Conservatives leader heading back to court

Colin Craig
Colin Craig
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is heading to court again, this time to try to gain more state funding for his party's TV and radio advertising.

Mr Craig filed papers against the Electoral Commission in the High Court this afternoon, after failing to get the commission to increase his party's broadcasting allocation.

He felt Conservatives should get more funding than the Act Party because that party's only MP John Banks had resigned.

In the original allocation, Conservatives received $60,207 and 1.5 minutes of broadcasting time and the Act Party received $76,930 and two minutes of broadcasting time.

Mr Craig employed public law specialist Mai Chen to appeal for at least $2500 more in funding and 15 seconds more airtime.

The commission did not agree to the request, though it did re-allocate some money as a result of some parties not registering before the funding deadline.

Conservatives were allocated $1390 more as part of this re-distribution of money.

A spokeswoman said Mr Craig believed the commission had acted illegally by not allocating the appropriate amount of money, and had exceeded their mandate by publishing "a highly disputable order of priority".

The Electoral Commission said in a statement this afternoon: "The commission has been advised by lawyers acting on behalf of the Conservative Party that they intend to file proceedings this afternoon seeking a judicial review of the Commission's broadcasting allocation decision.

"As this is a matter that will be before the Court we have no further comment."

The commission allocated broadcasting time and funding according to a party's share of the vote at the previous election and subsequent by-elections, its number of MPs, and other indications of public support such as poll results.

Conservatives gained 2.6 per cent of the vote in the 2011 election but did not win any seats. Act won 1.07 per cent of the vote and gained one seat because John Banks won the Epsom electorate.

National was allocated $1,053,622 in broadcasting money and Labour received $919,829. The satirical Civilian Party was allocated $34,357.

Mr Craig has taken legal action a number of times since forming the Conservative Party.

He is still involved in defamation action against Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, and two weeks ago successfully appealed against TV3 in the High Court to be included in a minor leaders' debate.

- By Isaac Davison of the NZ Herald

I just can't wait...

I can't wait untill after the election, when Colin Craig sues all the people that didn't vote for him!