The Conservative Board bull

The battle of the two Conservative Party Boards seems to be unresolved, although Colin Craig appears to have control of the party officials and the party resources including the membership database.

So Whale Oil Media continues their campaign against Craig. Cameron Slater has posted 20 FAIR QUESTIONS FOR COLIN CRAIG which in the main seems to be a padded out list of threats of more revelations, eventually.

There are going to be a lot of people quite disappointed with him when the truth finally reaches them.   And that may not be for some time.

But apart from Stringer and the genuine board, nobody is in a hurry.

That doesn’t look like how responsible media or journalists should operate.

However one of the questions is important relating to the current battle of the Boards.

The one Board member who didn’t resign, John Stringer, appointed new interim Board members in the weekend. Colin Craig has claimed Stringer has not authority to do that because the Board had suspended him from the party on Thursday.

Slater asks:

When you said publicly that John Stringer had been “suspended” by “a duly constituted meeting of the board headed by then-board chairman Brian Dobbs” (NZHerald) why did you not disclose that it was simply a phone call between Brian Dobbs (who resigned the next day) and Nathaniel Heslop (who had already resigned)?

Unless Craig can demonstrate that Stringer has legitimately been suspended using proper and fair processes then Craig’s dismissal of the Stringer Board and his attempts to set up an alternative Board have little credibility.

Both Stringer and Craig seem to be waging a PR battle via proxies – Stringer appears to be informing Slater to promote his agenda and Craig appears to be using the party officials to promote his agenda.

But there’s a lack of facts and a lot of bull.

The Conservative Party looks far from transparent and and far from democratic. Unless the Board bull can be seen to be properly sorted out then I don’t see any viable future for the party.

Slater speaks on behalf of the National party and on leaders

In ONE PARTY, TWO BOARDS, ONE LEADER Cameron Slater seems to be presenting himself as an alternate leader of National, speaking on the Party’s behalf.

Here’s one guarantee:  National will never enter into any kind of coalition or cup-of-tea agreement with the Conservative Party while Magic Hands Craig is still roaming the political scene.  He will need an electorate seat or get to 5%.  Either of those has the same chance of me winning the Miss Universe competition.

I’d be very surprised if National co-operate in any way with a Colin Craig led Conservative Party. But unlike Slater I’m not in a position to guarantee anything on behalf of a party.

Talking of leaders, or in this case potential leaders, Slater continues his ongoing attempt to diminish the prospects of a National leader of the future in EXPLAINING IS LOSING, PAULA.

In contrast to CRUSHER’S BAAAACK in which he promotes his pet choice for leader of the future

Judith Collins has a hard hitting column in the Sunday Star-Times showing her mettle again on law and order.

He goes on to explain:

And if Judith Collins was still Justice Minister, as she should be, the law would be changed.

Unexplained is why Whale Oil didn’t feature this:

Jarrod Gilbert: Collins’ defence of police offending indefensible

So common is political foolishness that it has become barely remarkable. But wrong in principle and crooked in logic, Judith Collins’ effort last week was a special example.

In a newspaper column, Collins expressed outrage that charges relating to the Red Devils Motorcycle Club were dropped due to what Justice David Collins described as “serious misconduct” and possible “serious criminal offending” by police. She bristled at the suggestion that any action be taken against the offending police officers.

Judith Collins is of the view that police can break the law in performing their duties based on the rationale that their job is dangerous and important. She was defending, among other things, the police forging a court document.

Gilbert concludes:

In instances like this, we should be grateful for the separation of state powers and an independent judiciary.

Judith Collins’s view on this is frightful. A former justice minister should not need reminding that the integrity of the justice system is paramount. And that the police are not above the law.

The party Slater appears to speak on behalf of, National, has one leader, one ambitious demoted MP and one political activist/occasional journalist still hoping he hasn’t done any damages to that MP’s chances of resurgence into leadership contention, or ignoring or oblivious to the taint he exposes her to.

