Student body in damage control after lies exposed

FALSE CLAIMS: Former Association of Students at UCOL (AS@U) president Danny Goodman.
FALSE CLAIMS: Former Association of Students at UCOL (AS@U) president Danny Goodman.

A Palmerston North man who admitted lying about his background, making up a new name, faking university qualifications and purporting to be a former policeman has quit as UCOL's student union president.

Former Association of Students at UCOL (AS@U) president Daniel "Danny" Alexander Goodman, whose given name is Darryl Anthony Newport, admitted to fabricating an "elaborate" story about his past.

He resigned yesterday, after earlier saying he hoped to carry on.

Goodman detailed his made-up past in a Manawatu Standard profile piece last week, claiming 15 years' experience with the New South Wales police and the New York Police Department.

He had said he spent some of his childhood in Australia, achieved an associate degree in policing practice at Charles Sturt University and an honours degree in applied science from the University of New South Wales.

Former Australian policeman Steve Elers raised concerns about Goodman's claims and, when confronted, Goodman admitted he lied, saying it was to deal with low self-esteem issues.

The students' association was yesterday reeling at the revelations.

AS@U vice-president Miranda Orpin said it had begun "damage control" to deal with the controversy.

She emailed staff, students and other affected members, informing them of Goodman's disclosure and passing on a message from him apologising for his deceit. AS@U executive members met UCOL management, the Tertiary Education Union branch president and talked to the New Zealand University Students' Association about what would be next.

"We're just working out what's best to do and how we can best serve the students - we're a student association and we need to be looking out for them," she said.

UCOL spokeswoman Christine Beech said the polytechnic did not investigate Goodman because he was not employed by UCOL and did not use his claims for educational gains.

Goodman's father, Terry Newport, a retired painter in Petone, said he was unaware of his son's new persona.

Darryl Newport, now Danny Goodman, was born in Motueka on February 5, 1969, to Newport and his first wife, Valmai Aldin, who died in 1993.

The couple had two sons and moved to Hutt Valley in the early 1970s before separating.

Newport lost contact with his sons for years, reconnecting with them at his wife's funeral.

He has kept in contact with his eldest son, but he lost contact with Darryl about five years ago.

Goodman declined to comment last night.

Manawatu Standard