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