and they failed to produce anything other than rhetoric."

Mr Key refused to discuss the use of X-Keyscore and whether the GCSB had access to it, but said the law did not allow GCSB to carry out mass surveillance.

Mr Bridges said the "Kim Dotcom circus" would not distract National from focusing on the issues that mattered to New Zealanders.

"Kiwis won't be impressed with foreign journalists and others turning up here four days from our election and telling us how to think."