Should the Mana Party do its deal with the Internet Party, Hone Harawira's Tai Tokerau electorate will become an even more crucial election battleground this year.

The buzz at Mana's annual meeting this weekend was the technology, not to mention any money, Kim Dotcom's Internet Party brings to tap into disengaged voters.

Mana president Annette Sykes points out there were more than a million "missing voters" at the last election. Maori turnout was particularly low.

If Mana and the Internet Party can connect with even a small fraction of disengaged voters - Maori and Pakeha - through new online channels, it stands to bring in at least Ms Sykes and possibly others on its list as well as Internet Party MPs.


Labour is conscious that could increase the left's bloc without unduly cannibalising support for itself and the Greens.

Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this depends on Mr Harawira holding his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

With a strong campaign, Labour's highly rated former MP Kelvin Davis stands a good chance of taking the seat for Labour this year.

An all-out effort by the Maori Party to get their former colleague Mr Harawira dumped from Parliament would help.

But even if polling indicated the strategy could lift the left's total vote, Labour has to find space for Mr Davis high on its already tight list.

The party also has to weigh up whether a post-election deal with the hard-to-handle Mr Harawira and his Mana Party friends and with alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom's political plaything would be worth the aggravation.