Te Tai Tokerau voters ditch Harawira, ending Kim Dotcom’s bid for power.

After months of trying to set the agenda for the election, Kim Dotcom last night saw the aspirations of his political party crash and burn.

In the true moment of truth for internet-Mana, Mana leader Hone Harawira's failure to hold on to the Maori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau has seen the cashed-up movement disappear into political oblivion.

But internet-Mana failed to make more than ripples in the party vote stakes, and the decision by Harawira, who champions working-class values, to join an alliance with the controversial German backfired massively on the three-term MP.

Harawira's stance pre-election was that he was a victim of a plot to unseat him by the National and Maori parties, all of whom endorsed Labour's Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau.

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But it was the voters who spoke last night.

In an apparent backlash from voters in the upper North Island electorate, Harawira lost a substantial slice of his previously staunch support network, with hundreds of voters opting to back Davis instead.

Throughout the campaign Davis hit out at the arrangement between Harawira and Dotcom which would allow the internet Party to piggy-back off a Maori electorate into Parliament.

The only other hope of internet-Mana getting into Parliament was via Mana Party deputy leader Annette Sykes winning the Waiariki Maori electorate from incumbent MP and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Sykes officially conceded before 10pm as she trailed distantly.

Although his German citizenship meant he was unable to stand, Dotcom bankrolled the party, reportedly spending $4million setting it up and funding its campaign.

Harawira, Dotcom and internet Party leader Laila Harre looked shell-shocked last night as the size of their political mauling sunk in.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
20 Sep, 2014 7:02pm
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Harre said the people of Te Tai Tokerau had lost the strongest leader of a generation.

"He has been defeated by the votes of the National Party," she said.

Further north, a deflated Harawira said his defeat might end his "mainstream" political career.

He said he had no regrets about how he had conducted his campaign, saying the alliance with the Internet Party had allowed his own movement to "take it to another level".

But he added: "It won't be the end of politics for Hone Harawira."

The financial clout of Dotcom had allowed him to reach out to a wider audience, he added.

The internet-Mana campaign was dogged with controversy, most notably Dotcom's "Moment of Truth" just days out from the election.

It had been hyped as an event to bring down Prime Minister John Key, with claims Key knew about Dotcom long before the raids on his Coatesville mansion in 2012.

But in reality, it was a fizzer.

The party's press secretary, Pam Corkery, also provided perhaps the soundbite of the election, telling media to "piss off" when they asked about Dotcom's involvement in historical computer hacking.

The internet-Mana Party's campaign promises included introducing a government-funded breakfast and lunch programme into low-decile schools; free tertiary education; building 30,000 new state rental homes within three years; higher taxes for the wealthy; an $18.80 "living wage"; and cheaper, universal internet.