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Internet Party shortlisted candidates go into battle

Saturday 7 Jun 2014 9:07 a.m.

Kiwi hip-hop royal King Kapisi is more used to music venues than the political arena, but he'll soon be showing off his debating skills with 21 other Internet Party candidate hopefuls.

A crowd of 300 is expected at the Candidate Challenge in Auckland today, where shortlisted candidates will speak off the cuff in a battle to be a candidate for Kim Dotcom's party.

The last person added to the shortlist was 40-year-old Bill Urale - better known by his stage name King Kapisi - who was the first Polynesian hip-hop artist to receive the APRA Silver Scroll Award for songwriter of the year in 1999.

Others in the shortlist include a real estate agent, a social worker, a primary school teacher, an alternative rock metal guitarist who toured with Evanescence, and a Maori engagement communicator for the New Zealand Aids Foundation.

Six candidates are women, at least four are Maori, and the candidates' ages range from 23 to 60.

Candidates will have a few minutes to introduce themselves and describe a policy area that interests them, press secretary John Mitchell told NZ Newswire.

They'll then be thrown crazy, off-the-wall questions and be made to debate unusual topics which will test how quick they are on their feet - and show how good they'd be in Parliament.

German-born internet mogul Kim Dotcom, party leader Laila Harre, chief executive Vikram Kumar, secretary Anna Sutherland and campaign director Michael Tucker will choose the lucky 15 candidates who have made the grade to be on the Internet-Mana party list - and who will be electorate seat candidates.

Internet Party members will also be able to cast their vote using an app and live feedback.

NZN

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