Conservative accusations of Craig lying

A number of Conservative Party members, including two current or ex Board members have accused (or strongly implied) Colin Craig of lying.

In Holier than thou? (Stuff) Garth McVicar, who was a high profile candidate for the Conservatives in last year’s election, refers to a ‘forked tongue':

McVicar unsuccessfully stood for the Conservatives in Napier and while it’s been rumoured that he’s the preferred new Conservative leader he has no desire to return to politics.

Politicians promise the earth over election time but over the next three years do bugger-all. That’s not my style. It’s incredibly disheartening… I was probably a dreamer thinking that I could do any better than the 120 politicians we’ve got.”

Craig’s behaviour hasn’t done anything to assuage his concerns. “You put yourself out there as a leader, so ultimately it’s hypocrisy when you’re found to be speaking with a forked tongue.”

Another high profile recruit was Christine Rankin, who became Party CEO before resigning recently.

She wanted to resign after the election. “We haven’t been allowed to talk about what the issues were during the election campaign…he blocked it every time we got near.”

She confronted him four weeks ago when she got solid evidence. “I heard Colin say ‘I’ve never been approached by board members.’

“He convinced me, he convinced everyone, he was like ‘no, I’m Christian, I wouldn’t do that.’ He’s very charming.”

Until the past couple of weeks Craig has denied being approached by the board over his behaviour related to Rachel MacGregor.

John Stringer, who claims to have formed a new Board (but Craig claims has been thrown out of the Party) would only go as far as calling Craig’s claims ‘untruths’ when he first went public on The Nation. Here is part of the transcript of the interview:

Okay. Because I’m just wanting now play you a clip of Colin Craig addressing that question about whether anyone on the board raised questions about the nature of the relationship. Let’s have a listen.

Paul Henry: Are there members on the board who feel that you have not been honest with them about any dealings that you’ve had with Rachel MacGregor or indeed there was an inappropriate relationship that you haven’t been honest with them about?

Colin Crag: No board member has ever raised that concern with me. I have not ever been accused of being dishonest.

That’s a clear statement denying it had been raised with him.

Lisa Owen: That was Friday morning. So what’s your response to that? Because he’s saying nobody brought it up.

John Stringer: That is completely untrue. Because the board has discussed this almost monthly perhaps for a year. Even before this matter came up we had concerns, and this has been discussed at length and comes up all the time. When we had the briefing of the regional chairman, the very first question that was asked of Colin by the regional chairman was this matter. So Colin cannot say this has not been raised.

So Colin Craig’s lying, that’s what you’re saying.

What he’s just said is untrue.

Well, that’s a lie, isn’t it? This is a man who’s campaigned on high moral standards and bringing different kind of politics. Are you telling me that he’s telling untruths?

Well, it’s certainly not the experience that I’ve had around the board table, and it’s been discussed many times when I’ve been there, and I’ve discussed it myself with Colin. So I don’t know what he means.

Now Stringer is more forthright.

“The lies, the deceit, the false information,” Stringer said. “The guy’s lying through his teeth and it’s just shocking.”

That seems to be backed up by Rankin and McVicar.

It certainly looks like Craig has not been truthful with some aspects of this issue. This must put into doubt any of his claims that aren’t backed by evidence or independent corroboration.

Conservative Board battles

Colin Craig says that the Conservative Party is proceeding to set up a new Board, claiming that the Board set up by John Stringer is invalid.

Stuff reports: Colin Craig reveals plan for new Conservative board

Following the mass resignation of board members last week, Mr Craig said he had received advice from membership manager Angela Storr that a new board would be elected.

It appears that party officials are working in Craig’s interests.

The election of a new board came despite claims from self-appointed chairman John Stringer that an executive body was already in place.

Mr Stringer, the only board member not to resign last week, said he was the head of a newly-created interim board. This interim board had suspended Mr Craig’s membership on Saturday, he said.

