Barry Soper: Colin Craig - this man knows no bounds

Colin Craig arrives in court with his wife Helen. Photo / Nick Reed
Colin Craig arrives in court with his wife Helen. Photo / Nick Reed

Colin Craig is the Bill Clinton of New Zealand politics.

They're both eminently suited to the business of politics because they have one thing in common that no one could argue with - the thickness of their skin - and they both have wives who are willing to stand by their men, come what may.

Like Clinton before him, Craig's been put through the public wringer and we were all told what we would have preferred not to hear.

It was altogether too much information.

At least Craig doesn't have a penchant for cigars, that we know of, even if he does like to seduce the camera.

Who could forget the out-of-place Conservative leader, smirking at the camera, reclining in street wear in the lupines at the beach?

Then there was the fully clothed, sweating leader in a sauna giving a full, frank and meaningless interview on telly that sealed his fate as leader.

This man knows no bounds.

Last week a High Court jury found against him in a defamation case and told him he'd have to cough up almost $1.3 million, a decision he's going to spend more time and money on appealing.

Last night the Human Rights Tribunal released the top secret decision they made in March after his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor laid a sexual harassment complaint against him.

It was kept under the radar until the defamation case was done and dusted, so as not to influence the jurors.

The lid was lifted last night and once again the loquacious Craig was found to have put his rather large foot in his mouth, talking about mediation he'd had with MacGregor but then constantly blowing the gaff to the media even though he'd signed a confidentiality agreement.

Given the poems he'd penned to his press secretary, you'd think the confidentiality could have been his saving grace.

But his runaway mouth saw him coughing up more than $128,000.

This week the rhinoceros hide now seems to be galloping towards the next election.

The cocky Craig's not ruled out the possibility of making a comeback and it would seem the party he founded five years ago is amenable to their bankroller having a role in the future.

Once he's got all the legal wrangles out of the way, which he reckons will happen before the election, he says he'll be considering his next move and if that involves serving the conservative people he loves, then he's willing to do it.

Bill Clinton would understand but would be about the only one who would.

Barry Soper is the Political Editor for Newstalk ZB

- Newstalk ZB

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