Accountability key Craig plank

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 25/07/2013

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Accountability and bringing power to the people were the messages Conservative Party leader Colin Craig was using to secure supporters in Palmerston North.

Mr Craig spoke to about 60 people at a public meeting at the Palmerston North Bridge Club last night.

The Conservative Party was only about seven weeks old at the last election.

It went from zero to a 2.8 per cent party vote share on election night - higher than that of ACT, Mana, the Maori Party and UnitedFuture, but below the 5 per cent threshold to make it into Parliament without an electorate seat win.

After outlining how the leaky homes crisis and the anti-smacking legislation saw him get involved in politics, Mr Craig said he and his 5000 party members were campaigning on two simple principles - accountability for politicians and binding citizens-initiated referendums.

Mr Craig said that establishing a department of accountability - with as much power as any other government agency - would help keep government spending in check, while binding referendums would hold politicians to account.

"It will put power back where it needs to be - with the hands of good ordinary Kiwis."

Binding referendums would be a bottom line in any negotiation post-election. Mr Craig said he had been approached by Australian and Chinese political analysts, who were convinced it would be the case.

"There is an expectation we will be part of the next government."

While the Conservatives would attempt to work with the party with the most votes first - the National Party, on current polls - Mr Craig said he and his party would talk to others if agreements could not be made on core party policies.

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- Manawatu Standard

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