A statement I often see expressed in the media is the “odd” coupling of the Internet Party and the Mana Movement . It says a lot about New Zealand that such a large number of people, including journalists, find two parties working together so abhorrent.
“They have nothing in common” seems to be the battle cry. But why is this? Are we a nation so divided and cynical that we cannot see how two different groups could complement each other?
Is it so strange that a movement of young, passionate New Zealanders with a vision for the future would team up with a movement dedicated to protecting our most vulnerable and discriminated against?
We make no apologies for using every strategic advantage to try and change the government — we do this because New Zealand cannot stand to go another three years down the path National are leading us on.
The idea, put forward by the Māori party, that the Internet Party have nothing to offer tangata whenua shows a deeply jaded view of the world. While National’s policies decimate Māori communities, The Māori Party is content with crumbs from the table. Internet MANA will work to raise standards of living for all New Zealanders, Māori and Pakeha.
In fact the Internet MANA relationship embodies the un-delivered promise of biculturalism in New Zealand.
The Internet Party brings a new and exciting vision for our nation. We believe that moving away from primary industries is essential. To do this we will create a high value digital economy, delivering services to the world from the new Silicon Valley — New Zealand. In doing this, we realise we cannot leave a large sector of society behind due to current inequality.
The MANA movement brings a deep and passionate awareness of the poverty in which many New Zealanders find themselves. We need to feed the kids now, and close the digital divide that if left un-checked will further widen the gaps in education and readiness for the future job market.
Many rangatahi in New Zealand cannot afford the technologies which will be the basis of a digital future, and Internet MANA will work together to close this digital divide threatening our future.
As a nation we need to stop heaping scorn upon our most vulnerable. When beneficiaries are pejoratively shamed, forced to take drug tests (at their own expense) and given an allowance un-matched to the cost of necessities, we all suffer. An even greater concern are the working poor, who despite their hard work still struggle to feed their families. They do not fit the ‘lazy’ model which National try to desperately to propagate at every opportunity.
The Internet Party provides the vision to create new, high value jobs. But we live in the now. For a start, we need to treat our hardest done by with the empathy and compassion upon which the MANA Movement is based.
Another shared cause between MANA and the Internet Party is unwarranted mass surveillance. Both Māori activists and IP founder Kim Dotcom have fallen victim to the mass surveillance machine. We recognise the need for New Zealand to remain independent, and to discontinue our role as a United States lapdog in the 5 Eyes alliance.
So when you read about what odd bedfellows we are, consider this:
New Zealand’s founding document, the document which is the closest thing we have to a constitution, is a commitment to bicultural participation.
Tiriti o Waitangi.
Besides — us gamers have been dealing with MANA for years:
He waka eke noa