Hot air erupted left, right and centre when the Mana Party, representing Te Tai Tokerau Maori and free radicals from the disaffected left, and Kim Dotcom's Internet Party announced an unlikely betrothal last week.
The far left condemned it as marrying for money. Apparently millionaires do not compute with bread and butter human rights and regional survival.
Mana sympathisers worried. Would eventual outcomes of ongoing US legal action see association with Dotcom's possible demise (along with his alleged megabucks) lose a crucial voice for Maori, endangered Northland bush dwellers and the intrepid left?
The pinot noir Labour/Greens centre left - which has not fielded credible, effective or winning Northland candidates in the past 30 years despite sore need - huffed and fuddled. Lost votes, or a split left vote allowing National to swan in at the September election, could well eventuate if they can't stitch a similarly strategic MMP compromise together.
The born-to-divide-and-rule right muttered darkly about Machiavellian machinations and scoffed lest uncharacteristically opposition parties swallow partisan grievance, team up and sweep to power.
Laila Harre's appointment as leader of the Internet Party, however, was inspired, allaying potential supporters' worst fears and raising the spectre of a serious contender with impeccable left cred, law degree, parliamentary experience and the kind of articulate, seemingly genuine fronting Labour lacks.
Internet Mana's bid for the youth vote will be tricky though.
Harre and Harawira seem young to some, but to opinionated 24-year-olds, they're crusty antediluvians.
Online support sounds easy. A recent event with 1000 online pre-registrations is cautionary though. Venue, First Aid and portaloos were duly hired. Only 28 people actually turned up. Lesson: Digitally clicking "yes" is far simpler than rocking up to polling booths.
Internet's free tertiary education policy is a savvy mutual opening bid. Kia ora.
Their cannabis policy is awaited with interest. Assumedly anathema to puritanical Mana, legalisation could be an internet youth-vote grabber, although despite recent media drumming, no other party dares touch it with a barge pole.
Infuriatingly, reforming the absurdly cumbersome system for collecting road-user charges from owners of light diesel vehicles will not dominate any party's policy agenda.
While these charges are added (simply) to petrol at the pump, diesel owners must complete impenetrable, arcane, jargon-ridden pink forms before paying up separately in $60 lumps, in person, at Post Shops often far from gas stations.
Originally a Muldoonist concession to off-road, diesel-using farmers and shippers, this historic anomaly remains enshrined in proto-Stalinist, bureaucratic process.
A 10 per cent increase in road-user charges for light diesel vehicles was announced last week because of (get this) the inefficient cost of recovery.
It means, ordinary, impoverished, grandmotherly, non-commercial diesel users must pay more because our overpaid government cannot devise an efficient system to collect the road-user taxes we would happily contribute if compliance wasn't so fiendishly complicated.
Never mind youth or ideals, I'd vote for a party that could organise its way out of this particular paper bag, perhaps by adding road-user charges to diesel at the pump and obliging off-road users' adequately recompensed, spectacularly numerate accountants to use receipts to claim it back later (if they really must).