Who Is Kim Dotcom?

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Header Master Image

FNZ-Antonio de Pacis Profile Image-SmallEDITOR’S NOTE:Filipinos in New Zealand Group once again thanks one of the better and brighter minds its has on board Karl Quirino for his contribution of observations and insights about a phenome non that’s unfolding from the Kim Dotcom saga called the Internet Party and explores the possibilities of a fallout from traditional politics in New Zealand that could transition a small country with a small population into a 21st Century technology-oriented global player. It’s going to be an interesting election year ahead!

Antonio de Pacis

Chair-Editorial Board

Filipinos in New Zealand Group

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FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Playful Kim Dotcom Image

 

ACTIONS OF YOUTHFUL FOOLISHNESS

 

Who is Kim Dotcom and why is he making such a stir of things here in New Zealand? Hmmm … good question.

 

A 40-year old (born 1974) German national with some Finnish mixed in, he is married with 5 children to a Filipina mestiza beauty he met in the Philippines by the name of Mona Verga. ‘Mona’ incidentally in Spanish means an attractive or beautiful female.

 

With a head above the clouds, this 2-meter (6-ft 7-in) tall individual could pass for a young version of jolly old Santa if he sported a full beard but he is actually Kim Schimtz to fellow hometown mates in Kiel West Germany.

 

He changed his surname to ‘Dotcom’ in 2005, apparently in homage to the tech nology that made him famous around the world of computer and communica tion network users.

 

Kim Dotcom-Facebook Profile ImageNot many people do that very often, change their name. We mean that you don’t get to hear the likes of a Bill Gates changing his name to Bill Software or when Steve Jobs was still alive changing his name to Steve iMac, iPad or iPhone. Some say that’s what makes Kim an iconoclast, an eccentric or someone who views the world in a rather different way than you or I.

 

Before the name change, he rose to fame in Germany in the 1990s as an alleged hacker. For that he was charged with undertaking illegal activities such as computer fraud, data espionage, insider trading and embezzlement. He never saw the cold steel of any prison bars, however, but instead received suspended sentences on all counts. That’s largely because he was underage at the time being still a teenager. The judge in the case said the court viewed his actions as “youth ful foolishness.”

 

A serial entrepreneur with money in his pockets that brash and irresponsibly youthful exuberant attitude followed him well into his twenties as an unapolo getic extrovert and show-off. For Kim Dotcom, variety was literally the spice of life. Well, that’s until he met his match. “I’ve always been a playboy. I’ve always had a lot of girls, a lot of fun and I didn’t care too much about having a relation ship. I just wanted to have fun,” he says. “But when I met Mona, all of that (fool ishness) changed.”

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Click But Not Hide Image-02 copy

 

The Telegraph UK (27 September 2012): The Prime Minister of New Zealand has issued a public apology to Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload.com, for an unlaw ful wiretapping operation mounted against him by the country’s spy agency. An offi cial report showed confirmed the breach of privacy rules on Thursday, prompting the apology from John Key and dealing a possible blow to a US bid to extradite Mr. Dotcom. Washington wants the 38-year-old German national, also known as Kim Schmitz, to be sent to the United States to face charges of internet piracy and breaking copyright laws.

 

GETTING INTO MORE TROUBLE

 

Fast-forward to 2005. Kim made most of his fortune as founder of a file hosting service called Megaupload. Previously, it was called Data Protect Limited when it was first registered in 2003 in Hong Kong. He also spawned a few associated file storage websites like MegaVideo, MegaPix and MegaLive. In time, netizens all around the world flocked to use his web-based services. Millions of them did. That’s how his fortune expanded.

 

Not long after, he got into more trouble with some very high-profile executives of film studios and television networks in the United States. Through the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) they complained to government author ities in the U.S. that Megaupload was making a fortune off of their work and intellectual properties by selling subscriptions to his locker services without paying them a single cent.

 

Why were these movie moguls of Hollywood so upset? Well, it’s because in August 2011 they expressed fears that the cyberlocker services Kim offered was a far bigger threat to their business than a popular and controversial file-sharing service called ‘The Pirate Bay’. They claimed that because cyberlockers were easier to use than Bit Torrent and other peer-to-peer software their digital film property could find their way to less tech-savvy audiences and result in lost sales.

