Conservative Party leader Colin Craig plans to front-foot an alleged coup by some board members by holding a press conference this afternoon.

It was reported last night that board members were planning to challenge Mr Craig's leadership at a meeting in Auckland this evening.

Mr Craig said this morning he wanted to hold a press conference to clear up "wild speculation" that his leadership was under threat.

"I just want to advise the media that this speculation is not reflective of where the majority of the board are at."


Mr Craig said the board meeting might no longer take place. A discussion about the party's leadership would still occur, but possibly at a later date.

He confirmed that there were "discussions" within the board about his performance as leader, and he said he had "no problem with this".

This contrasted with comments he made last night, when he said that no one on the board had expressed any unhappiness about his leadership to him.

The potential leadership challenge was believed to have been prompted by Mr Craig's appearance on TV3's late night show Newsworthy.

TV3 quoted an insider saying that it was the "last straw" and it was "crazy Colin all over again".

Mr Craig said today he did not regret the TV appearance, but that he was "big enough" to see that other members of his party had different perspectives on it.

Some members are believed to want former Conservative candidate Garth McVicar to take over the leadership role. Mr McVicar has said he has no interest in replacing Mr Craig.

After failing to get elected in the Napier seat, Mr McVicar returned to his job at the hardline law and order reform group the Sensible Sentencing Trust.


Rumours of a leadership spilled arose in March when Mr McVicar was invited to a board meeting, despite leaving the party after the election.

Mr McVicar turned down the invitation to attend the meeting.

Mr Craig, a wealthy property manager, has invested close to $4 million in the party since founding it in 2011.

But despite that investment, and a high profile election campaign including well-known candidates Christine Ranking and Mr McVicar, the party won no seats in September's general election.

Mr Craig said that if the party decided to elect a new leader, he was likely to remain a member and continue investing his money in the Conservatives.