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Dotcom - lawyers say I can stand for Parliament

UPDATE / Sept 7: Kim Dotcom now says he can stand for Parliament at next year's election.

Last week, the Teutonic tech titan told media he was going to form his own political party, and take a run at the ballot box himself - only for Kiwiblog's David Farrar to dig up Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act, whose citizenship provision seems to clearly ruleout Mr Dotcom.

But iin a new interview published today with the Washington Post, Mr Dotcom says, "When I made that statement, my lawyers were still looking into it, and their preliminary answer was that you can only run as a citizen of New Zealand. But they went through the full several hundred pages of New Zealand election law, and they found that if I’m a permanent resident of New Zealand who’s lived here for more than a year and is a registered voter — which I will be in November — you can run for office. I’ll get more specifics on Tuesday when I sit with my lawyers, but at the moment it looks like I can run myself."

Mr Dotcom says  he'll launch is political party at a major even on January 20 next year - the second anniversary of his arrest on copyright, money laundering, racketeering and other charges, all of which he denies.

He said last week his aim was to reach MMP's 5% threshold for getting MPs into Parliament. But given Dotcom Mansion lies within Prime Minister John Key's electorate, the situation lends itself to a matchup.

$30m IPO
Asked by Post how he will fund his political career, given his funds are still frozen bar legal and living expenses ahead of his trial, Mr Dotcom also reveals he has raised $4 million for Mega so far. And that he hopes to raise $20 million to $30 million by floating the company on the NZ or Australian stock exchange.

Mr Dotcom has raised the possibility of an IPO for Mega at various times in the past - although know it's notable he has no legal ties to the company.

On On Wednesday, it was revealedhe had resigned as a director of Mega (his only formal position with the file sharing sevice), which is majority owned by a trust controlled by his wife Mona Dotcom. 

Mr Dotcom said he resigned from the startup to focus on his extradition case and his political career.

Launch new Mega services from Iceland?
The Post also reminds Mr Dotcom he threatened to move Mega to Iceland if the GCSB Bill was passed.

What is he going to do now the legislation has been passed?

Mr Dotcom did not answer the question directly, but did note:

"We’ve opened the company in Iceland, and already we’ve registered the domain and our secure encrypted e-mail service is currently under development, as well as a Skype-type application where you can do video calls and video conferences, but you do it in the browser, on our website."

Despite his love of New Zealand, it's not Mr Dotcom's first flirtation with an overseas venture in recent times.

In March, NBR revealed his Megabox music sharing venture, which is yet to launch, is owned and run by his Hong Kong-based companies. Mr Dotcom said the setup was his investors' preferred option for tax reasons.

Dotcom launching political party - but can't stand himself

UPDATE / Sept 2: "I can't stand for Parliament because I am not a citizen," Kim Dotcom tells NBR.

Nevertheless, the accused pirate is sticking with his plan to fight next year's election.

Despite his resident-only status ruling him off the ballot box, "I can be a party president, create a political vision for the party and find candidates to stand for the party who share the same vision," Mr Dotcom tells NBR ONLINE.

"My priority over the next three months will be to find those people and refine the party program and policies with them. I plan a launch event on January 20, 2014 and until then won't release to many details."

EARLIER: Kim Dotcom says The party website with information about our vision & candidates will launch with another BIG event on Jan 20, 2014. Second raid anniversary will found a new political movement.

In response to a brief in the NZ Herald saying he would form a political party with the aim of gaining the 5%of the vote required to get into Parliament, the giant German tweeted, "My embryonic NZ political plans leaked by whistleblower. Still looking for partners. Not ready yet :-)."

He added,

"The party website with information about our vision & candidates will launch with another BIG event on Jan 20, 2014. Second raid anniversary."


"After the 2014 election I will get New Zealanders a new submarine cable, fair Internet pricing & no more data caps. #Gimme5Percent"

Mr Dotcom has pushed for a second submarine fibre optic cable out of NZ before in a private capacity. Last year, he told NBR it is possible his file sharing service, Mega, could become a major customer of a new cable out of NZ, and possibly also an investor - but that someone else would have to get the project off the ground.

So far, his mooted plan for a giant server farm in NZ hosting files for Mega has yet to eventuate, although Telecom's Gen-i unit is hosting a small number of the startup's files uploaded by NZ members.

On Breakfast, Prime Minister John Key labeled Mr Dotcom's latest venture a PR stunt.

 "It's like everything we see from the guy. He wants to stay here and fight his extradition treaty. He has very good PR people. Let's see how it goes."

Mr Dotcom replied via Twitter, "I don't have PR people. I'm just good at being myself. Try that Mr Key."

