Colin Craig tries to paper over the cracks

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has dismissed rumours of a leadership challenge and the expulsion of a party member as “a storm in a teacup”.

Mr Craig confirmed that his party was taking “disciplinary action” against board member Larry Baldock, but said he did not expect it to result in expulsion.

The Conservative leader said he had also learned of “murmurings” about a leadership challenge, but he did not know where they came from.

“There are a lot of rumours around the traps,” he said.

The party voted on all positions every year and no one had raised the matter of a new leader at a board meeting on Saturday.


Former Napier candidate Garth McVicar was invited to the meeting by a board member, despite resigning from the party after the election.

Mr McVicar – who returned to his job at the Sensible Sentencing Trust in October – said he turned down the invitation and he had no plans to challenge for the leadership.

Mr Craig said he did not know Mr McVicar had been invited to the board meeting but he presumed it was to give advice on future strategy.

“His input to the party would still be welcome,” he said.

Since the election, chief executive Christine Rankin has stood down but remained on the board and Mr McVicar and board member Leighton Baker have resigned.

Mr Craig said it was common to have some turnover after an election.

There has been quite the power struggle in the Conservative Party since the election, mostly to try and get Colin Craig to leave.  The idea was for Laurence Day to start bankrolling the Conservative Party, get rid of the Craig acolytes, put Garth McVicar in the top spot,  and see what the Conservative Party can achieve without the burden of a megalomaniac control freak at the helm.

If the board was independent, this may very well have worked, but as it is, a number of people depend on Craig’s financial support and their loyalty therefore stays bought.

The board has been reduced to ten people:

  1. Colin Craig
  2. Andrew Craig (Former Operations Manager)
  3. Laurence Day (Principal donor; the so-called “independent businessman” featured in campaign media)
  4. Nathaniel Heslop (Party Secretary and lawyer)
  5. Melissa Perkin (Recently appointed to Board)
  6. John Stringer (South Island)
  7. Christine Rankin (ex CEO of party)
  8. Brian Dobbs (Board Chair)
  9. Regan Monahan (former Policy Chair)
  10. Paul Young (Chinese leader, businessman)

The two that left are

  1. Leighton Baker (South Island). Resigned 2015.
  2. Larry Baldock ex MP (Sacked).  Arbitration is ongoing.

The names that I’ve bolded are the ones that have financial ties to Craig.  Together with Craig, this now locks the board in a 5 against 5 stalemate at an absolute minimum.

Although the dumping of Garth McVicar and Larry Baldock’s problems are taking the attention of the media, there is still whole issue about the accusations of Colin Craig of “unchristian” behaviour has so far been kept quiet.

Especially in the light of the Roger Sutton affair, as well as the power of money in terms of Craig’s reach with the board, there is now speculation amongst the board and members close to the upper echelons of the party something untoward is being covered up, mainly around expense declarations and the shuffling of monies and expenses around the electorates to meet electoral laws. The words “creative accounting” have been used by sources.

There are problems in the Conservatives but the reality is that trying to get rid of the socially awkward and politically retarded Colin Craig is about as logical as the Alliance having a donnybrook with Jim Anderton. He told them to stick it and ran his own party. They lost. The misfit members of the Alliance have continued to inflict themselves on NZ politics, but without much success. This is similar to the long time political failure that is Larry Baldock. Or the New Zealand Party when Sir Bob Jones did a runner so he could go drinking, rooting and fishing.

Anyone close enough to the Conservative Party action knows that the merry bunch of morons following Colin Craig to the Promised Land have no leadership ability, no talent and very little hope of ever amounting to anything. So none of them are potential leaders, let alone funders, and Colin Craig is dictator for life in the Conservative Party…and will continue to lose handsomely which is the only thing he is actually good at.

All is not well behind the scenes.   Eventually someone will talk.  They always do.  And when that happens, Whaleoil will be there.

– Isaac Davison, NZ Herald