Gary Knapp

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Gary Knapp
3rd Leader of the Democratic Party
In office
Preceded by Neil Morrison
Succeeded by John Wright
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for East Coast Bays
In office
Preceded by Frank Gill
Succeeded by Murray McCully
Personal details
Born 1947 (age 71–72)
Political party Social Credit (1978–1985)
Democrats (1985–1996)
Other political
New Zealand First

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

Early life and career

Knapp was born 1947. Before entering politics he worked as a used car salesman.

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
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 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. But in the 1987 election Knapp and Morrison were both defeated by National candidates, see Social Credit Party (New Zealand). Knapp also stood in the 1990 election without success.

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.[1] Following his breaking with the Democrats he was involved with New Zealand First.[2]


  1. ^ Laugsen, Ruth (12 February 1996). "Knapp quits Democrat Party". The Dominion. p. 2.
  2. ^ Speden, Graeme (9 February 1996). "Knapp poised to lead defection to NZ First". The Dominion. p. 2.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frank Gill
Member of Parliament for East Coast Bays
Succeeded by
Murray McCully
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