Gary Knapp

Last updated

Gary Knapp
7th Leader of the Democratic Party
In office
22 August 1988 22 April 1991
Deputy Terry Heffernan
Preceded by Neil Morrison
Succeeded by John Wright
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for East Coast Bays
In office
6 September 1980 15 August 1987
Preceded by Frank Gill
Succeeded by Murray McCully
Personal details
Born1947 (age 7273)
Political party Social Credit (1978–1985)
Democrats (1985–1996)
Other political
affiliations
New Zealand First

Gary Thomas Knapp (born 1947) is a former New Zealand politician of the Social Credit Party.

Contents

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateParty
1980 1981 39th East Coast Bays Social Credit
1981 1984 40th East Coast Bays Social Credit
1984 1985 41st East Coast Bays Social Credit
1985 1987 Changed allegiance to: Democrats

He became Member of Parliament for East Coast Bays in 1980 when he defeated National candidate Don Brash in the 1980 by-election caused by the resignation of the sitting National MP. Knapp joined Bruce Beetham in parliament, where they both had high profiles. In 1981 Knapp was elected deputy leader at the party's annual conference. [1]

In the 1984 election, while Beetham lost Rangitikei to a National Party challenger, Knapp retained East Coast Bays, and another Social Credit candidate, Neil Morrison, won Pakuranga. Beetham continued as leader despite losing his seat and in 1985 Knapp failed to convince him to stand aside. Beetham did endorse Knapp to succeed him whenever he chose to retire. [2] [3] Beetham kept stalling his retirement leading to Knapp resigning as deputy leader in protest. [4] Morrison was later elected to replace Beetham as leader.

In the 1987 election Knapp and Morrison were both defeated by National candidates. The next year Morrison resigned as leader and Knapp was elected at the party's 1988 conference as leader. [5] Knapp led the Democrats at the 1990 election and contested East Coast Bays once again without success. Knapp stood down as leader at the 1991 party conference. [6]

Knapp was always critical of the Democrats decision to join the Alliance which he charged with overwhelming the Democrats identity due to being dominated by the NewLabour Party and in 1996 he quit the party. [7] Following his breaking with the Democrats he was involved with New Zealand First. [8]

Notes

  1. "New Deputy Says Social Credit Will Hold the Balance". The New Zealand Herald . 29 August 1981. p. 3.
  2. Shand, Greg (17 May 1985). "Knapp gets Beetham's blessing". Auckland Star . p. A1.
  3. "Beetham names Knapp as heir". Auckland Star . 17 May 1985. p. A3.
  4. Atkinson, Neill. "Beetham, Bruce Craig". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  5. Murphy, Tim (22 August 1988). "Democrats Stung From Their Long Slumber". The New Zealand Herald . p. 5.
  6. Rapson, Bevan (22 April 1991). "Democrats Pick New Leader". The New Zealand Herald . p. 12.
  7. Laugsen, Ruth (12 February 1996). "Knapp quits Democrat Party". The Dominion . p. 2.
  8. Speden, Graeme (9 February 1996). "Knapp poised to lead defection to NZ First". The Dominion . p. 2.

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References

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frank Gill
Member of Parliament for East Coast Bays
1980–1987
Succeeded by
Murray McCully
Party political offices
Preceded by
Neil Morrison
Leader of the Democratic Party
1988–1991
Succeeded by
John Wright
Preceded by
Jeremy Dwyer
Deputy Leader of the Social Credit Party
1981–1985
Succeeded by
Alasdair Thompson