17 Sep 2010

Disgraced MP David Garrett breaks silence

7:03 pm on 17 September 2010

Disgraced MP David Garrett has resigned from the ACT Party following his admission in Parliament earlier this week that he used a dead child's identity in 1984 to obtain a false passport.

In an exclusive interview with Radio New Zealand's parliamentary chief reporter Jane Patterson on Friday, Mr Garrett declared that his political career is almost certainly over.

Mr Garrett was discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to the passport fraud in 2005, but ACT Party leader Rodney Hide encouraged him to stand for Parliament despite this.

Mr Hide has decided to withdraw his support after questions about the truthfulness of an affidavit Mr Garrett gave to the court.

Mr Garrett went to ground on Wednesday following his announcement in Parliament but on Friday morning he broke his silence.

"When my wrongdoing was revealed, the worst aspect of it all for me was reading the letters written by the mother and sister of the dead boy whose identity I used to obtain the passport," he told Radio New Zealand.

"As a result of my own actions, my political career is almost certainly over. But that is not my greatest concern. The worst aspect of all of this for me is that those who have seen fit to do so have opened the wounds of the boy's mother and sister all over again.

"As the person who inflicted those wounds in the first place, however unwittingly, I must take ultimate responsibility for that."

Mr Garrett said Mr Hide had told him he has no future with the party. He says he had hoped that Mr Hide would be able to support him, but accepts that it is untenable for him to do so.

Mr Garrett and has taken two weeks' leave from Parliament to consider his future.