Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Judgment: Kapa v R

[Full judgment: SC_114_2011__James_Kapa_v_R.pdf]

Supreme Court of New Zealand

20 December 2012



(SC 114/2011)

[2012 ] NZSC 119


This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at www.courtsofnz.govt.nz.

On 2 December 2007 James Kapa, the appellant, and Ronald van Wakeren burgled the National Army Museum at Waiouru and stole 96 gallantry medals worth over $5 million. Two members of the public, Lord Ashcroft and Mr Tom Sturgess, offered a substantial award of up to $300,000 for the return of these medals. The Commissioner of Police administered the award. Messrs Kapa and van Wakeren handed over the medals anonymously, through their lawyer, to the Commissioner. In return, Mr Kapa received $100,000 and Mr van Wakeren received $100,000. Messrs Kapa and van Wakeren were eventually arrested for and charged with burglary of the museum. Both pleaded guilty. Mr van Wakeren repaid his share of the reward but Mr Kapa did not. The District Court Judge imposed on Mr Kapa both a sentence of imprisonment and a sentence of reparation of $100,000, being the reward amount that Mr Kapa received. The issue for the Supreme Court was whether Lord Ashcroft and Mr Sturgess, as the reward donors, were persons for whose benefit a sentence of reparation could be made under s 32 of the Sentencing Act 2002.

The Supreme Court has held, by a majority comprising Elias CJ, McGrath, William Young and Chambers JJ, that the donors of the reward were not persons for whose benefit a sentence of reparation could be made. Only victims, as defined in s 4 of the Sentencing Act, can be the recipients of a sentence of reparation under s 32(1). Specifically, a person who is not himself or herself a victim cannot recover for loss or damage consequential on a victim’s loss of or damage to property under s 32(1)(c). Reward donors do not, by their payments, make themselves victims. The loss suffered by reward donors cannot be considered direct loss under s 32(1)(a) or consequential loss under s 32(1)(c). Nor can the Commissioner of Police recover reward money by way of a sentence of reparation. The costs he incurs are part of his investigative expenses. However, it may be possible to recover the reward amount from Mr Kapa under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

Glazebrook J dissents. She would have held that reward donors have suffered a direct loss under s 32(1)(a), if not consequential loss under s 32(1)(c).

In accordance with the views of the majority, the appeal is accordingly allowed and the sentence of reparation is quashed.

[Full judgment: SC_114_2011__James_Kapa_v_R.pdf]

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news