Whoops, not a citizen
Kiwi Blog's David Farrar says "I think it is a great idea to splinter the anti-government vote."

But he adds:

However Mr Dotcom may have overlooked one problem. He is ineligible to be an MP.

S47(1) of the Electoral Act states:

Regardless of anything in subsection (1), a person is not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected unless he or she is a New Zealand citizen.

In 2002 an MP was disqualified after it emerged she was not a citizen. Kelly Chal was provisionally elected on 2002 election night for United Future but then disqualified as a candidate and MP after they realised she was not a citizen.

Comments and questions

Welcome to MMP
The way I feel about the present politicians of all parties, chances are I might vote for Kim.

Save your money KDC - and save Labour at the same time, by putting your hand up to be their next leader.

Surely you couldn't do any worse for Labour... and your cheque book would be very welcome there too - especially when one of the contenders still has a wafting stench of passports for a $15K donation... and he's the most "credible" candidate of the lot...

you have my vote!

I suspect he's not the only person who can't stand himself :-)

NBR please do us a favour leave the bloated hot air chap pictured to Campbell Live where he belongs with the hot air presenter. Keep your site for information that does effect NZ.

Shortly you will see this chap with a chain around his ankle, it will be holding him to the ground, as with so much hot air he is in danger of floating away, oh how I wish.

Obviously you don't understand, nor are prepared to be educated about, the relevant law ( which ha has not broken).

The depth of this parasite's ego is unfathomable.

If NZ had compulsory voting like Aussie - he would hose in
Given his target audience don't vote he might be dreaming...

Don't you need to be a NZ Citizen to run for parliament?

A citizen or permanent resident can stand for parliament. Criminal conviction would make it impossible though. And not sure you can be an MP if in Gitmo

Best job for Dotcom is Auckland Mayor.

Couldn't be worse than the current incumbent.

A convicted fraudster? Wants rules changed to financially benefit him? Sounds like he's well qualified for parliament.

Kim Dotcom can't stand himself. Double entendre? But he is good at being himself.

grumpy!! how many convicted fraudster's are in New Zealand parliament. Or are you one of those Aussie actor Paul Hogan use to call nothing critic. Eternally waiting in the wing doing nothing then criticizes others. Dot com should be shipped out to US to defend him self. If US government & justice system is corrupt as he would have us believe he got enough money to buy the best favourable judgment the same way he bout off new Zealand immigration and journalist. But when it come to some gullible public in New Zealand it will only take few ice-creams.

Don't forget fireworks.

His 'policy's' seem very similar to the Pirate Party. I wonder why he doesn't just support them.

Love the headline...

Apparently Dotcom can't stand himself

there are a lot of other Kiwis who can't stand him either

Well said!!! I can understand why he can't stand himself.

Actually he would compare favourably against our current crop!

It's not too hard not being able to stand yourself.

Once, the Police told me to give myself up but I found I couldn't break myself of the habit.

At last. A possible coalition partner for Winston first.

A foreigner in Winston's mob? I suppose that could be arranged with one of KDC's big cheques.

Well he has more integrity than the PM so why not.

Isn't the Green party already his party?

BTW - when is this guy getting extradited? Perhaps he can Skype his party conferences from a Virginia supermax with Chelsea Manning.

Could someone please enlighten me: If this Dotcom fellow is not a NZ citizen, then how come we had all the fuss about the GCSB "spying on NZ citizens?"

Also, was he the actor in those Rabobank ads?

He is not a citizen, but he is a resident. Sorry - can't help with last. question. I am not familiar with the ads. you are talking about.

Outstanding. I don't konw about his ego, but his PR chops make the local crews look like fairies.

He knows that his legal proceedings - which are now more parliamentary than judicial in nature - require him to have public support. And what better way to demonstrate public backing than by securing parliamentary votes?

I wouldn't be surprised if he vanished from NZ the moment her gets acquitted. But even that's a long game, not a short one.

Very foolish of him. Those who sympathise with him over US illegalities and bullying will not carry this as far as voting for this ill-conceived move

A huge mistake, and the numbers won't flock to this folly.

Excuse me and stand aside, Mr Winston PETERS, here comes another "King-maker for Mr John KEY or Queen-maker for Ms Jacinda ARDERN"

I'll vote for either Dotcom or the Pakeha Party.

It will be a vote for non-political correctness that still strangles freedom of speach and progress in NZ.

If you value freedom of speech, why post anonymously?

You've got my vote Mr Dotcom.

Kim or whoever, this highlights that there are a good number of New Zealanders whose connections to their virtual communities are far stronger than to their physical neighbourhoods. Enough to hit 5%? Maybe not in 2014, but never say never.

Wouldn't be hard for Kim to take away most of the Greenies from the roo-catcher.