Colin Craig announces new Conservative Party

By Hayden Donnell, Adam Bennett

Colin Craig. Photo / Dean Purcell
Colin Craig. Photo / Dean Purcell

Businessman and failed Auckland mayoral candidate Colin Craig has announced he is starting a new party to contest the November general election, amid rumours he will stand against Act candidate John Banks in Epsom.

In a conference this morning, Mr Craig announced the 'Conservative Party' would stand candidates in every electorate possible.

Mr Craig was still considering a head-to-head battle with fellow Super City mayoral candidate John Banks, who is standing in Epsom for Act.

In last year's Super City election, Mr Craig got 40,000 votes to Banks' 161,000 - with victor Len Brown receiving 221,000 votes.

Despite that result, Mr Craig said his private polling showed he had high support among the Epsom electorate.

He would not rule out standing there and spoke of voter dissatisfaction with a "close alliance" between National and Act over Mr Banks' candidacy.

"There is a level of discontent around being taken for granted in Epsom."

Key Conservative Party policies included the introduction of a binding citizens initiated referendum, reducing the size of parliament and repealing the Marine and Coastal Area Act and emissions trading scheme, Mr Craig said.

He also called for a scheme requiring people to work to receive welfare, tougher sentences for violent crime and legislation raising the drinking age to 20.

Mr Craig previously told the Herald on Sunday Act - the so-called "party of millionaires" - was struggling for money and had come to him cap-in-hand asking for help with its general election campaign.

He said polling showed Mr Banks would win the Epsom electorate easily and could only be stopped by another conservative candidate.

"If the status quo remains, Banks will get in by a reasonably clear margin. There is just no left-wing vote. The only thing that could put a fly in the ointment is a very serious conservative candidate."

Labour front-bencher David Parker and National candidate Paul Goldsmith are also contesting for Epsom.

Williams to stand for NZ First

Former North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams will stand in that electorate for NZ First in the November general election party leader Winston Peters says.

Mr Williams' candidacy was revealed on his Facebook page yesterday and Mr Peters later confirmed the selection.

Mr Peters said NZ First had traditionally done well on the North Shore and he expected Mr Williams, having a high profile in the area, would continue that.

"I've known him for a long time... he's a person of considerable ability.''

Mr Williams served a single term as North Shore Mayor before faring poorly in his tilt at the Super City majoralty last year where we won less than one per cent of the vote.

His campaign was beset by reports of his strange behaviour.

He accused the media of stalking him after he was spotted urninating on a tree on a night out in Takapuna.

Mr Peters - who would not say where he intends to stand - said about 15 further NZ First candidates would be announced in coming days.

The party has already said teacher and economist Fletcher Tabuteau wiill stand for it in Rotorua and former television weatherman Brendon Horan will stand in Mr Peters' old seat Tauranga.


- NZ Herald

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