 

Watch The Video

 

FNZ Commentary (26 March 2014): It seems to many now and there is a growing sense of more understanding that as you get to know more and more about Kim Dotcom and what he does as a techno taipan, the comic book villain that the US Government has made him out to be is dubious. It’s beginning to become clear that he is a genuine and innovative entrepreneur who was harassed and pushed to stand up and fight for people’s rights on the Internet. He is not alone in this struggle. The inventor of the Internet – Tim Berners-Lee, Apple’s co-founder – Steve Wozniak, and Facebook’s founder – Mark Zuckerburg, are all involved these days with similar activities for the rights of users on the web against growing attempts by governments and multina tional corporations to subvert it for their own purposes. Video Production Credits: copyright@VICE News. All Rights Reserved.

 

In his own defence, Kim didn’t dispute that he or any others who operate similar types of simple and successful Internet file-storage service businesses enable millions of people from across the globe to store or access digital files in cyber lockers.

 

These ‘others’ include some of the most visited video sites on the Web today like Google’s YouTube and Hulu. But even for them, Dotcom claims that perhaps nearly half of all users probably store unauthorized copies of pirated content such as TV shows, feature films, songs, porn, software and even graphic images in their rented lockers.

 

What’s important, he stresses, is that YouTube and Hulu like Megaupload and its associated websites have never conspired, promoted or encouraged users to upload pirated content so a real case can’t be made against him for online piracy. In any event, the providers of cyberlocker services couldn’t possibly monitor, control or prevent millions of users from doing what they do.

 

Unfortunately for Mr. Dotcom, the MPAA were paying closer attention to a copyright complaint filed in January 2011 against Megaupload by another party called Perfect 10. It was an adult-entertainment company with a reputation for hair-trigger reactions on copyright litigation. Perfect 10 accused Megaupload of encouraging users to upload pirated content to the company’s cyberlockers.

 

In July or August of that year, a U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles denied Mega upload’s motion to dismiss Perfect 10’s suit by ruling otherwise that there was ample evidence to bring a copyright case against Megaupload even if Kim’s role in that company was unclear.

 

By this time, the Dotcom family had already moved to New Zealand after Kim applied for residency in August 2009. It was granted in November 2010.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Some Confusing Aspects Image

 

Radio New Zealand News (10 September 2013): Kim Dotcom may have to wait until next year to find out if he will be extradited to the United States – more than two years after his initial arrest in January 2012. It’s still not entirely clear why this is happen ing, but it appears that the hearings concerning Kim Dotcom’s extradition case have been postponed several times. It mostly seems to have to do with this whole issue of getting access to the evidence against him, which the US has been fighting. His extra dition hearing has already been delayed several times due to legal action relating to an illegal raid on his home and disclosure of evidence relating to his case. Mr Dotcom’s lawyers have been arguing they need to see the evidence the Crown and the FBI have against their client, so they can properly prepare for his extradition hearing. The District and High Courts ruled in their favour, but the Court of Appeal overruled them. A hearing in August 2013 was put off until April 2014.

 

A HOST OF CONFUSING ASPECTS

 

Fast-forward to 2012. Before the Los Angeles district court’s ruling came out, the Hollywood film studio moguls inexplicably did little to try and stop Megaupload or any of the other large and allegedly illegal cyberlocker services. But the new ruling gave them at least leg to stand on. That changed their confidence level.

 

On a side comment, however, there are a host of confusing aspects, advances and reversals of the case and subplots surrounding the issue of digital piracy all depending who you ask and what they really know. For example, some of the major Internet service providers in the United States like Comcast and Verizon have stepped up antipiracy efforts but for the time being those activities only affect material downloaded via peer-to-peer services and have nothing to do with streaming services that Megaupload provided.

 

And while Kim Dotcom may have spent millions of dollars on legal advice over the last few years his legal advisers have reassured him that he is secure and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which is a law in the US (more precisely Title 17 of the United States Code, as amended) limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.

 

But even with that legal palliative in mind, there must have been other U.S. laws that his legal advisers might have overlooked because on 5 January 2012, indictments were filed in the State of Virginia against Dotcom and other com pany executives for crimes related to online piracy including racketeering, cons piring to commit copyright infringement, and conspiring to commit money laundering.

