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Colin Craig's wife takes the stand

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/09/2016

Colin Craig's wife says she and her husband wrote the press secretary he allegedly sexually harassed a set of "rules" when she and the former Conservative Party leader got too close.

Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams is suing Mr Craig for $1 million over comments made in a pamphlet sent to 1.6 million homes and a press conference in 2015.

He says Mr Craig accused him of spreading lies about the reasons behind the sudden resignation of Mr Craig's press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, days before the 2014 national election, leading to Mr Craig stepping down.

Mr Williams says he went to senior party officials after Ms MacGregor confided in him about alleged sexual harassment by Mr Craig, including touching, comments, and romantic letters and poems.

On Tuesday, Mr Craig's wife, Helen, told the High Court at Auckland they had written a letter to Ms MacGregor in 2012 in which they expressed support for her, but also set some rules about her relationship with Mr Craig.

"It was obvious to me they were close," she said describing how Ms MacGregor had spent Christmas with them and invited the couple to family events.

"I felt it helpful to put boundaries in place."

Mrs Craig said Ms MacGregor called her in 2014 and "confessed she had been having emotional affairs with my husband" and said they had kissed, and that Mr Craig had touched her breast on election night 2011.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Mr Craig detailed to the court how the pair had kissed but said it was just a silly mistake by both of them.

"No pants came off. No one got naked," he said refuting a list of more than 20 allegations - including saying he stopped Ms MacGregor when she tried to "fondle" him.

"I have never taken my pants off around her."

Mrs Craig told the court: "My husband has apologised to me and I have forgiven him."

She said they were left shocked when Ms MacGregor lodged a sexual harassment claim.

Mrs Craig called the allegations ridiculous, saying, for example, that she and her husband had given jewellery Ms MacGregor as a present.

They had decided to write a booklet to address the false allegations being circulated in the media and felt it was the only way to avoid media spin, she said.

The hearing continues.

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