Colin Craig’s best hope…and it isn’t Rodney

Hamish Rutherford write at Fairfax about Colin Craig’s best hope…and it isn’t Rodney electorate.

As one National MP noted, for Colin Craig to win one of the electorates he has highlighted ?he would virtually have to have National not stand a candidate’.

Mark Mitchell may not have meant it that way but Wednesday’s dismissal of Colin Craig may simply have said what many National Party MPs may have been thinking for some time.

The Rodney MP, a former policeman and hostage negotiator, caused a minor stir when he initially batted off questions of whether he would step aside to allow Craig a free run, as a matter for the prime minister.

Later that day, as the comment was taken as a sign of an impending deal, Mitchell had clearly grown frustrated, quoting the lovable protagonist from The Castle as he dismissed Craig’s chances of pushing him aside.

“Tell him he’s dreamin’.”

Last election Craig pushed his dodgy polls that said he was in front in Rodney, and Mark Mitchell still spanked him by 12,000 votes. The biggest supporters of Colin Craig anywhere are those who have never met him.

With Mitchell the most junior of the National candidates in the three seats, and Craig standing in Rodney in 2011, attention naturally turned initially to Mitchell. But Rodney is more likely to provide a lesson on just what is required to assist Craig into Parliament than it is to be the new Conservative headquarters.

When voters were last given the choice between the two, with Mitchell largely an unknown and Craig running an expensive campaign, the decision was emphatic. Mitchell won by more than 12,000 votes.

Although the back benches of Parliament have hardly raised Mitchell’s profile nationwide, three years on there is little to suggest that Rodney voters will be more likely to push for the Conservatives this time.

That fact may frame the thinking on a deal with Craig: a cup of tea with the prime minister may not be enough if Mitchell is on the ballot.

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No cup of tea needed – ACT gifted Epsom


Brook Sabin reports

After the National Party’s Epsom candidate Paul Goldsmith dodged The Nation’s Epsom debate, he went very quiet.

And Mr Goldsmith admitted that, once again, winning the seat is not his priority. That means he is out to lose and the infamous Epsom cup of tea deal is being done again.

When asked why he was a no-show at the Epsom debate, he answered the National Party was doing the best job it can.

Why only do this in Epsom then? ? Cup of tea deals could be done in other safe National electorates. ? Read more »

Tweet of the Day

For those who don’t know what he is talking about:? Read more »

Astonishing hypocrisy and sanctimony from David Cunliffe

David Cunliffe continues to astonish me with his stupidity.

This morning he has attacked the mere suggestion of a deal between National and the Conservative party, and at the same time maintaining his silence over the Internet Mana party deal.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has launched an attack on Conservative Party leader Colin Craig amid growing speculation of an electoral deal with National.

Prime Minister John Key told media this week he would be looking to make three deals to give minor-party candidates a chance at winning seats, and would announce them before the September 20 election.

It is widely understood one of those deals would be with Craig, who is set to announce this month the electorate he will be standing in.

Craig has already indicated his preference to stand in one of the northern Auckland electorates – East Coast Bays, which is held by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully; Upper Harbour, in which National is standing Social Development Minister Paula Bennett; and Rodney, which is held by National back-bench MP Mark Mitchell.

If National gave way for Craig to win a seat and the Conservative’s gained more than 1.2 per cent of the vote, an extra two MPs could be brought into Parliament to form a coalition with National.

Cunliffe today said the situation with Craig was a “strange turn of events”.

“I wonder whether the people of East Coast Bays like the fact that their choices are being taken away from them, that MMP is being manipulated and they’re being told they have to vote for somebody who basically thinks the earth is flat,” he said on Firstline.

“That is a very, very strange turn of events and I think it underwhelms public confidence in the MMP system.

“I also think the prime minister should be aware that something like 75 per cent of New Zealanders object to coat-tailing. ?? Read more »

There will be no deal in Rodney

Colin Craig says he is expecting to do deal with National, despite costing them at the last election by failing spectacularly.

He hasn’t even had a meeting with John Key and no discussion have been held and he reckons he will get a deal.

They are probably commissioning one of their dodgy polls like last time, which proved to be total rubbish with Mark Mitchell, a newcomer, thrashing Colin Craig despite the massive media publicity that Craig garnered.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he expects the National Party will stand aside for him in a seat in Auckland’s North Shore.

The National Party has not said it will, but Mr Craig said on past record it is likely National will reach an accommodation with him.

