Hawke's Bay farmer and Sensible Sentencing Trust founder

He has, however, accepted an invitation to speak at the Conservatives annual conference in Auckland in September.

Challenged by party board members and media late last week amid founding leader Colin Craig's decision to stand-down, Mr McVicar yesterday reaffirmed, from his farm, that he's not in the race.

He has never been on the board, is no longer a member of the party, prefers the role of law and order lobbying over politicking, and is determined to ensure Sensible Sentencing's life after Garth McVicar - although at 65, thanks to the rural part of his lifestyle he's fit, healthy and not thinking of bowing-out of the law and order fight any time soon.


The calls for him to step up follow his success in a two-month dalliance with politics as the Conservatives' Napier candidate at last September's general election, now a long time ago as the party shows signs of imploding in scandal embroiling Mr Craig, leading to yesterday's announcement by party chief executive Christine Rankin she's resigning from her role and a position on the board.

A high-profile figure behind the party's emergence over a history of just three years and two elections, she said she's had enough of the turmoil and doesn't want to be part of it.
She is one of six, out of 10 board members who have resigned in the wake of Mr Craig's admission of inappropriate conduct.

Mr Craig said the party still had a future.

He said the board was likely to dissolve and a membership vote would be held to choose the next leader and a new board.

Mr McVicar said he wouldn't "back-stab" anyone, and had assured Mr Craig he's not interested in the Conservatives leadership, and if he was Mr Craig would be the first to know.

"I have been put under pressure to become the Leader," Mr McVicar said. "But I'm not considering it."

As for any other ambitions in politics or a future bid for a place in Parliament, he said: "You never say never, but it's not something I'm contemplating."additional reporting NZ Herald