Craig has said his suspension is invalid as due process hadn’t been followed.

But Mr Craig said Mr Stringer had been suspended by the party on Thursday for breaching the party’s code of conduct.

Former chairman Brian Dobbs confirmed Mr Stringer’s suspension.

Except there’s also doubt over this, with claims that Dobbs couldn’t have suspended Stringer because the only other remaining Board member, Laurence Day, was overseas. And both Dobbs and Day resigned from the Board the following day (last Friday).

Mr Craig said: “Given that Mr Stringer is not currently a member of the party he has no business holding himself out in any capacity as its representative.

“I therefore do not accept any subsequent suspension of my own membership.”

This may need to be resolved via lawyers.

Despite the party’s disintegration last week, Mr Craig said finding a new board should not be difficult.

“The party has fantastic depth and there will be no shortage of great people to step up and do the job.”

Finding a new Board may not be difficult – Stringer managed to find a new Board by last weekend – but finding a credible Board may be a lot more tricky.

Craig says he won’t stand for the Board. Instead he claims to have ‘overwhelming support’ from party membership and seems to expect to have a loyal Board elected, which will then select him as party leader again.

This is despite al of the previous Board resigning, with two at least claiming or inferring that Craig has lied about his dealings with that Board. See next post.

It’s hard to see the Conservative Party putting anything together but a Craig dominated remnant.

Conservative party – what happens next

Whale Oil has posted a copy of an emailed letter they claim was sent to all Conservative party members by the party Members Manager. It is on party letterhead, and opens:

Dear XXXXX

In the past week there have been many things happening and many of you have had questions. I am now writing to you so that you are updated.

Colin and the Leadership

Last Friday in agreement with the Board Chairman, Colin stepped down as the leader. He did so that various allegations being made could be looked into further by the Board. He has an agreed written process which will involve the Board investigating the matter further.

In the meantime Colin and Helen have written out to you by post asking for your feedback. Colin will be making a decision around his future involvement in politics based on your feedback, so don’t forget to have your say.

There is no functioning Board at this stage. See below.

The letter seems to be promoting Craig’s interests.

The Board

Unfortunately the Board began to fracture and there have been a few disappointing moments as some (now ex) Board members went public with their opinions. This began a series of resignations from the Board. As at 5pm on Friday 26th June 2015, the Board was vacant with no elected members.

Mr Stringer

One Board member (Mr Stringer) was suspended from membership of the Party on Thursday afternoon after serious serious breaches of his obligations. If you are contacted by Mr Stringer please understand that he is suspended and has no standing in the party.

So Stringer is described as ‘suspended’ immediately (presumably for speaking out) but Craig, who has also spoken out (and has admitted breaching a confidentiality agreement) is awaiting due process and gets letters sent out that look like they are acting in his interests.

What happens next

The officers of the party (Membership Manager, Administration Manager,, and Party Secretary) will confer and agree on the best way forward. It is likely this will involve the election of a new Board. The constitution requires that an election of the Board be by postal ballot. We are currently taking further advice on this.

It appears that party officials have deemed the Board is defunct and they have assumed control of the party.

And it looks like the party officials are operating on behalf of Craig.

And Craig provides the money to pay the wages of the officials.

It looks like the money man calls the shots, and what happens next is being dictated by Craig (as the letter looks dictated by Craig).

Conservative constitutional crisis

The battle for survival continues in the Conservative Party with conflicting claims about the current mess. It appears that the party has plummeted into a constitutional crisis.

Yesterday John Stringer, the one remaining board member, convened a meeting and suspended Craig’s party membership. NZ Herald with Troubled Colin Craig in leader squabble.

Stringer appointed himself chairman yesterday and created a new board with former electorate candidates Deborah Cunliffe, Mark Pearce and Thomas O’Rourke, and Waikato regional chairman Al Belcher.

“They meet again next month, when they may make a final decision on Craig’s suspension and appoint a leader.

