Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis has delivered a broadside at Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom, but was at a loss to understand his Internet Mana opponent Hone Harawira earlier this week.
Mr Harawira issued a statement on Tuesday saying he had been shocked, dismayed and hurt to hear that Mr Davis was secretly canvassing funds from National to campaign against him. He had been further saddened that Mr Davis had refused to acknowledge what he had done, or to apologise for his tactics.
"We may be in different parties, but our people want this to be a campaign of ideas and values. Our people do not want this to be the dirty and underhand campaign that Kelvin has made it into," Mr Harawira said.
"Since this story broke last night I have had heaps of calls from our people up north who are gutted by what Kelvin has done, and a lot of them are Labour voters. Our people are really hurt by what Kelvin has done, and they are angry with him for not being man enough to apologise for it."
Mr Harawira was asking the president of the Labour Party for an apology to "his" people in the Tai Tokerau, and a formal declaration that it would not happen again.
Mr Davis was nonplussed. He and his campaign team had looked at a proposed website designed to stop Mr Dotcom from "buying" Te Tai Tokerau.
"We explored this concept, debated it, then along with the Labour Party hierarchy decided it wasn't in line with our Vote Positive messages and ditched it," he said. There was never any question of him seeking or receiving funding from National.
"It was all about Kim Dotcom. Hone's just getting paranoid. He's irrelevant," he said.
"I'm talking about the Kim Dotcom who donated $50,000 to far-right wing disgraced politician John Banks. The same Kim Dotcom who said the police turning up at his front door was as bad as the suffering Maori have endured for close to two centuries. The same Kim Dotcom who had nothing to do with Maori until he found a way to take advantage of some to try to keep himself out of an American jail. The same Kim Dotcom whose garage is bigger and flasher than 99 per cent of homes in Te Tai Tokerau, and still cries 'Poor me.'
"This is the same Kim Dotcom who, if he really cared about the people of Te Tai Tokerau, would have got out with all the Labour volunteers after the floods and storms and distributed food packages to those who needed them instead of staying tucked up in the mansion.
"This is the same Kim Dotcom who turned up to hui up north in a limousine while kaumatua and kuia rode in a rattly bus. The same Kim Dotcom whose interference in Te Tai Tokerau politics was described as a disgrace to over 300 people at the Ngati Hine hearings in Pipiwai on Sunday.
"I make no apologies about looking at a website that asked the public to donate $5, $10 or whatever they wish to koha, to bring down a fake.
"I'm just an ordinary Maori living up north trying to stop the biggest con in New Zealand's political history from being pulled against my whanau, my hapu, my iwi. I make no apologies if there's another Maori politician in the North feeling pretty sensitive about all the criticism he's copping from hapu throughout Te Tai Tokerau because of the con job.
"I'm prepared to cop the criticism from him because it's just the price a person pays when he stands up for his people and his principles."
Mr Davis said he had received campaign contributions of $100 apiece from right-wing bloggers David Farrar and Cameron Slater (Whale Oil). He had out in $100 of his own and given the lot to Rape Crisis.
"Maybe Hone would like to give some of Dotcom's $3 million to the same cause. I can assure him the money will be spent well," he said.