In 2009 the new 'left wing' leader of the Internet Party went to work for the bosses...and oversaw the sacking of hundreds of Auckland council workers.
Like, for instance, her appointment in 2009 as the Human Resources and Change Manager for the Auckland Transitional Authority (ATA). The job of the ATA was to oversee the establishment of the new Auckland 'super city' - including hundreds of redundancies.
At the time of her appointment Harre was the national secretary of the National Distribution Union.
Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright said at the time: "No way can someone who's helping the corporate takeover of Auckland consider themselves 'Left'. ... She's crossed the line."
Fellow Internet Mana member John Minto was highly critical of her appointment, commenting that she would provide political cover for the business-driven 'reform' process. Wrote Minto:
Laila Harre's appointment provides ideal political cover - just as the Maori Party does for National on issues such as private prisons (Labour's appointment of Jim Bolger to head Kiwibank is another good example).
It's more difficult to attack a reform process when well-respected figures from "the other side" are involved. Harre's decision to join the process of corporatising and de-democratising Auckland governance will help ease Aucklanders' fears.
It was an inspired move to approach her and those involved will be overjoyed she accepted. Not because she will do a good job for them, which she will, but because she will provide the type of broad political cover for the agency which money can't buy. The agency gets the added bonus that she will be the public face of the mass redundancies which will follow.
It's a win-win-win for Act/National/business.
And now, apparently, Laila Harre is a win-win-win for Kim Dotcom / the Internet Party / Mana.