Craig to stand in Rodney

Colin Craig has finally ended speculation on where he will stand, deciding to get get beaten in Rodney electorate instead of getting beaten in Epsom electorate.

The leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Craig, has confirmed he will stand as the Rodney electorate candidate.

The announcement today ends speculation he would stand against John Banks in Auckland’s Epsom.

Craig says he was attracted to the challenge of taking on Banks, his former mayoral campaign rival, but he’s ”followed his heart by standing for the people” of Rodney.

”I’ve lived in Rodney and my business involvement here has spanned more than 20 years. Many of my family live here and I’m passionate about getting things moving for everyone in the region,” he says.

Craig’s father Ross Craig was a Rodney district councillor until the Auckland super city council was formed last year.

The Conservative Party claims polling in the area shows Craig is ahead of his nearest rival.

I think Colin has made a mistake, one of two highlighted in the Dompost article. He should have stood in Tamaki electorate against Allan Peachey. Given that Don Brash won’t do the sensible thing and stand in Tamaki then the opportunity arises for someone else to take the fight to the barely coherent Peachey. There is likely to be a by-election in Tamaki and so raising his profile before that would have been good. By-elections can and often do throw up rogue results, and campaigning and spending wisely in Tamaki could have delivered a seat to the Conservative Party.

The second error he has made is talking up non-existant polls. He is just setting himself up for a fall by touting polls. He has fallen into the same trap as Don Brash in making up polls, it gives your political foes a stick to beat you with when you fail to deliver, and creates the perception that you are loser.

Politics is about perception and creating the perception you are a winner. When you tout poll results without actually publishing them or at least naming a reputable polling company then people will just close their ears to you. Winston Peters always lies about polls, he lied to my face about the latest internal polls from National that he constantly claims to be in receipt of, Don Brash lied about polling in Epsom and for Act and now Colin Craig is talking up polling that frankly is highly unlikely to exist.

If the polling does exist then was probably about name recognition, if that is the case then Colin would beat Mark Mitchell. That however is moot because with a majority of over 15,000 most voters turn out to vote for the blue N. In Rodney a donkey with a national tie could have won the seat, and if the selection process hadn’t been sorted they very nearly would have had a donkey to vote for.

I don’t know who is advising Colin but he should take a leaf out of National’s and Labour’s play book and never talk about internal polling.


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  • Ev

    I can see your logic here Whale Oil, it makes perfect sense to me.

    Allan Peachey has a huge majority too. Of course the votes received are really party votes in all Electorates these days. But why do you anticipate a by-election. Surely Peachey will serve out his 9 years. But even then, a minor party candidate would have less success than a drover’s dog standing for National?

  • Ev

    Whale Oil, I can follow your logic, but am not sure it matters where Colin stands.

    Why are you expecting a by election in Tamaki? And if this is a widely held expectation, why is National not finding a candidate (and presumably a coherent candidate) prepared to serve 3 years? Anti-MMP people are telling us that it is easy to get rid of electorate MPs but is it really?

    As I see it, Allan Peachey will continue till his 9 years are up. And even then a Drover’s Dog would do better for National in Tamaki, than any candidate for any other party. This is the Rob Muldoon Memorial seat.

    • Peachey will die before he will retire

  • Kevin Campbell


    I reckon you are dead wrong in your assessment of Craig’s chances in the Rodney electorate. Not every voter is a drone that automatically tick the red or blue box for electorate candidates.

    Sure, they wont think when there is no credible alternative, but this time in Rodney there will be with Colin Craig standing. He will go for broke and he has every chance I suggest. Vote for Colin and you get Lockwood as well remember.

    Who knows, it is entirely possible the Conservative party may steam roll Acts party votes as they have their membership by November 26.

    • Piss off Kevin, you are tits at picking anything in politics other than your nose, and I’m told even that is marginal.

      • Kevin Campbell

        Cameron, you can dish it out but you sure cant take it can you big fulla :-)

  • I think I follow your logic Cam, and FWIW I agree standing in Tamaki would have been sensible. I’m less convinced than you about how “blue” Rodney is. Are they really blue, or is it the combination of no other option plus Lockwood being a very popular electorate MP that gives the massive majority? Is it possible Rodney will be fought on name recognition alone, and that Craig can snatch it?

    Alternatively, if he gets spanked in Rodney he can stand in Tamaki in the byelection.

    It’s a shame both Craig and Mitchell can’t get elected. Craig in order to have a party to take over on National’s right when ACT completes its long, slow, painful suicide and Mitchell because judging from what I’ve read he’s an accomplished guy who would make a great MP (apart from the fact he’s standing under the banner of a communist party).

    • Ev

      @ Gantt Guy .. Rodney is naturally blue. Lockwood gets elected because of the two ticks policy – the voters of the right like John Key, therefore they prefer National, therefore they give National 2 ticks – one to the party, one to Lockwood.

      Colin Craig will make no impact in Rodney.

  • Naylor

    Agree Don Brash should stand in Tamaki and challenge the very ill Alan Peachy. By putting all bets on John Banks in Epsom is risking the complete demise of Act. But then again, Brash has demonstrated time and time again that his political instincts are below par.

    Tamaki is right for the taking unless National actually starts to focus on the seat. Peachy, sorry mate but your time has come to step aside and let someone else look after the electorate.

    That aside, it’s piss poor that Peachy has yet to move into the electorate despite saying that he would.

    • Ev

      As an aside .. those wanting to scrap MMP claim that it is easier to replace Electorate MPs than List MPs. In safe seats, I am not feeling so sure about that.

      If I make a big assumption that the news of Allan Peachey is accurate, and noting that he is still not that senior in National ranks or on the Party List – how could it be that he has been selected to serve three more years, courting the possibility of a costly by-election?

      On the other hand, parties can promote and demote on Party lists at will. Just ask the ACT party.

      • He was re-selected unopposed because too many cowards quivered and the party sent out edicts that there was to be no challenges this cycle. It shows the gutlessness in general of National.

  • Ace Kirk

    Whaleoil, I think you need some clean oil not just for yourself, but also for your other alias that you creates in order to make it look like that you have people backing your views.
    And that is the biggest form of lies which is a lot worse than any other lies.

    • Ev

      Thanks for the feedback Whaleoil. When you say the National Party sent out “edicts” that there were to be no challenges this cycle, was that released in writing? A leak of a memo to that effect would be dynamite in the campaign to save or halt MMP. It would be worth discussing in public.

      It has NEVER been accepted that sitting MPs should be challenged from within, especially under First Past the Post. The National Party argument in those days was “why try to replace a sitting National member, when there are so many Labour MPs we need to get rid of?” To call any part of this cowardly is describing the whole system and tradition, not just this example.

      Of course the National tradition has always been for electorate organisations to elect their own MPs without central party interference – so what authority would this kind of edict have? I guess if you wanted a future in Parliament one day, why rock the boat now?

      It has been tried occasionally. I have memories of Doug Graham in Remuera? Also in Tamaki, was there attempts to replace Clem Simich before his time was up? Do you remember?

      Under MMP, the argument to retain sitting MPs is less persuasive, since it is Party Vote that determines the proportions of MPs anyway. National could do well to move with the times.

      • Similar for Labour, except they did replace David Benson-Pope with Clare Curran. He tried for Dunedin South as an independent. Foolish man.

  • Stuart

    Cam do you think Brent had a word to Colin, both seem from that fundy end to the scale although Colin says he does no go to church.