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Colin Craig’s electoral return

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, August 10th, 2015 - 43 comments
Categories: colin craig, conservative party, election 2014, Politics - Tags:

Seems Colin may have more legal issues to deal with. From 3News:

Colin Craig is under fire for allegedly omitting election expenses on his 2014 electoral return that would have put him over the permitted spending cap.

The former Conservative Party leader is being accused of leaving more than $7000 worth of spending during last year’s election campaign, off his East Coast Bays M30 electoral return.

Former party board member John Stringer has put forward the allegations at a press conference in Christchurch and says he has only recently received proof he needed to make the allegations public, and instigate a formal investigation.

It is a brave thing to do to make allegations against someone who has not been shy in the past of protecting his legal interests.

The expenditure as filed by Mr Craig was $20,010.50.

He has accused Mr Craig of deliberately falsifying at least five M30 returns, annotating costs across other electorates.

Party officials were concerned Mr Craig was engaged in a “deliberate pattern of dishonesty to conceal this”, he says.

Items allegedly not declared by Mr Craig included billboards used at the party’s campaign launch on June 22 at Rangitoto College.

An invoice supplied to 3 News sets out the billboards’ cost from a billboard production agency addressed to Chameleon Advertising – the Conservatives’ advertising agency.

However, the details are not included on Mr Craig’s electoral return.

If this is the extent of the allegation I suspect the inquiry will not take long and that Craig will be exonerated.  The billboards complained of were clearly advertising the Conservative Party and not Mr Craig personally and, presuming they are recorded in the party’s return of expenses as claimed by Mr Craig, this is where the expense should be accounted for.  There is a process in identifying party and electorate expenses and apportioning expenses to each return and this appears to be what happened here.

I am no fan of Mr Craig but if his enemies want to catch him they will need to do better than this.

43 comments on “Colin Craig’s electoral return”

  1. Mike the Savage One 1

    This is absolutely the END of the Conservatives, and with that also the political burial of Colin Craig. I do not believe that Stringer man too much though, as he has exposed himself to be a nasty operator, and opportunist, trying to get control of the party. Colin Craig would likely have been rather careful with his electioneering and spending, he is known to be rather frugal. Even if some 7000 dollars may have been “under declared”, what a fuss about that, it is not 25 k times two for one Banksie, or the likes.

    But with Colin’s desperate letter box flyer campaign, and his at times bizarre conduct and comments, who has any more time for him and his party that has fallen apart?

    With such mudslinging, all participants are losing, so this leaves some right leaning moral conservatives left without a “credible” party to vote for, or between choosing Winston, the Nats or ACT for second best options. It will change little for any progressive minded people, but lays to rest one new contender in the political sphere, that tried hard for two general elections.

    • lprent 1.1

      This version of the conservative party is almost certainly dead. Killed by the gullibility and spite within their board.

      I am not sure about Colin Craig. As far as I can tell the Cameron Slater dirty politics crew may have done him a favour politically.

      If I had to guess, I’d say that he is largely innocent of any actual wrong-doing. I’d also say that he will wring the dirty politics arseholes through court like they were in an old mangle.

      The legal tussle will provide a platform for some great press over the next few years. And he has effectively ditched most of the obnoxious dead weight that he had on the conservative board.

  2. Tracey 2


    tories are all one united voice when they think they will get power… or hold onto it… but when it crumbles they become cannibals.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      yep – The GOP establishment are trying their best to take down Trump in the US, as we speak

      • NickS 2.1.1

        Which would be a good thing, as Trump would try running as an independent, further fracturing the GOP base and making it even easier for Darth Clinton to get in.

      • David H 2.1.2

        But watching him in any press conference, I always wonder what’s going to be bizarre in this one, and usually he does not fail to deliver. And watching Jon Stewarts take on his announcement to run for Prez. Well have a look.

    • esoteric pineapples 2.2

      Speaking of “eating their young” isn’t that what the present people on the planet are actually doing. Take the Prime Minister for example, (since he has some power to do something). He is doing his bit to make sure that his grandchildren will be living on a planet that will be barely habitable.

      Seems, like usual, that the Greeks had a habit of creating archetypal myths that resonate throughout the ages

      “Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy.” – Wikipedia

  3. Anne 3

    Colin Craig’s response (in part):

    “This is just more dirty politics, it’s another false allegation.”
    He says the campaign billboards were not commissioned by him personally, and were included on the party’s general electoral return.
    “They’ve definitely been accounted for.”
    He says he can “absolutely” provide proof of documentation should it be required.
    “I’m very confident that everything’s accurate in my return.”

    Police confirmed they have received Mr Stringer’s allegations.

    Sounds convincing to me. Looks like “Mr Stringer” might be a tad ignorant about electoral processes.

    • Charles 3.1

      Give them enough String… err…

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Thats the whole point of making the allegations. The Police WONT do anything either way this side of the arrival of halleys Comet.

      But that leaves “allegations” hanging nicely over CC

      • Anne 3.2.1

        Not if he produces the Party Return where the expenses in question (eg. bill boards) would be correctly placed. His personal “electorate spending” does not the cover the Con. Party expenditure and is governed by separate rules under the Electoral Act. That’s my understanding anyway.

      • lprent 3.2.2

        The only place this can be reported to is the Electoral Commission. Nothing to do with the police. Exactly why that legally illiterate idiot John Springer thinks that the police have any say in it is probably something that he should have a talk to his even more idiotic advisers about. I suspect that the sap was set up.