Craig claims that doesn’t count.

Craig last night said the new board – and therefore his suspension – was invalid because neither natural justice nor the party’s constitution had been followed at yesterday’s meeting.

I don’t think the party constitution allows anything to happen without a functioning Board. The Board controls who can stand for election to the Board.

“I think any ordinary person will realise a process when you don’t advise the person that you’re considering something, you don’t let them attend, you don’t even give them a chance to respond to allegations, is no proper process.”

That could be debatable. But it is al

Craig said Stringer’s actions were invalid because he had been suspended from the party by remaining board members on Thursday, which Stringer denied.

I think there were three remaining members on Thursday. Two of them resigned on Friday. It would be remarkable if two Board members suspended the other remaining member and then resigned themselves. That puts the party in a ludicrous situation.

And Craig himself said (repeating from above).

“I think any ordinary person will realise a process when you don’t advise the person that you’re considering something, you don’t let them attend, you don’t even give them a chance to respond to allegations, is no proper process.”

He can’t have one rule for himself and one rule for Stringer.

Ok, this is Craig we’re talking about. He seems to think he can make whatever rules he likes.

But the party constitution doesn’t cover the situation where the Board becomes dysfunctional. As shown in How the Conservatives ‘elect’ their Leader and Board the constitution gives the Board almost exclusive control over who can stand for the Board and who is appointed leader.

Without a functioning board there is no functioning party.

The only option seems to be to start again at membership level but this would have to be done outside the constitution as it doesn’t allow for this situation.

It’s hard to see how it could be much messier.

They have to virtually start the party structure again from scratch.

Rodney Hide – we should care about Craig’s power play

In his weekly column in NZ Herald Rodney Hide says we should be worried about Colin Crai’s determination to lead the Conservative Party at any cost. In Colin Craig saga: Sex scandal without the sex he compares buying leadership with that hard graft of old school politics:

He did not go through the normal gruelling process of convincing a political party to back him. Instead, he started his own.

And threw millions at it.

And put himself number one.

Not for him the usual political vetting process.

Hide knows from hard experience what can happen when a politician who promotes a particular principal – in his case perk busting – then when you prove to be even a little hypocritical you can get hammered for it.

Hide goes on the say we should care about Craig’s apparent determination to lead again.

With his board now gone, he appears hell bent on resurrecting himself a new party.

It’s not Craig’s inappropriate behaviour, whatever it was, that’s the problem.

It’s everything else.

A man that desperate to have a party that will have him, and give him power, is a man who should never have it.

It’s news all right. And we should care.

It doesn’t look very democratic at a party level. It looks like a rich man trying to do whatever it takes to be in power.

So yes, we should care about that.

Fortunately we have a reasonable form of democracy. If Craig succeeds in his win at any cost Conservative Party fight he can then be judged by how much the voters care.

John Stringer and the Conservative coup

John Stringer has lead the calls from within the Conservative Party to oust Colin Craig not only as leader but right out of the party. He has made himself available to media and also seems to have been leaking information to Whale Oil.

And Stringer has opened up even more via a lengthy article. Stuff looks Inside the Conservative coup (from Stringer’s point of view).

John Stringer took down Conservative Party founder Colin Craig in a messy public coup and has risked the future of the party. He tells PHILIP MATTHEWS what happened and why.

“I’m just sick of it,” he said. “We’ve had this North Korean culture of don’t cough while the leader speaks. But the board process has broken down. Colin has driven a Mack truck through that and it’s in disarray.”

The main why seems to be “a strong and righteous public stand against his erratic and embarrassing former leader”.

It seemed that Stringer was enjoying himself. He is a veteran of conservative Christian politics and this story, on this particular day, was the biggest one he has ever been “enmeshed in personally”. But it was not just about the limelight.

It seemed that Stringer was enjoying the moral crusade, taking a strong and righteous public stand against his erratic and embarrassing former leader.

And plenty of detail follows.