The Conservative Party has been touted as a likely coalition partner with National, if ACT can’t make it over the line following the resignation of Epsom MP John Banks. A seat for Mr Craig has been cited as a way of National gaining a majority after the September’s general election.

Mr Craig said he is likely to stand in one of three electorates: Upper Harbour, Rodney or East Coast Bays. ? Read more »

Mitchell to give evidence in Banks Case

Mark Mitchell at Orewa

Mark Mitchell at Orewa

It appears that Rodney MP Mark Mitchell will be giving evidence for the defence in the John Banks case.

Something a sitting MP would normally avoid at all costs as they prefer to put as much distance between themselves and one of their own in trouble so no muck gets on them.

My guess is he has heard or knows something he feels needs be put in front of the judge.

I know for a fact that some of the people ripped off, intimidated and threatened by Kim Dotcom went to Mitchell for help.

I guess Dotcom might be wondering if poking Mitchell in the chest and threatening the PM was the right thing to do.

After all this is a guy who went toe to toe with Joseph Kony, Muqtada al Sadr and Viktor Bout and won each time, I doubt he is concerned by what anyone has to say or do here in peaceful New Zealand.

The closest Mitchell and his men came to being killed was in 2004, during a five-day siege of the An Nasiriyah compound, home to diplomats, officials, coalition forces and security staff.

The uprising Shi’a militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, was putting coalition forces under pressure across the country. The Italian-controlled compound was surrounded and under sustained attack. Mitchell was charged with defending it.

“They’d hit us during the day with mortar fire, and at night mount a physical attack. My team’s responsibility was the roof. We were very exposed. It was hot, dusty. We didn’t get much sleep and we had to ration our food. I saw every human emotion over those days.”

Armed with AK47s and two 50-calibre machine guns, they kept the militia at bay until coalition forces regained control. Their efforts would later be rewarded with a commendation from the Italian government.

The compound was evacuated and within 48 hours, Mitchell was having a barbecue and talking to his neighbours in Taupo. “That was surreal. I couldn’t really talk to people about it, as it was hard to comprehend.”

Did he kill anyone? “We were fighting for our lives, and the lives of the diplomats. There were casualties on both sides.” That’s all he’ll say on the matter.

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Cold hard reality sinks in for Colin Craig

via NZ Herald

via NZ Herald

Colin Craig has a bad habit of spending millions coming third

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he does not intend to ask National to gift him an electorate and is instead aiming to get into Parliament by getting more than 5 per cent of the party vote, saying he did not want to “repeat the adventures” of parties such as Act.

There has been speculation about whether National will do an Epsom-style deal with Mr Craig to increase his chances of getting Conservative MPs into Parliament, but Mr Craig said no such talks have been held. However, he said if National approached the Conservative Party to offer a seat, he would have to take it to the board to consider and it was likely they would accept. Read more »

Skullduggery in the Hunua Selection?

Long time readers will know this blog does not support any candidate for selection in National seats, believing in fair play and ethics in selections at all times.

In 2011 WOBH outed the skullduggery in Rodney where Brent Robinson and Cehill Pienaar tried to jack up a selection by not following the rules or the unwritten selection etiquette of the party.

In 2011 the National Party was forced to abandon their selection in Rodney and start again because the electorate chair was trying to jack up the selection. The electorate chair was forced to resign the day after the selection, and deservedly so as there is no place for dodgy behaviour from impartial office-holders in the National Party.

In 2014 it appears that certain electorate chairs haven’t learned that they need to remain impartial.? Read more »

Will John Key sell out Mark Mitchell in Rodney?

Stephen Mills opinion piece on stuff talking about the combinations of parties and options that will keep John Key in power after 2014.

John Key played the integrity card by ruling out New Zealand First as a coalition partner in 2008, but now he faces the unpleasant choices of courting New Zealand First and/or undertaking high-risk and possibly futile electorate plays in Epsom or Rodney – or a combination of all three.

John Key is making the same kind of noises Helen Clark did in her second term about wanting to stay at all costs. Clark stole $800,000 of tax payers money to spend in the last crucial week of the election campaign, and did a dodgy deal with Winston.? Read more »

Mark Mitchell isn’t afraid of a bit of bull

Mark Mitchell, the MP for Rodney isn’t anything like Lockwood Smith when it comes to sports.

Where Lockwood like to wear budgie smugglers and swim at the beach, Mark is into chaps and bulls and the arena of the Rodeo…

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