 

Kim’s public reaction to those indictments were that he has been unfairly demonized by United States authorities and industry trade groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the MPAA, both which, he says, are powerful lobbying groups with deep connections inside and around Washington D.C.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Coatesville Arrest Reenaction Image

 

Karl’s Commentary (26 March 2014): Do you remember the thrice World Heavy weight Boxing Champion of the World Muhammad “I Am The Greatest” Ali? Well, he was a consummate promoter and showman of his sport boxing. But when he got up and through the ropes to do his business, all his pre-fight antics, jokes, bluster, bravado and clowning around immediately disappeared from thin air. Inside that ring, the showman Ali focused on nothing else but one and only one thing – and that was to win. During his title fights (and there were many) the world stopped spinning on its axis for a while as hundreds of millions of people virtually dropped what they were normally doing to view the satellite and cable telecasts. He regaled us with his superb craft and for that he was rewarded with $-millions all justly earned for his efforts. But under all those mirrors, smoke, bells and whistles the Great Ali was really a serious and introspective man. He was a conscientious objector to America’s unpopu lar war with Vietnam. By refusing to join the draft, we saw a man of conviction who was willing to pay the price for a cause he believed in. In saying all this, there appears to be an uncanny parallelism in some respects between Ali and Dotcom.

 

BY DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT

 

Two weeks later (20 January) in what is said to be prompting from the FBI, Kim, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were arrested in Coates ville, Auckland by a team of New Zealand Special Police, in an armed raid on his leased mansion involving 76-officers and two helicopters.

 

Assets worth $17-million were seized including eighteen luxury cars, giant screen TVs and works of art. After the place was somewhat trashed, however, there were no reports following from media disclosing that the raid yielded any arms or ammunition which Kim may have stashed away.

 

Kim’s bank accounts were also frozen denying him access to US$175-million (NZ$218-million) in cash, the contents of 64 bank accounts world-wide, includ ing BNZ and Kiwibank accounts in New Zealand, Government bonds and money from numerous PayPal accounts.

 

The assault on Kim’s residence that day was described by punters on the web who saw some video footage as “like a swarm of black wasps flying into every orifice of his home by dawn’s early light.”

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Coatesville Mansion Raiders ImageThere was nowhere to run or hide. The raiders draped in black balaclavas pulled into Kim’s rented palace around dawn. Mona (eight months pregnant with twins at the time) and the children were long asleep in another wing. Kim walked to his upstairs chambers, showered and changed into his customary all-black sleeping costume, grabbed his customary chilled Fiji water from the upstairs fridge, and settled before the monitors of his work bed. Then he heard the noise.

 

Kim guessed it was his helicopter as he did know that VIPs from the entertain ment world were expected in from a Los Angeles flight to Auckland in celeb ration of his 38th birthday. Maybe they’d arrived early? But then, a louder noise was coming from the other side of his door.

 

He struggled to his feet as the door shook and heaved on its hinges. Someone or something was trying to break through. Then he heard other disturbing noises – shouts and bangs and the unmistakable stomping of boots on stairs. Intruders were in the house. Kim Dotcom realized he was under attack.

 

The US Department of Justice had already earlier tipped off a select group of journalists about the raid’s planned highlights and on this particular morning ‘Operation Takedown’ had began in earnest. The attack played out like a Holly wood blockbuster. Days and weeks later, it turned out to be a great story.

 

A dramatic 10-minute video footage of the raid on the Coatesville mansion was played in the High Court in Auckland in the first of three days of hearings in relation to a judicial review over disclosure of evidence and where he told the court that officers used unnecessary force in the operation further claiming that he was punched and kicked during the raid.

 

Watch The Video

 

TV3 News Story of Kim Dotcom Raid (08 August 2008): The police raid on the Dotcom’s mansion has been discussed since it happened two years ago months and this footage of that morning emerged on Campbell Live. It includes live video of raid and the man and fire power used to detain Kim Dotcom based on an arrest warrant alone which turned out to be short of being legal. There is a growing feeling of fear circling around the world these days that freedom of information is under attack, with the internet increasingly under pressure to be controlled and regulated in unnecessary and harmful ways. People recall that when the Internet was invented not too many years ago, it was a breath of fresh air, it was so free because nobody owned it. Countries and governments didn’t own it, the whole wide world of people did. But these days, it seems, that freedom is being curtailed. Video Production Credits: copyright@ NZTV3 News. All Rights Reserved.

 

TREATED LIKE A CONVICTED CRIMINAL

 

Following this rather heavy-handed intrusion, Kim was incarcerated in Mt Eden prison where he subsequently reported: “The first night I didn’t have a blanket, soap, toothpaste or toilet paper. They didn’t provide us with the basic things. Every two hours, they would wake me up. I was deprived of sleep.”