When he wrote to other board members, in another leaked letter, he said it was “unconscionable” to him that some of them could still be supporting Craig. As a former Anglican pastor, he could not.

“The lies, the deceit, the false information,” Stringer said. “The guy’s lying through his teeth and it’s just shocking.”

Even Craig’s brother Andrew quit the board on Tuesday. “Andrew and I are good friends,” Stringer said.

Have the brothers had a falling out? “Let’s put it this way. Andrew’s very disappointed and shocked at Colin’s behaviour.”

That’s the ‘inappropriate behaviour’ that Craig has admitted but not been specific about.

 we are mainly talking about allegations of inappropriate behaviour with former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

Rumours have circulated for months. When MacGregor suddenly resigned just two days before the election, the timing was “strategic”, Stringer said. He knew exactly what it was about as he had written to Craig several months earlier and told him, “this is what’s going to happen. And that’s exactly what happened.”

“There is no question he perhaps used his position of influence and authority over her to pester her. My understanding is that she rebuffed that on the basis that he was married because she is a good Christian girl.”

She was annoyed enough to take it to mediation at the Human Rights Commission. But so far there are few details in public about what happened.

“There were poems being written, there were letters being written, there were sexts being sent. There are folders full of this stuff. We were told it was unsolicited and unwanted and he kept persisting.”

The romantic traffic was entirely one-way, Stringer believed. When we spoke, just one poem from Craig to MacGregor had appeared on the Whale Oil site; Stringer was expecting more to leak over the following days.

The poem seemed silly but relatively innocent. It spoke of a naive infatuation rather than filth and tawdriness.

“That’s just an opening shot from Whale Oil. They’ve told me they’ve got nuclear bombs to drop this week.”

The ‘breaking news’ post at Whale Oil over a week ago presented as responsible journalism. Since then Slater has reverted to playing dirty strategic dirty political games, and it appears that Stringer is directly involved.

A “direct source” apparently handed this material to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

“That’s all I’d be prepared to say. I know who it is.”

There have been a number of pointers to who this might be – and there’s a strong suggestion it could be ‘Dirty Politics’ with a familiar team involved.

“.The material is actually coming from a variety of different sources. I’ve not actually seen it. I’ve asked to see it. I’m prepared to fly somewhere and see it.”

That’s a curious claim, He has also said “there are folders full of this stuff” and there were claims that some has been shown to the board to convince them to dump Craig.

Is Stringer relying on assurances of evidence from Slater without having seen the evidence himself?

Some of the “sexts”, meaning sexual text messages, have been read to Stringer over the phone. On one hand, this is all good political entertainment and gossip. On the other, the leaking of private messages to Whale Oil is textbook dirty politics, which seems especially problematic coming from a group of people so committed to morals and values.

A moral crusade using and working with the king of political dirt does seem an potential problem.

Craig is a politician and this scrutiny of his private life is arguably in the public interest. But MacGregor? She is a private citizen dragged through the muck, silenced by a confidentiality agreement that Craig seems to have broken.

Stringer agreed that “she is the victim in all this”.

Perhaps. She certainly seems to have been a victim of Craig’s attention.

He was “appalled” as he watched the press conference during which Craig breached confidentiality, as Craig is usually such “a stickler” for legal rules and is the first to reach for a lawyer when it suits him.

“If you in any way breach anything like that, he will haul you over the coals.”

But the detailed information that has been leaked would have to be from someone who had it – either Craig or MacGregor, and the latter is the most likely. It seems that Stringer hasn’t considered the obvious suspicions.

Stringer was a fan of Craig, turned critic. From:

He was a defender of the leader on his own blog, back when others were mocking Craig about wacky moon landing and chem trails theories. He wrote: “You don’t own five successful businesses and one of New Zealand’s largest commercial property empires worth billions in assets in your 40s by being an idiot.”

