Another strike for ACT's David Garrett
Wed, 15 Sep 2010 6:00p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The ACT Party MP who has made his reputation by being a hard-liner on crime has admitted stealing the identity of a dead child to obtain a fraudulent passport.
David Garrett, who earlier this week also admitted he had had an assault conviction in Tonga, told Parliament he got the false passport back in the 1980s, but never used it.
His deception was discovered by police six years ago.
Garrett stole the identity of a dead child 26 years ago.
"I obtained the birth certificate of a child born around the time I was born but who died in infancy," he told Parliament today.
He used it obtain a passport with a method taken straight from spy thriller novel The Day of the Jackal.
"To this day I cannot explain the rationale behind my actions except to say I was simply curious to see whether such a thing could be done."
It could, but Garrett's fraud was uncovered by a police sweep after Israeli spies were caught stealing New Zealand passports in 2004.
"I was duly put before the court and admitted obtaining a passport by false pretences."
This latest admission came just a day after Garrett was forced to explain an assault conviction in a Tongan court.
So 3 News asked then if it was the only offence – he said yes, then admitted "a few speeding convictions", dating back to 1978.
But there was more - identity fraud.
Garrett was discharged without conviction and granted permanent name suppression - which he overrode using the protection of Parliamentary privilege today.
"I foolishly undertook what I naively saw as a harmless prank, one that was to later have repercussions both for me personally and others who did not deserve to be hurt by my thoughtless actions," said Garrett.
The passport was never used, but the prank came back to hurt the child's family.
"The regret I feel at the hurt I unwittingly caused the family of the deceased child is something I carry with me today and will continue to carry for the rest of my life. I cannot wind back the clock but I sincerely wish that I could… I have made many mistakes in my life - none more than this."
Garrett's other political mistakes include making a lewd remark to a staffer, and the Tongan conviction.
But ACT leader Rodney Hide knew of the passport fraud, and says Garrett deserves yet another chance.
"Of course it's not acceptable," says Mr Hide, "but things that people do in the past, is in the past."
"Fundamentally he's not part of my caucus, and he's not part of the Government per se," says Prime Minister John Key, "and he rests with the ACT leadership."
So there has now been another strike for the 'three strikes' hardliner.
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19/10/2010 6:13:18 p.m.
Why do they not want to be measured on there performance? Performance has droped over the past 4 years and they want more money. A business would die if it paid wages it could not afford. The govt can only pay what they can afford they need to protect the tax payers money. This is not only effecting students it is effecting contractors at the schools and there employees also. Plus parents and there employees who haveto stay at home.
16/09/2010 1:15:28 p.m.
simple really , Politicians- mischievous,deviant and think they are above the laws they're predecessors put in place for good reasons. and like everyone else in this world, have skeletons in the closet somewhere in their lifetime.
Is this the type of people we really want running this country and who does the background checks on politicians? is that left to be self administered as they see fit?
what a joke this place is turning into , first the defense scientist with fake CV now this.
16/09/2010 12:13:28 p.m.
Regardless, it is NOT OK to falsify a legal document for your own benefit let alone using the identity of a deceased CHILD!!! This is just disturbing!!!Garrett should have some self-respect and resign from being a Member of Parliament as there is no respect by the community for a person who is capable of committing such a crime!My heart goes out to the family of the child as i know this would bring back alot of pain.
16/09/2010 10:06:52 a.m.
Hmmm. Why does one want a false passport if it not to be used for travel purposes? A passport is gold standard ID for opening bank accounts and other situations where proof of identity is needed. Worth a dig around don't you think?
16/09/2010 9:35:58 a.m.
The ACT party ....... A collection of oddballs and misfits. That about sums it up alright, turf the lot out .
16/09/2010 8:11:31 a.m.
It should be left to the voters and not the media to decide if he should not be in government.Yes he broke the law but he paid and moved on as we all should. he is doing some good now and turned his life around.but we all know that the media will not let this lie and will try to fide a third crime so they can call it the third strike story sad real sad.
16/09/2010 6:41:13 a.m.
3 strikes and your out
Good bye Hypocrite
16/09/2010 2:05:32 a.m.
I am totally disgusted with rodney. He was dam good picking on Mr.Peters and Labour in last election. He is just a gona. Mr.key is a real toyman now. When National gona stand up for what they preached for in the last election.Shame our votes been wasted. Rodney and the bugger should be thrownout. They are a great expense to us.
15/09/2010 11:39:16 p.m.
You guys are just confirming that crime is OK. Most people manage to get through their lives without doing crime. We need a criminal free government. He has not been straight up - he has got to go.
15/09/2010 11:30:02 p.m.
Garrett no longer has any credibility. Identity Fraud is a serous crime, for which he is very lucky to have not been convicted. He says that his assault conviction was a stitch up, well who would now be so stupid as to believe that now. This man is a convicted criminal, he is a liar, he is a fraud, he should not be a Member of Parliament.
He needs to resign now.
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