 

“I wrote a complaint.” Kim continues. ‘This is torture, this is sleep deprivation.” He also added that he was “treated like a convicted criminal”, and was “stunned to be locked up in prison over claims of criminal copyright infringements when accused murderers were bailed to await trial.”

 

Denied bail at the onset, it was only 33-days later on 22 February that North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson overturned a previous ruling and released him on bail. Judge Dawson considered there was no longer a significant risk that he (Kim) would flee the country as all of his assets had been seized by this time, no new assets or bank accounts had been identified, and he had “every reason to stay to be with his family and fight to keep his assets.

 

The rest of Kim Dotcom’s ‘Coatesville-Raid-to-Prison-and-Release’ saga and the subsequent actions he has taken against New Zealand’s Government have been amply covered and splashed abundantly as they happen as headliners on most major print and online newspapers so we won’t dwell on those details here including what transpired when Mr. Dotcom squared up to PM John Key during a tense parley (others would call it a ‘discussion’) at the NZ Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee meeting of 03 July 2013 which heard submissions on the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) amendment bill that would change and expand the powers of the agency.

 

[NOTE: For more information, you can simply follow past events and recent develop ment on this webpage link provided by the New Zealand Listener which pretty much covers the timeline of events and developments at your own leisure.]

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Mona and Kim Dotcom Image

 

DECEPTIVEY SOFT AND PLIANT

 

Whether known as Schmitz or Dotcom, Kim styles himself primarily as a techno taipan but also these days as singer and a political activist in New Zealand. Since that eventful day, he has launched a successor website called Mega, a cloud storage and file hosting encrypted-protected service whose homepage carries a tagline borrowed from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 12), that declares: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his (or her) privacy, family, home or correspondence. Everyone has the right to the protection of law against such interference.

 

Essentially, it a battle cry that Kim has adopted which underscores his indomi table drive to try and make changes, as he says, in the political system of New Zealand. It this those changes he wants to make through a new political party he is about to launch soon called the ‘Internet Party’.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Mna Dotcom-Small ImageIt may not be obvious to many still but Kim Dotcom is a family man. Evidently adored by Dotcom, Mona and his children were reported to have been extremely traumatised by the event in their North Shore Coates ville residence. An online search on Mona Dotcom brings up very little information other than what Kim has dis closed publicly about her. But Mona herself sparked an online flurry of data traffic when she appeared at court to support her husband making many wonder how had the beautiful wife of a multi-millionaire manage to stay out of the spotlight?

 

But that’s shouldn’t be a surprise to Filipino-Kiwis since Filipino women are renowned the world over for being extremely protec tive of their family and other close loved ones. When threatened or attacked unjustly their demure character transforms – soft and pliant in their skin-deep only exterior, and emerges as a hardened steel butterfly. It has been observed that a maelstrom hath no fury like an angered Filipina. There can be only one thing in their mind: to exact jus tice and serve it on a bitterly cold plate.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Dotcom and Family Image

 

THE GROUND ON WHICH HE STANDS

 

Looking back from a tough upbringing in Germany to his early fascination with computers and raking in more than $40-million a year, the 40-year-old techno titan has spoken candidly about giving up his “playboy” lifestyle before he met the love of his life in a Manila. Before that, he lived a life of parties on private jets and super yachts with “armies of girls” but abandoned that, along with carbo hydrates, to woo and win the only woman he fell in love with.

 

Dotcom has discovered that becoming a husband to Mona and father of their children has fundamentally shifted the ground on which he now stands on. With Mona, Kim’s brain got re-wired. He stopped thinking of what he could do to have fun and started focusing on where he wanted his kids to grow up and how can he could give them the safest and best environment.

 

Kim openly admits that he has made mistakes when he was young. For that he paid the price. He adds, “Steve Jobs was a hacker and Martha Stuart is doing well after her insider trading case. I think over a decade after all of this (self-inflicted nonsense) happened it should not be the dominating topic. I am 40-years old now, I am married, I have five adorable children and I know that I am not a bad person. I have grown and I have learned. Making this (sic ‘extradition case’) into an issue about my past is unfair to everyone else working at Mega. Our business is legitimate.”

 

But because of what has happened over the last two years, the flamboyant Ger man no longer trusts the NZ Police, the government or anyone who currently leads it. Actually, would you? So, the only certainties he has left are his wife, family and a battle royale to prove his innocence and clear his name.

 

[NOTE: The image you see above is probably the first time Dotcom has allowed his entire family to be photographed by media. Not that it was his choice. Instead it was Mona who made the decision.]