To:

The more he got to know Craig, the stranger Craig began to seem. Stringer turned into a critic on the board, questioning the way Craig managed people. He noticed that Craig would isolate and turn against critics, such as former candidate Larry Baldock, who was expelled in March.

“The Rachel situation and the sauna stuff is really just indicative of a long pattern of judgment calls and behavioural issues. We were very critical of the management of the campaign.”

And it seems there are also political and party management differences.

During the campaign, Craig released details of the sale of the Lochinver station to Chinese interests. It was classic nationalist politics but Stringer said it cost the party Asian backing.

“I thought it was despicable and racist. There are people who are interested in supporting the Conservative Party who haven’t because of Colin Craig. Cabinet ministers have told me we’ve got a place and they would like us to be there if we just got rid of Colin. I get that from professional people all the time.”

Stringer even believes that the Conservative Party could be in Parliament now were it not for Craig’s “mismanagement” of the relationship with National.

So it seems this is all as much to do with political ambitions as it is moral crusades and inappropriate behaviour.

Leadership conversations started before Christmas, spearheaded by Stringer. There could be a team leadership model so that Craig “wouldn’t be an Ottoman sultan anymore”.

But it became obvious over the past week that none of the presumed likely candidates for leadership – Christine Rankin, Garth McVicar or Bob McCoskrie – were interested. Stringer?

“People are asking me. I’m certainly not putting myself forward, but do we need some political experience, which I’ve had. I have the time. I have independent means. I really do believe in the Conservative Party as an entity and I think it can survive, but it’s really going to take strong decisive leadership over the next few days to make that happen.”

That sounds a bit like he wants to lead but isn’t confident enough to put himself forward.

I rang Stringer two days later for an update.

He had just seen the new Roy Morgan poll which had Conservative support steady at 1 per cent, the same as Act, “despite everything”. And with National slipping, a safe and loyal junior partner looks more necessary than ever.

That’s poor analysis of the poll. The polling period was nearly all before the Conservative Party blew itself up. And while National dropped it was from an unusually high previous poll and they are still polling above last year’s election result.

What now?

Craig was still desperate to return as leader and had reportedly accessed the 9000 names in the party database to solicit grassroots support. Stringer had been locked out of the website while Craig’s staff members deleted all critical comments.

Still, any provisional board of Craig supporters would be “illegitimate”. Even if Stringer was a board of one, he would still have legitimacy. As it stood, he remained confident of bringing in new allies and convincing a few ex-board members to return for a full meeting on Saturday.

It’s difficult to see how a board of one would have ‘legitimacy’. Now the other board members have resigned (all of the others including the chairman have now) there would surely have to be a party election of officers.

Apparently their rules require a quorum of two. That Stringer can’t hold on to one other board member is as damning for him as it is for Craig.

“This has been one of the most catastrophic political meltdowns in New Zealand history and our constituency is still there,” he said. “The Colin Craig stuff is a sideshow really. We can outlive this and then we can start to rebuild.”

And Stringer has played a significant role in the Conservative catastrophe.

His optimism was admirable. I had noticed in his online biography that he had a MA in Classics from Victoria University. That meant he knew what a pyrrhic victory was. No matter who won, Craig or Stringer, the Conservative brand might be so damaged as to be worthless to the victor.

“That’s fair,” he said. “That’s something we will see played out over the next 12 months. The feedback I’m getting from party members is that they are rallying and we will put some distance between us and Colin Craig. People will begin to respond to the fact that we have a different Conservative party, not framed by Colin’s agendas and his kookiness.”

Craig is reported to be talking as if he has the popular support of remaining members.

It’s looking like a major split in what remnants of the Conservative Party there are.

It looks like Stringer has been driven by his political ambitions and played by others with more selfish ambitions.

Total no confidence in Craig

The Conservative Party board has emphatically shown no confidence in Colin Craig, with the third last and second last board members resigning yesterday. The party’s other major donor Laurence Day has quit, and the chariman Brian Dobbs has not only quit the board, he’s quitting the party.

