Colin Craig from the Conservative Party joined us online from midday for a live chat.
Here is what he had to say:
11:45 Colin Craig:
11:46 Comment From jon
Hi Colin, Do you believe you can win the Rodney seat?
11:46 Colin Craig:
Ok already lots of Q's which is great
11:46 Colin Craig:
Hi jon, yes I do
11:46 Comment From Edward
Hi Craig, Do you support Aucklands City Rail Link?
11:47 Colin Craig:
The feeling on the ground up there is pretty positive, I have a great team and lots of local contacts
11:48 Colin Craig:
Hi Edward. Would like to see further research especially on alternatives. A different loop proposed that I have seen would save close to $1bn and at the moment funding is the big issues.
11:48 Comment From Shaun
Hi Colin - why should someone vote for the Conservatives when last night, your number 2/Deputy Leader Kathy Sheldrake, said at a Meet the Candidates Meeting that "a lot of Conservative policy has not yet been made because we're only 4 weeks old"?
11:48 Colin Craig:
Hi to Nick
Not planning corporal punishment back into schools.
11:49 Colin Craig:
Hi Shaun. We are releasing policy on our website and will have major ones all out by election.
11:49 Comment From Paul
Should 18 year olds have the right to purchase alcohol?
11:50 Colin Craig:
Hi Paul, We would take the age back to 21.
11:50 Comment From Fay
What makes you the better choice over the other Rodney candidates?
11:51 Colin Craig:
Hi Fay. Well I would be biased I think :). I think being local and having so many connectiosn in the district is important. The National candidate has been out of the country for a number of years.
11:51 Comment From Polar
What is the Conservative Party's stance on Civil Unions?
11:52 Colin Craig:
Hi Polar. No party policy. I would not vote to change it.
11:52 Comment From Jeremy
Hi Colin, Do you think TVNZ should have included you in the upcoming minor leaders debate? I ask this because your Conservative party is now the only political party registering in the polls which will not be present at that debate.
11:53 Colin Craig:
Hi Jeremy. Yes I think we should. Media often struggle to think outside the existing box.
11:53 Comment From Harry
Hi Colin, what are your thoughts on Labour's proposed Capital Gains Tax? How would the Conservative party structure the tax system?
11:53 Colin Craig:
Can I add to that the we are climbing in all the polls as well which is great.
11:55 Colin Craig:
Wouldn't support a capitals gains tax. Would reintroduce top tax rate and have tax free income threshold. I think the reduction in the top tax rate was premature given financial crisis.
11:55 Comment From Nicholas
Hi Colin. Do you support the Goverments stance on welfare reform and on law and order?
11:56 Colin Craig:
Hi Nick. Yes welfare reform is needed. Would be tougher on Law and order. Make prisoners work.
11:56 Comment From Robert
Hi Craig, you've said you're open to working with both major parties. What would encourage you to side with Labour?
11:57 Colin Craig:
We will talk to the highest polling party first and that is going to be national as it looks right now. A strong vote for labour instead of national would open possibilities.
11:57 Comment From george
do you base your policies on good Christian principles?
11:59 Colin Craig:
Hi George. Not a chistian party. Common sense is my main thing and the basis of our policies. Practical results more imporatnat than ideology.
11:59 Comment From eleanor
as an undecided Rodney voter, why should I vote you as my electorate MP?
12:00 Colin Craig:
Hi Eleanor. Have a brochure in your letterbox in the next few days. Have a read. I think my track record is the thing to look at. Happily married 20 yrs, a dad, successful, love Rodney and willing to be a true representative.
12:00 Comment From Fay
Why are you so against same sex couples adopting children?
12:02 Colin Craig:
Hi Fay. On conscience vote issues you go with you basic beliefs and principles. I have traditional values so that is my personal framework on moral type issues.
12:02 Comment From Anonymous
What is your social welfare policy to try and reduce the number of people on the DBP and moving them into actual employment?
12:04 Colin Craig:
Hi Anon. Absolutely once child is past first 3 years. Training and employment but with hours that allow mum to be home to see kids off to chool and welcome them home at end of day.
12:04 Comment From Heart Foundation
What do you see as the next step in achieving a smokefree New Zealand by 2025?
12:04 Colin Craig:
school that should be
12:06 Colin Craig:
No specific policy at this stage. Not a smoker myself and would like to see continued gains esp amoungst young. Support no cigarettes in prison etc.
12:06 Comment From Cam
Would you consider banning pokie machines? They are a drain on society?
12:07 Colin Craig:
Hi Cam. Yes believe in sinking lid (i.e. no new ones) so eventually none left.
12:07 Comment From William
Hi Colin - I've heard you say in another interview that "morality can't be legislated". Is that at odds with your party's wish to repeal section 59 and to change alcohol laws?
12:09 Colin Craig:
Hi William I don't think so. Repeal sec 59 lets parents have a smack on bottom as a discipline option not judging whether thay should should or not. Alchol and drugs are issues that affect the wider community (like speed limits) and I belive laws must protect ordinary citizens.
12:10 Comment From Jordan
Hi Colin, what do you think of the copyright and sharing law?
12:11 Colin Craig:
Hi Jordan. Perosnally I would not monitor everyones internet usage to see if they are breaching copyright. Not a big fan of government poking it's nose into every part of everyones lives.