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Kim Dotcom Twitter Followers Image

 

354-THOUSAND TWITTER FOLLOWERS

 

Recently, Kim announced the formation of a new political party – the Internet Party. Yesterday morning (25 March), he revealed that Apple approved an app allowing the Internet Party to sign up members via iPhones, iPads, Macs and Android-driven devices.

 

The way this app works is that it enables people to sign up as members online, making it the first political party start-up to gain Electoral Commission approval to do so. A political party in New Zealand requires 500 confirmed members before the commission will register it. With the app in place, prospective mem bers will be able to use a touch screen, mouse or track pad to affix their signa tures on the membership application and declaration form online.

 

While there hasn’t been a method devised to gauge interest it appears people have contacted Kim asking how they can sign up. Dotcom and party organizers like Vikram Kumar say that there are more of these enquiries coming in and that the Internet Party has to work feverishly to convert interested individuals to sign up and pay a registration fee of just NZ$ 1.29.

 

Kim has revealed publicly in the past that he counts some 354-thousand followers on his own Twitter account, and looks forward to registering a good number of them as well in the days following the launch of the Apple app on Thursday (27 March) this week on the Party’s new official website which is not surprisingly identified as: internet.org.nz***.

 

***As we understand it, the Internet Party membership sign-up app and website have been designed principally to work on smartphones like iPhones, iPads and Andriod-driven devices. So, if you are using a standard desktop or laptop computer (except iMacs) where Internet Explorer or Chrome browsers are generally used, you may have difficulty getting to open successfully this secure website to read up on what the Internet Party’s Action Agenda is all about.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Internet Party Action Agenda PDF Banner

 

The call for party membership being publicized online this Thursday would consist of the launch of the app and the sign-up capability on the website and some media interviews with Kim. Publicity on social media channels will follow. Also, some “high level policies” would be disclosed but there would be no information just yet about candidates as they would be drawn from member ranks once the party is registered and approved by the Electoral Commission.

 

Then, it’s game on.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-The Political Fallout Image

 

Karl’s Commentary (26 March 2014): Powerful figures in politics and business conglomerates today all over the world try to deal with the idea that they really don’t matter anymore. Their bruised egos unable to be put aside, the world eventually finds itself hurling toward something more re-defining. This is not a linear progression but a circular one as history repeatedly teaches us. The old always gives way to the new. If and when a political fallout begins, what that means is that there could be a dramatic shake-up of the old and tired ways replaced by something new and possibly enerva ting. In an election contest that is free, fair and clean, incumbent leaders who are so used to a world of unsolvable problems will see themselves incapable of accepting the plain and simple truth when in fact it has been in front of them all along and that ordinary people out there – the silent voting ones – especially those who don’t derive an income from the Dairy Industry and also those with an anti-establishment urge that lurks beneath the surface of each new generation, who have been patiently listening and watching will carefully weigh them out of the equation because they have made up their minds about what that truth really means. That’s when change is ushered in and then the political fallout subsides. Life goes forward.

 

THE POLITICAL FALLOUT BEGINS

 

Like him or not, Kim Dotcom and the new Internet Party could play an important role in changing the landscape and direction of politics and how people in New Zealand are governed. For the first time ever, he will unleash the power of digital, social and internet media into the electoral and democratic process and perhaps make it more transparent, inclusive and level the playing field.

 

Dotcom is fascinating personality, but poor decisions that have been made by a successive string of public servants and elected officials whose sense of entitle ment, arrogance and lack of vision over past few decades is the ‘real story’ here. Kim will need to realize that it’s not what he has to say about himself but what others (voters) have to say about him and that will be about changing and fixing things and one about how the future of New Zealand could possibly look like as time inexorably marches forward.

 

The underlying reason why a population band together to change their country is because it is failing miserably in that its political and economic institutions over time fail to transition towards an environment wherein extractive growth – which pertains to power and opportunity being held only by a few, is decentra lised and sustained for all its citizens and residents instead.

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Political Spectrum NZ-Small Image

Before anything else can really get done, Kim needs to define where the Internet Party resides in the spectrum of political parties in this country. Are its found ations leaning on the left, center or the right or is it somewhere else not as linear and constricting but rather more 3-dimensional like from above or better yet, ahead of those traditional ideological structures of the 19th and 20th cen turies.

 

The platforms and policies of past and present Governments driven by narrow-minded ideological agendas – which for many means, a state of affairs and a way of life that many are now questioning provides Kim Dotcom a potentially large store of ammunition in his arsenal. It is how and when he will deploy it wisely not to rattle the opposition but to hold them accountable at the bar of public opinion.

