"Win for digital generation" as political parties merge
The Internet Party has hailed its partnership with the MANA movement as a win for young New Zealanders.
The deal has been formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two parties submit a combined list of candidates to contest the party vote in the 2014 General Election.
The agreement was brokered by Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom, party chief executive Vikram Kumar and MANA officials including leader Hone Harawira.
While both parties will retain their separate identities, a new political party called Internet MANA will be formed.
“Our ambition has always been to get the voice of young New Zealanders – the digital generation – heard in Parliament,” Kumar sats.
“Every vote for Internet MANA will effectively strengthen the momentum for change and hope in New Zealand.
“For a new party, achieving the 5% party vote threshold is incredibly tough because the system is loaded in favour of the incumbent parties.
"This is one of the reasons why we have come to an agreement for an alliance with the MANA movement. Together we are stronger.
"Together we will be able to achieve our ambition of building a better, fairer and more inclusive New Zealand, as well as advancing our party-specific principles and policies.
"The Internet Party’s vision and mission remain the same. People who believe in us can vote Internet MANA in the knowledge their vote will make a difference.”
Internet MANA will submit a combined list to contest the party vote, with candidates drawn from the Internet Party and MANA movement as component parties.
The combined list will be finalised following the conclusion of the Internet Party’s candidate selection process. MANA will have first, third and fourth positions on the list, with the Internet Party taking second, fifth and sixth spots.
The Internet Party will also announce its leader this week, and its candidate selection process will culminate at Queen's Birthday weekend with final presentations by applicants to party members.
Both parties will retain separate identities to contest electorate seats – MANA in the Maori seats and the Internet Party in selected electorates. The parties will not compete against one another in any electorate.
“The Internet Party will be in Parliament after the 2014 General Election,” Kumar adds.
“A party vote for Internet MANA means we will be a position to advance our policies and effect the change our members want and that New Zealand desperately needs. Every vote will make a difference.”