12:11 Comment From Rosie
We are in the lower middle income bracket. Hardly any benefits from the taxman but pay all the extra GST and taxes. Any relief for us?
12:12 Colin Craig:
Hi Rosie. Yes Tax free income threshold announcement due early next week. Good new for people like yourselves. :)
12:12 Comment From JS
What is your position on retirement age, super and Kiwisaver?
12:14 Colin Craig:
Hi JS. I think politicians should be banned from changing kiwisaver. Needs to be left alone. We can't afford the current super deal in the long term and I support cross party discussion to resolve. Probably will be incremental age increase over time.
12:14 Comment From Shaun
Do you have any women candidates in your party?
12:16 Colin Craig:
Hi Shaun. Yes lots and more than National whose list looks a bit like white males. We also have highly placed Pacific island and asian candidates.
12:16 Comment From Mike
Would your party make any changes to abortion laws, if so, what?
12:18 Colin Craig:
Hi Mike. Yes would bring in parental consent for minors (so they need parents consent or court exception) to get abortion. Also support free and informed consent law like they have in western europe so women have all facts before abortion can be decided on. Holland/Germany and others have that law and the abortion rate dropped there and is less than half the rate we have here now.
12:19 Comment From Paul V
How do you feel about John Key meeting John Banks for Coffee today , I really hoped he (Key) would let ACT sink
12:20 Colin Craig:
Well ACT are pretty desperate. Not sure it will save ACT anyway. I don't like meddling with the voter choices. Big fan of letting the voters decide in a fair and open contest.
12:20 Comment From Mel
Has John Key offered you a cup of tea yet?
12:21 Colin Craig:
No and if he did I would suggest that we meet on the 27th. Cheers.
12:21 Comment From Fred
Would you work with Labour to stop asset sales ... or toe the line with National, assuming they win
12:22 Colin Craig:
Most likely to support national (as they will get the biggest vote) but will not support asset sales. In other words not prepared to trade off on key promises.
12:22 Comment From Matt
If you did not make it into parliament this time, would you try again in 2014?
12:24 Colin Craig:
Hi Matt. Plan on getting in this time but certainly not giving up on NZ and the issues that matter. Expect us to be out there calling for sensble financial management and a return to values that work regardless of vote.
12:24 Comment From Jane
What's your position on the referendum - should MMP be dumped, if so, what should replace it?
12:26 Colin Craig:
Hi Jane. No party position as such. The problem is that the government (Nat and Lab) have ignored the voters in 3 major referendums which is plainly wrong.
I will be voting MMP as my first choice but would like threshold lowered and no Maori seats the way it was recommended to be.
12:26 Comment From Haydn
Two questions: What are your views on the occupy movement; and while you've said you would work with either major party, do you have minor party preferences?
12:29 Colin Craig:
Hi Haydn. Well couldn't work with Mana I expect, Greens have an economic logic problem that I can't find a way to get around easily either. I understand the occupy movement are planning to stay till world changes which could be a wee while given what they are asking for. They are not all wrong but need to realise it's public space and others deserve a turn to.
12:29 Comment From james
what is your position on Maori representation?
12:32 Colin Craig:
We have some Maori candidates (well not 100% Maori blood of course) including 2 in top 15. But they are standing in general seats. We have deliberately not stood anyone in the Maori seats. In this country I believe we need a single electoral role. I do not believe in dividing our nation.
12:32 Comment From Patrick
Hi Colin, Does the conservative or yourself have a position on NZ becoming a Republic?
12:33 Colin Craig:
Hi Patrick. Not in favour of republic without an absolute mandate from NZers by referendum. Personally not a priority in my view.
12:33 Comment From Glenn
Hi What is your view on Capital Gains Tax?
12:35 Colin Craig:
Hi Glenn. 5 studies into this 4 said no and 1 said yes but make it comprehensive. Conservatives don't support but would like to close down some of the tax loopholes like family trusts etc.
12:35 Comment From Mills
Being a single parent who works full time, who has sole care for her children, why should i vote for you? how will you help me?
12:38 Colin Craig:
Hi Mills. Tax free income threshold announcement next week will be good for you. We are a centre right right party but with a strong social conscience. We are talking long term thinking. I encourage you to read our booklet "what do you really want" http://www.conservativeparty.org.nz/ I think we are talking about the sort of NZ that you would like your children to grow up in.
12:38 Comment From AJ
You have stated above that you wish to raise the alcohol purchase age to 21. It has not been 21 for decades. At 18 an individual can marry, have children, vote, buy a home, work or study full time etc. If they are mature enough to do these things, why do you think they should not be able to purchase a glass of wine with a meal?
12:41 Colin Craig:
Accept that but the misues of alchol is a 5.3 bn dollar problem in this country. Either we make changes to start fixing or not. I guess compare with speed limits. I have a car that drives well and safely over the speed limit but accept going slower for the sake of all road users. You will have to rely on parents or older friend to do the drink buying.
12:41 Comment From Nas
If you don't support Asset sales or cgt what is your economic plan?
12:44 Colin Craig:
Econmic policy release next week. with costing/numbers. Essentially increase revenue (top end tax and increase excise on alchol) and cut expenditure. Old fashioned hard graft. Might not be wizz bang exciting but it's about what works.
12:44 Colin Craig:
Thanks to all