Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Woman admits falsely receiving $80k in welfare payments

Photo / File
Photo / File

A Lower Hutt woman has admitted receiving nearly $80,000 over eight years in social welfare payments she was not entitled to.

Jacqueline Miriam Peke, 44, pleaded guilty to eight charges of falsely using a document and one charge of obtaining by deception at the Lower Hutt District Court today.

Anitesh Govind, who appeared for the Ministry of Social Development, said Peke successfully applied for the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) in 1990.

In February 2003, she began working for the Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust, but failed to mention her change in circumstances to the ministry.

Peke falsely submitted forms to the ministry stating she was not working or receiving other income until December 2011 and continued receiving payments.

She received $78,423 in DPB payments and $719 accommodation supplements, totalling $79,142, Mr Govind said.

Reparation was not sought by the ministry but Mr Govind said Peke had made arrangements to repay the money.

It was not known what role Peke was employed in at the trust, as people spoken to could not remember her working there.

On charge sheets, Peke's occupation was listed as a teacher, however a Teacher's Council spokeswoman said Peke had never been registered in New Zealand as a teacher.

Peke was remanded on bail until sentencing next month.

- APNZ

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