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False statement brings home detention and community work

Media Release

18 September 2015

False statement brings home detention and community work

A Christchurch taxi driver has been sentenced to four months home detention and 140 hours Community Work for making a false statement under the Citizenship Act.

Aso Mika, 48, a taxi driver from Bromley, appeared for sentence in the Christchurch District Court after pleading guilty to making the false statement.

Mrs Mika filled out an application to register a child as a New Zealand citizen by descent. She claimed she was the birth parent of the child she and her husband had customarily adopted in Samoa. An Internal Affairs citizenship officer found that Mrs Mika had actually been in New Zealand when she said she had given birth to the boy in Samoa. Mrs Mika admitted to an investigator she was not the child’s birth mother. In 1998 Mrs Mika was involved in another citizenship by descent application that was declined because of false birth details, but no prosecution was taken.

The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery, who initiated this prosecution, welcomed the sentence:

“This sends a clear message that there will be consequences for making false statements,” he said. “New Zealand citizenship is something to be valued as it provides a range of privileges to those who have it.

“The system relies on the honesty of applicants and the deliberate provision of false information undermines public trust and confidence in our records.

“Ensuring the integrity of our records is a vital part of good government where the public relies on such records.”

The maximum penalty for making a false statement under the Citizenship Act 1977 is five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $15,000.

© Scoop Media

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