        It will only get reported to the police is the EC finds that there is a possible violation to answer. In this case I think the EC will take one look at it and throw it out.

        Then Craig has another bat to hit John Springer for in his defamation case. That he knowingly made up a false accusation, and ran it through the press before giving it to the relevant authority. I’d count that as being entirely malicious.

        Talk about digging a well…

        • tracey

          Isn’t this what happened with Banks but it had a 6 month time limit?

          FASCINATING that Stringer suddenly gives a shit about the law, seems he was happy to keep quiet until…

          • lprent

            That’s right there is a time-limit, and I am pretty sure it is 6 months after the election.

            But from memory, wasn’t Banks one reported earlier than the 6 months, passed to the police and they declined to charge? That was why it could go to trial.

            Which almost certainly makes this a beatup.

            • dukeofurl

              The defamation proceedings from Craig certainly led to a quick shuffle of the shareholdings in Slaters ” Social Media Consultants Ltd”.

              His wife is now the holder of 99% of the shares after having none before 20th July 2015.

              Intriguing that the company was set by Paul Honnor of Paratai Dr back in 2009 who seems to have been a silent partner of Slater way back

              • lprent

                Interesting. But that would have been earlier than the Colin Craig defamation was announced?

                Could have been the Blomfield case (which I think he will eventually lose after bleeding out from court ordered costs), or anticipation of more litigation from Colin Craig.

                But probably more of a topic for Open Mike or another post than this post. Could you pop the companies link there.

                • dukeofurl

                  The 29th was the date CC released his pamphlet, but could there be some ‘backdating’ involved ?

              • David H

                But surely the act of trying to conceal assets is illegal? especially when you are involved up to your neck in Lawsuits.

            • tracey

              Yes, that is my recall too. Banks wasn’t charged by the police cos the complaint was out of time, NOT because it wasn’t prosecutable per se. Hence a private prosecution was taken. The election was October 2014.. 10 months ago. Limitation period is six(6) months. It’s like the media reporting this don’t recall the Banks case.

    • lprent 3.3

      I suspect that he is both ignorant and ill-advised.

      This is the type of half-arsed accusation that I’d expect from the idiots at Whaleoil and/or Lauda Finem with their very shallow grasp of the legal process., and their interest in cheapshots

      Apart from being on the receiving end of the legal processes that is. I find it interesting that Cameron Slater appears to spend much of his time fund raising to pay costs awarded against him in the Blomfield case. The times when he seems to start fund raising coincide closely with when he receives final demands (ie final bankruptcy hearings) from Blomfield.

  4. NickS 4

    It’s popcorn time: http://giphy.com/gifs/lol-wtf-anita-sarkeesian-l41lXPwHWohc2kxGg

    Prediction – Stringer will loose and face financial ruin from the defamation ruling, collapse of Conservative Party possible as Colin Craig hits back at them. Also we may yet see a leak confirming whether or not whale-shit was paid to start this all off.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Stringer & Phil Quin – cheap voices for hidden agendas.

    • Anne 5.1

      Yep. Phil Quin’s “resignation” was such a load of poppycock. He’s hated Labour for the past 7 years at least – probably because nobody took much notice of him. That would have deeply wounded is over-inflated opinion of himself.

  6. Jones 6

    It looks to me to be the beginnings of an attempt to create a new conservative party and provide options for right wing voters in time for next election… that may explain Slater’s involvement. But first Craig needs to be removed… he’s not the droid they’re looking for.

    • Anne 6.1

      By my reckoning they’re trying to destroy the Conservative Party in the hope the 4% of Con. voters will return to National. Their chances of success in 2017 might depend on them.

      That’s why I am certain Slater and Williams are not in it on their own over this Colin Craig DP sting. Craig is the Conservative Party just as Peters is NZ First. They destroyed Peters and NZ First in 2008 but they came back…

      • Jenny Kirk 6.1.1

        Yes, Anne, that was my thinking too : Stringer is acting on behalf of the Nats (he used to be a Nat) to undermine Colin Craig and any attempt he might make to re-start the Conservative Party. The Nats need CC’s votes ! And going to the police instead of the Electoral Commission just gets Stringer (and Nats) the publicity he needs to do CC in.
        Would this be a Crosby-Textor tactic ? Looks like it to me ….. and wait for them to start on Winston (in the Northland seat). They’ll be scouting around now looking for something to tar Winston with.
        Labour won’t be safe from their tactics either ! nor the Greens !

      • tracey 6.1.2

        That’s my thinking too, which suggest national is worried about declining support come 2017.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    I’ve always assumed Craig was a front for the Brethren.

    • Jenny Kirk 7.1

      But the Brethren favour the Nats, Gormless – remember they put $$$ into their election campaign back in (can’t remember the year !) And the Nats need the votes which Craig has taken off them …. so I personally don’t think your assumption quite fits. Maybe wrong tho.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        I don’t think so, those votes will probably mostly go to NZFirst anyway so it comes down to (again) Winston

        • tracey

          Do you think those votes came from NZF in the first instance?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Probably more from National (or non-voters) but now I think they’ll go to Winston as opposed to going back to National

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    It is a brave thing to do to make allegations against someone who has not been shy in the past of protecting his legal interests.

    Someone who has not been shy in the past of threatning legal action but not carrying through it i think you mean

  9. Neil 9

    Colin Craig maybe a whacko & are no fan of his but It wouldn’t surprise me if whaleblubber is behind this.

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