A woman charged with assault after claiming she was punched for speaking te reo Maori has been put on a good behaviour bond.

Shona Maiden, 46, appeared in the Manukau District Court this evening.

She had previously pleaded guilty.

Tonight, Judge Charles Blackie told Maiden sentencing would be postponed for 12 months and he ordered her to pay $130 in court costs.


Judge Blackie said he did not feel comfortable giving Maiden a custodial sentence - which for a charge of common assault can be up to six months in jail - because the picture of what happened was not clear.

Maiden was charged after CCTV footage showed she had punched a man several times outside the 123 Casino Karaoke Bar in Howick after New Year's Eve celebrations.

The man was also charged with common assault, but had pleaded not guilty.

Before police had seen the bar's CCTV footage, Maiden approached the Herald and other media claiming she had been beaten after speaking te reo.

She said that as she left the bar, she called out to some people: "Ka kite ano" (See you later).

She claimed a man took issue with that and questioned why a "Palagi" (European) would use such words.

Tonight, the court heard that the CCTV footage showed Maiden in fact threw the first punch.

The defendant was supported by a community minister from the Salvation Army's Howick branch.

Her lawyer said she was remorseful for her actions and had stopped drinking alcohol.

She was also looking to start studying at Unitec polytechnic.

Her lawyer said: "She does apologise and clearly seeks an opportunity to just move on from that night."