Auckland developers should use land or lose it - Colin Craig
"Conservative Party or Socialist Party? The State shouldn't seize land, even with some form of compensation. The answer is to open up more land for development"Featured comment
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says the compulsory acquisition of land would help solve Auckland’s housing problem.
Colin Craig told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that he would move ‘artificial boundaries’ and buy up land to address the supply issue.
“I’d be writing a letter to all those developers who have locked up all that land and be saying, ‘Look, you’ve got five years to build houses, otherwise we’ll be buying it off you under the Public Works Act.’
Mr Craig is confident the party will have a stronger showing at next year’s election than in the 2011 campaign.
“We got nearly three per cent last time with a seven week campaign and we feel we can do a lot better,” the Conservative Party leader says.
There are also two factors that could help his party at the electorate level. One is ACT leader John Banks' election fraud prosecution (taken over by Crown Law on Friday), which could potentially lead to John Key casting around for a different right wing leader to have a cup of tea with in Epsom. The other is the recent Census. Population growth means a new electorate is required. If it's created in Auckland, National could potentially run a soft, Epsom-style campaign to give a Conservative candidate a shot.
Mr Craig thinks his party could pick up the new seat regardless.
“Yeah. If it’s in Upper Harbour, I do. I mean, we’ve recently stood candidates in the local elections up there. They both got elected to the board. It’s a very strong area for us," Mr Craig says.
Mr Craig says he expects to pass NZ First at the next election.
“Winston Peters has lost a lot of credibility along the way. They’d say they’re tough on law and order. So those are areas where we’ve got very much similar policies. But I think we’re a little bit more pro-business, pro-entrepreneurs. We want to see a lot more done in the small business space than NZ First," he says.
Party membership and supporters has increased from around 1000 to more than 5000. Despite the growing number of donors as the party gains support, Craig said he would again commit to spending his own money on the campaign.
Watch the full interview here.