Parliament's Wall of Shame #1 | The Jackal

16 May 2011

Parliament's Wall of Shame #1

Former Act MP David Garrett
ACT MP David Garrett obtained a fake passport with a false name using the birth certificate of a dead baby. He was arrested and charged in 2005 as part of a Police inquiry into wrongly obtained passports. The law can impose ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000 under passport legislation for the crime Garrett committed. However Garrett received name suppression and was discharged without conviction. It was latter revealed that he had created a disguise to gain the passport and also lied in Court in order to escape conviction.

David Garrett was the Sensible Sentencing Trusts legal adviser until 2008 and is a personal friend of Garth McVicar. In 2002 Garrett received a conviction and fine for assaulting a man in Tonga. In 2009 Garrett made inappropriate sexual comments to a female Act member and was chastised by Rodney Hide, who revealed he'd known about Garrett's prior convictions and chose to keep them secret. David Garrett has openly stated that he believes homosexuals are paedophiles. His hypocritical three strikes and you’re out policy is still in effect today. Garrett resigned from the Act Party in 2010.

Graham John Capill
Graham Capill served as the first leader of the now-defunct Christian Heritage Party and often used his position in parliament to speak out against homosexuality. In 2005 he was convicted of multiple sexual offences against girls under 12 years of age, and is currently serving a 9 year prison sentence with no minimum parole period. He was last considered for early release on Sept 28 2010. His next chance of early release will be in Sept 2011. The statutory sentence ends in June 2014. The Parole Board has twice declined Capill's applications for early release stating:

''Any level of risk, however, is likely to amount to undue risk for so long as Mr Capill's offending issues centred round offence-related sexual arousal, violence, relationship difficulties, and anti-social ways of thinking are insufficiently addressed without appropriate intervention either in prison or, under suitable stringency, in the community,'' the report said.

In the hearing it was revealed that Capill had tried to use his knowledge of the law as a police prosecutor to avoid the accusation of rape and that he'd sent out emails two weeks prior to the hearing saying that his sex with one of his young victims was consensual. Security at the Christchurch courthouse was tight when Capill was being sentenced in 2005, following an attack on him by former boxer Danny McNally. The retribution was captured on camera and extensively broadcast throughout New Zealand. 

Donna Awatere Huata
In Sept 2005, Act MP Donna Awatere Huata was sentenced to jail for two years and nine months for stealing from a Maori trust set up to help under-privileged children. Her husband Wi Huata was also sentenced to two years. An Auckland District Court jury found the couple guilty of fraud and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The Serious Fraud Office said the duo stole $82,000 from the Government funded Pipi Foundation and then tried to cover up their crime by altering the books and asking people to lie for them.

Some of the stolen money was used to pay for Awatere Huata's stomach stapling operation and some was used to pay state-integrated school fees for the couple's children. The foundation was set up by Awatere Huata in 1999 to help literacy and social skills of under-privileged Maori children and over three years received more than $840,000 in Government funding. Huata was expelled from the Act party on the allegations of fraud and subsequently undertook a legal claim to remain in Parliament as an Independent List MP. The Supreme Court ruled against her and she was subsequently removed from Parliament. In October 2010 another school she was heavily involved in was also forced to go into liquidation.

Trevor Rogers
Former National MP Trevor Rogers, having become increasingly frustrated with National's refusal to pursue his anti pornography policies left the party. He joined the Right of Centre, which had been founded by another dissident conservative, Ross Meurant. The Right of Centre party restyled itself as the New Zealand Conservative Party as a result of poor opinion poll performances. Meurant was later dismissed from Government over a conflict of business interests, leaving Rogers as party leader.

After leaving office, Rogers multi-million dollar helicopter project and other companies were folded and he applied for bankruptcy protection. The status of some of the assets from his various ventures was in doubt or disputed and liquidators called in forensic receivers and investigators. Some of the missing assets that were claimed as destroyed or sold by Mr and Mrs Rogers, were later found in concurrent property searches, having been sequestered in various shipping containers around Auckland. He was jailed for one month for contempt of court in February 2011, after failing to provide the Court with the whereabouts of the intellectual property relating to the helicopter businesses. Mr Rogers was censured for "continually lying to the court.” 

Nick Smith
Nick Smith is a National MP and recently received the Jackal's Asshole of the Week Award. In late March 2004, Smith was found guilty of contempt of court. He had been asked to assist a constituent with a Family Court case and made a number of public comments which broke the court's confidentiality rules and was also found to have pressured a witness in the case. Smith's defence was that he was exercising his responsibility as a constituency MP to aid a constituent and that his public utterances in the matter had served the public interest, but these claims were rejected by the court.

In June 2010, Osmose New Zealand took a defamation case against Smith to the High Court in Auckland. Osmose New Zealand alleges that Smith's statements made in July 2005 about the timber product, T1.2, destroyed the product's reputation caused the company to lose more than $14 million in estimated profits. On 10 June 2010, Smith settled the case by issuing an apology and making an undisclosed payment. Smith was quoted by the Dominion Post as saying “No public money is involved in the settlement, although I have been very grateful to have received $209,000 of public money from the Parliamentary Service”. 

The Speaker, Jonathan Hunt, held that contempt of court was insufficient to warrant expulsion from Parliament, as it did not fall within the statutory definition of a crime. What a crock!

Roger McClay
In 2010 former National Government Minister Roger McClay admitted to a $25,000 double-dipping rort of cash strapped charities and taxpayer money. He pleaded guilty to three representative fraud charges that he abused his ex-MP perk of taxpayer-subsidised flights, then falsely claimed travel costs from Keep New Zealand Beautiful and World Vision, the charities he was involved in. Judge Jan Doogue described the fraud as “significant” in the Auckland District Court where she indicated a sentence of community work if he pleaded guilty.

Police detectives searched the former National ministers house of the fraudulent ex-National MP. During his 15 years in Parliament, McClay was Minister of Youth Affairs and Associate Minister of Education and Social Welfare. He was then appointed Commissioner for Children, and in 2005 was made a companion of the Queen's Service Order. The disgraced ex-MP was farcically sentenced to 300 hours community service for his crimes. Being privileged really does have its bonuses.