Andrea Vance interviews Colin Craig. He is clearly after NZ First voters:
The other – less palatable – coalition option for Key is NZ First. And Craig, at 45, sees himself as a fresh-faced alternative to political warhorse Winston Peters, 68.
He claims to be eating solidly into Peters’ core constituency of the older, socially conservative voter.
Members have switched allegiance, particularly after NZ First’s annual conference in October, he says. “We are enjoying seeing Grey Power no longer invite Winston, but invite me instead . . . there is a sort of transition. We are slowly taking over that space.”
Craig says one of the reasons Peters is in decline is that “he’s lost the mojo”.
“He’s not the Winston he was . . . and I know he thinks he is going to be here till whenever, but there is a point at which you start to lose credibility . . . my impression is that he was, last time, the protest vote. Now we have offered that opportunity in a similar policy space.”
Senior citizens appear to like Craig’s morally conservative views combined with an anti-asset sales stance.
I’ve often said that NZ First and the Conservatives are in pretty similar space.
Andrea also reveals some policies that Craig has supported over the years:
- Match Australia’s defence spending (an extra $1.5b to $4.9b) a year
- Introduce national service in return for free tertiary education, plus the right to bear arms and shoot burglars
- Allow visitors to choose a cup of tea over a powhiri
- Scrap the ETS
- Against fluoride being added to water
- Schools should teach children how to garden
- Wants to scrap more legislation than he approves
- Dump Working for Families
- Binding CIRs
- Close the Waitangi Tribunal
- Work for the dole
- Tax-free threshold of $25,000 and a flat rate of $20,000
- Cut Ministry of Education funding by 50% and give it direct to schools
I agree with 7 and 11. Not quite sure what he means by 12, but generally support tax-free thresholds and a flatter tax system.