A leading body language expert says she believes Colin Craig's press conference alongside his wife Helen featured "unnatural smiling" and a level of fear.

Suzanne Masefield, of thebodylanguagecompany.com, also said she believed the pair may not be as united as they suggested.

Ms Masefield analysed the couple's body language in a video taken by the NZ Herald at yesterday's press conference.

At the conference, Mr Craig admitted some of his interactions with former press secretary Rachael MacGregor were "inappropriate", but rejected accusations of sexual harassment.

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Ms Masefield said Mr Craig took charge of the conference with "overt attentiveness leading his wife to her seat, holding hands in a sign of unity".

"[He put] his hand on top of hers in a dominant position, suggesting he wants to contain the situation from the onset."

She said in her opinion Mr Craig's "body hugging, chin-holding stance showed insecurity and protectiveness, alongside uncertainty and doubt ... during a large part of the interview".

Mrs Craig tilted her head - distancing herself from her husband - kept her feet closely held together, pressed her lips and tilted her chin indicating a "tight control of underlying emotions", Ms Masefield said.

Mrs Craig's pressed lips show 'tight control of underlying emotions'. Photo / Nick Reed
Mrs Craig's pressed lips show 'tight control of underlying emotions'. Photo / Nick Reed

"Alongside unnatural smiling at unlikely points when Miss MacGregor is discussed, (these signs) show things may not be as united as portrayed."

Unnatural smiling at unlikely points when Miss MacGregor is discussed shows things may not be as united as portrayed. Photo / Nick Reed
Unnatural smiling at unlikely points when Miss MacGregor is discussed shows things may not be as united as portrayed. Photo / Nick Reed

When Mr Craig stated that his "working relationship with Miss MacGregor was positive and constructive", his body language transitioned from arm barrier to hand-clasping, indicating anxiety, Ms Masefield said.

She believed that after stating he and his wife had indicated "there was an issue we had to resolve", Mr Craig exhibited facial micro-expressions of contempt and fear, "whilst his wife looks up at him with pressed lips, chin forward (a sign of suppressed anger)".

Colin Craig and wife Helen Craig. Mr Craig's 'body hugging, chin holding stance shows insecurity and protectiveness.' Photo / Nick Reed
Colin Craig and wife Helen Craig. Mr Craig's 'body hugging, chin holding stance shows insecurity and protectiveness.' Photo / Nick Reed

Ms Masefield said Mrs Craig talked confidently to media, looking up with direct, challenging eye contact.

"However when not speaking she keeps her eyes on her husband, suggesting rehearsed containment and distancing anxiety.

There was also a "push me, pull me" aspect between the couple.

"Ranging between closeness to creating distance between them, mostly led by Mrs Craig, alongside unnatural smiling at times incongruent to what is being discussed, showing suppression of hidden feelings that may be somewhat different from the rehearsed unity."