Why the MANA Movement and Internet Party will happen – if it happens


If the Rohe report back trust in the MANA Leadership to go through with an Internet Party alliance  it will be because of a few factors that don’t seem to be getting much attention and the success of this alliance may have a large impact on the election results for progressives and anyone who wants to see Key out.

The first reason why this alliance will happen, if  it happens, is because of Hone’s under-rated negotiating and bridge building skills. Something rarely acknowledged was how many different organisations MANA managed to attract for its ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill.

Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts, Unicef NZ, Save the Children, IHC, Poverty Action Waikato, the Methodist and Anglican Churches (Methodist Public Issues and Anglican Action), Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League), PPTA, NZ Principals’ Federation, CTU Rūnanga, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation, and Te Ora – the Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association all supported the Bill alongside the Greens, Labour and NZ First. 

Finding common ground to generate support is a skill Hone has quietly excelled in. The criticism he gets for being outside of Parliament traveling around the country meeting communities misses the hard work  he’s putting into building those relationships and taking on board their concerns. This flax root support and kaupapa MANA relies on helped produce the surprise second at the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election

The second reason why this alliance will happen, if it happens, is how driven Kim Dotcom is. A flurry of public axe grindings and smears have convinced some that the Internet Party wouldn’t happen. Not only is it happening, but the alliance gives actual political expression to his vision. Instead of seeing a vote for a sub 5% Internet Party as a wasted protest vote, everyone knows that the alliance makes every vote count.

The Internet Party’s concerns with mass surveillance and online civil rights are giving that disconnected voter base every reason to vote in light of the Snowden revelations while MANAs vision speaks social justice to those the economy has failed. If the combined Party vote alongside winning Te Tai Tokerau is 3% or over that could be the difference between having a majority for supply and confidence and not having a majority for supply and confidence.

I think MANA will also pick up Waiariki and they have a good shot in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. The by-election win for Labour required the full Caucus turning up, they can’t do that this time, so a strong campaign there could have surprise results.

If this alliance works, those wanting National out get the chance to change the Parliamentary math.

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  1. The best thing that could ever happen for Maori and all others in NZ. I was watching Pastor Brian Houston on Sunday morning TV and him and I believe to invest in our future which is our children’s children I would of made it simple our #ourpricelessmokopunanz

  2. In praise of the internet:

    Something changed when Egyptians stood up to the Mubarak regime. That change is not limited to our country or our revolution-it is happening in many countries in the Middle East and on the streets of many cities around the world. Now that so many people can easily connect with one another, the world is less hospitable to authoritarian regimes. Humanity will always be cursed with power hungry people, and the rule of law and justice will not automatically flourish in all places and at all times. But thanks to modern technology participatory democracy is becoming a reality. Governments are finding it harder and harder to keep people isolated from one another, to censor information, and to hide corruption and issue propaganda that goes unchallenged. Slowly but surely the weapons of mass oppression are becoming extinct.
    The Egyptian revolution showed us that the great mass of people who are normally risk-averse, aren’t normally activists, can become extraordinarily brave and active when they unite together as one. It was like an offline wikipedia, with everyone anonymously and selflessly contributing efforts to a common goal. This is why I utterly refuse to be labeled as a hero or take credit for igniting the revolution. I was no more than a guy with some marketing experience who started a facebook page that snowballed into something greater than any of its thousands of contributors. For a long time I was unwilling to openly defy the regime while thousands of political and human rights activists were on the streets sacrificing and demanding change. Yes, I was fortunate to be an educated “early adopter” of technology and I am part of the urban middle class, which puts me in a small, privileged slice of the total population of Egypt. But I was quite unengaged when it came to politics-a typical cautious, easily intimidated Egyptian who did not dare protest against the regime. When I created the “Kullena Khaled Said” page, the whole point was to connect with others just like me. There were many outspoken, more courageous, and radical activists, and some of the other pages and groups that challenged the regime had much larger numbers of followers at first. Yet ultimately it was the great middle of the population that needed to overcome its fears and believe that change was possible. I related to that middle class because I was one of them.

    Wael Ghonim Revolution 2.0 page 292

    A number of people in the Mana Party have said to me, “What do we have to do with the Internet Party? Many of of our people can’t afford the internet or don’t own a computer.”

    In Egypt the world famous protests to end the rule of the dictator Hosni Mubarak, were organised through the internet, despite this, by far, the biggest contingent of protesters who marched to occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square came from the poorest sections of Cairo, with very high unemployment and low wages, where very few had a computer or internet connection. But it didn’t matter, every person who was connected relayed the news to all those who weren’t.

    A significant portion of the protesters came from Egypt’s middle class. When I asked people how they found out about the event, many said, “From ‘Kullena Khaled Said’” or “From April 6’s Facebook page.” Others simply joined the marches that broke out in various places around the city. The March that came from Arab League Street was in fact the largest of all; it had started in several working class neighborhoods and snowballed on its way to Tahrir…

    …I called a friend, who told me that Arab League Street was packed with police forces and Central Security trucks. It would be impossible for a protest to take place there.
    Mahmoud Samy, who organized the Arab League Street chapter with his activist partners, was online monitoring the situation as well, and I tried to convince him to change the plan. He told me not to worry. “The participating crowds are going to be huge”, he said, “and they will approach the streets from the surrounding neighborhoods. It will be impossible for the police to meet such numbers with violence.”

    Wael Ghonim Revolution 2.0 pages 185 – 177

    The truth is this, that the internet has become such an indispensable part of democracy that even if only one person in twenty has one, it empowers all those around them as well.

    The power of the internet, to inform, to educate, to transform lives and connect people with each other, empowers everyone. One of the Internet Party policies is to close the “digital divide” and make free high speed internet universally available even to the poorest communities.

    This is only one of the reasons why I support the Mana Internet Party alliance.

    • Having seen K.com pitch his Internet Party to the Mana Movement AGM I was unimpressed with his back story of poverty childhood etc. However as he spoke about what IP had to bring to the forthcoming election with tech savvy thinking I recognised his genius! To block such an opportunity by focussing only on perceived character flaws and over hyped MSM profiling would be a dropped catch along with a vote of no confidence in Hone, Annette, Gerard, Lisa and John.

  3. I think that many Mana movement members will still be waiting to see the draft document before deciding where they stand on this issue.I do think that any alliance with the Internet party will cause a split.I also think that Mana is able to make computer access,broadband & other I.T based issues policy priorities with or without the Internet party.I do feel that Mana needs to give serious consideration to how to gain more traction south of the Bombays (excluding the Waikato)in Wgtn there are only three rohe & I think the further south you go the worse the numbers look.The Mana movement needs to grow & I am yet to be convinced that the Internet Party is the answer.

  4. […] Hone’s ability at negotiation and bridge building to find common ground and Kim’s drive … have been totally ignored by the majority of political pundits. Those pundits have written this off as a sell out marriage of convenience that 1) would never happen and 2) won’t work. Well those same mainstream media pundits have all been wrong about number 1, so let’s see how wrong they are about number 2 as well. […]

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