 

That opinion will be born out of anger, distrust and despair. It will be a response to a very strong internal sense that those who rule this remarkably beautiful country are consistently turning out to be dysfunctional and broken because even if it is expected that our leaders and businesses be transparent their top-down solutions no longer seem to work.

 

If Kim Dotcom manages to tone down the theatrical antics of his larger-than-life funny persona and allows his more serious business-like character to emerge and then from there explain clearly in simple terms his vision, then that’s how he and the Internet Party can earn voters’ trust. The public deserves to know how this mess has come to be and what can be done about it.

 

People don’t vote for the most glamorous or savviest smoothest contestant. What they look for are candidates who are genuine and sincere. Almost always the most talented and sensible ones win on election night.

 

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-Change Status Quo Image

 

BOLDLY CHANGE THE STATUS QUO

 

So while Kim obviously has a lot of fire and brimstone still smouldering in his gut as a result of the Coatesville Raid and how that adversely affected Mona and his five children, Kim will need to keep a cool and analytically-sharp demeanour because the story being written is now getting much bigger than ‘Kim Dotcom’. His fireworks displays of past may have impressed the public on New Year’s Eve, but shock and awe tactics are not what will deliver results on election day this coming September.

 

As Kim must already know by now, this is an opportune time to expose widely-but-secretly held views that New Zealand is heading down a dangerous spiral on many fundamental matters and issues that have for long not been seriously addressed that include: government policies and regulations that hinder rather than promote, or worse still favour only a select few; growing income inequality; excessive taxation; scant job opportunities; employer prejudice and preferences in workplaces; expanding child poverty; issues of technology advancement; privacy; and, human rights.

 

While people yearn to fashioning their own approaches from the ground up some smart ones are tinkering quietly and finding ways to boldly change the status quo. What may bring about the critical mass required to reach the tipping point is when new players emerge with enough heft to transform this trend and actu ally confirm it as the norm.

 

Amidst all these stirrings, Kim Dotcom is now completely at home.

 

Related Stories:

 

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Our Changing Face

SNAPSHOT: So, is all this talk about economic resurgence just all poppycock? Well, consider this. New Zealand income levels – which used to be higher and above much of Western Europe’s prior to the deep dislocation crisis New Zealand experienced in the 1970s, have never recovered in relative terms.

 

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SNAPSHOT: And, when time comes to make tough funding allocation choices, do our elected officials and business leaders have a strong and credible record of supporting community-based initiatives, especially ventures with a potentially high social im pact and return?

 

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Postscript:

 

Guile Works Both Ways

Last Sunday (23 March) the New Zealand Herald posted an interesting article titled ‘Dotcom Claims First MP’ highlighting Kim Dotcom’s parliamentary raid on winnable seats for the Internet Party. While Dotcom’s confidence about securing an electorate from disaffected sitting MPs could dramatically change the election campaign and while there have been numerous elected personalities from Parlia ment who have personally visited him at his Coatesville residence perhaps for a let’s-size-you-up-first chat, it would be premature for any of them to confirm any deals with Kim at this stage of the game. And whether or not if they really want to, the NZ Herald designed and published an infographic soon after for which a facsimile of it looks like this one below:

FIW-Who Is Kim Dotcom-NZHerald Dotcom Deals Infographic Image

 

Who Are They?

Do you want to know who are the representatives of the people who currently sit in Parliament at the Beehive? New Zealand Herald has also made available an interactive panel titled ‘Parliament Guide: Who’s who in Parliament’ which allows you to roll over and sort out by political party, ethnicity, gender, university de gree, age and what they each may have been tweeting about lately. Just click on this link to access the webpage where it’s found.

 

Take The Poll

The term ‘ethnic migrant’ in New Zealand is defined as other communities who are neither European, Maori or Pacific Islander people. Outwardly, New Zealand is progressive in its policies towards diversity, migration and social inclusion but it is surprising to discover that for a country that has a large and growing ethnic migrant population (or 25.2% of New Zealanders based on Census 2013 figures) to have very little representation in Parliament even as they a law-abiding citi zens and taxpayers.

Now here’s the question: If you consider yourself as belonging to the ‘ethnic migrant’ category as defined above, would you vote for the Internet Party in September 2014 if one of their principal policies include more representation for ethnic migrant communities in Parliament?

 

 

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