Radio NZ: Conservative Party chairman Brian Dobbs resigns

In a statement, Mr Dobbs cites recent revelations and the events of the past week as his reasons for quitting, saying his position is now untenable.

Mr Dobbs has also resigned as a member of the Conservative Party.

That leaves just one board member, John Stringer. He has lead the moves to depose Craig as leader and also to throw Craig out of the party. On his own he has no power to do the latter now. Stringer was also going to be subject to disciplinary action by the board but that looks difficult to achieve with no other board members left.

There was supposed to be a board meeting today and in Conservative Party down to one board member NZ Herald says that Stringer is trying to keep that alive.

Mr Stringer, the party’s self-appointed chairman, was tonight attempting to recruit board members to get the party back on track.

The board had been scheduled to meet tomorrow, and one of the motions on the agenda was to cancel Mr Craig’s membership.

Mr Stringer said the meeting could still take place.

“It is an extraordinary situation, and I haven’t been left with any other choices,” he said.

The party’s constitution requires fair process before a member is expelled.

There was also confusion about Mr Stringer’s status as a board member. He had been facing disciplinary action for breaking the party’s code of conduct, and could still be sacked.

I don’t know who will sack him.

In the meantime Craig is still battling to take back control of the party he founded.

Mr Craig said last night he was poised to snatch back the Conservative Party which he created, funded and led, until a week ago.

He said that a new board and leader would be chosen by the party’s membership, among whom he remained popular.

“There will be a resolution of members which will appoint a new board, and John Stringer will not be on that board,” he said.

It looks like Craig believes he has enough support amongst the party members who haven’t quit but that’s not guaranteed by any means. Craig has a history of overstating support for himself and the party.

Wairarapa politicos cut party ties shows there has been some attrition.

Former Conservative Party stalwarts Brent and Sue Reid are severing all ties with the beleaguered party.

They are blaming ex-leader Colin Craig and his former press secretary for disappointing “ordinary, hardworking New Zealanders” and corrupting a ready-made conservative network.

It’s quite possible a majority of those remaining in the party back Craig. It’s possible a majority would not support Stringer. If the party allows for a democratic process to choose a new board a new (or returning) leader it’s up to the members who haven’t quit.

But with the whole of the current board giving up on him it’s likely that if Craig does get back in charge it will be of a much weaker party.

It’s hard to see the voting public having sufficient confidence in whatever survives this mess to hold anything like the level of support to get anywhere near Parliament.

Craig still shown as party leader

Despite standing down as leader of the Conservative Party a week ago Colin Crtaig continues to be presented as the party leader online.

I posted on Monday – Craig still appears as Conservative leader online.

The Conservative Party web site still shows Craig as leader on multiple pages.

The last posts on ConservativePartyNZ on Facebook are on last Friday’s media conference with photos of Craig, so at a glance Craig still looks prominent. You have you go to the post of Craig’s statement (amongst three posts) and read through it to find that he has stood down.

There may not be anyone left in the party who can deal with updating their online presence. Or it may be deliberate.

The Twitter account listed on the Conservative website is unchanged at @ColinCraigNZ and that account that has been active since last week’s announcement, linking to several news reports this week, but still shows him as leader.

Colin Craig

@ColinCraigNZ

Leader of The Conservative Party of New Zealand. Someone, like you, who wants a better long term future for our country…

Maybe they are just waiting until Craig is last man standing to save double changes.

Unfortunately for the remaining Conservatives politically Craig looks to be dead man walking.

A Press editorial sums things up – Colin Craig’s career in politics over:

The issue, whatever the truth may be about its details, is a calamitous one for a party that campaigned on family values and its purported embodiment of superior personal virtue.  The party has  imploded so completely that it is hard to see how, even with another moneybags to finance it, it could make its way back. Craig’s political future is surely finished. And those who voted for Conservative will have to seek elsewhere to give political expression to their views.

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