Te Tai Tokerau MP and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has rejected any suggestion that he might be about to join forces with Kim Dotcom following a hitherto undeclared meeting with the internet mogul earlier this year.
"We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn't ask him to fund Mana, and he didn't offer to either. I didn't ask him to join Mana, and he didn't ask me to join his party," Mr Harawira said.
"I haven't spoken publicly about the meeting because I haven't yet spoken with the Mana exec about it. That's set for later this week."
Mr Harawira spoke after Mr Dotcom claimed that he had signed up one sitting MP to join his new Internet Party before the election and was talking to three more. He declined to identify the MP, until the Internet Party was registered and has chosen all its candidates, around mid-year, but was reported as saying he was in talks with Mr Harawira about uniting their parties under one umbrella, enabling the Internet Party to enter Parliament on the coat-tails of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate MP.
The two leaders and their party bosses, Vikram Kumar and Gerard Hehir, reportedly met at a house on Auckland's North Shore on February 28. A Sunday paper claimed that the Mana Party executive was about to consider a merger proposal, Mana offering one or two electorates, the Internet Party contributing a more broadly-based party vote and $1 million-plus in campaign funding.
Mana Party was one of several parties in talks about an alliance, Mr Dotcom said, along with a number of MPs who had won electorates and were expected to do so again.
The Internet Party planned to launch membership phone and web apps this week, and hoped to have the 500 members required to register the party within a day. The goal was for the Internet Party to "pick" the next government.