High-profile Kiwi fugitive Simone Wright, who evaded New Zealand police for more than a decade, has been arrested in Australia on a NZ warrant relating to drug charges, indecent assault and matters of fraud.

Wright was arrested by New South Wales police on Tuesday and she is being held in the Gosford police cells, the Herald understands.

It is understood Wright also goes by the name of Athene Silver.

In a statement, New Zealand police said a 41-year-old woman, who was an Australian citizen, had been arrested in Australia on their request.


The arrest was for outstanding NZ warrants in relation to "drugs, indecent assault, fraud matters and theft".

"She has appeared in court in Australia and has been remanded in custody to reappear there on September 28."

Wright, a former television presenter, first ran into trouble with her husband Paul James Bennett, in 2008.

A warrant for the pair's arrest was issued by police, relating to the sexual assault of a girl.

Bennett and Wright went on the run after they failed to turn up to court to face the assault charges, then went on to evade capture from New Zealand authorities for a further six years.

Following this stint they resurfaced with new identities, selling Rolex watches on TradeMe and brokering helicopter deals.

In 2015 Australian media reported the pair had been detained by police in Sydney - after sailing into the harbour on a yacht stolen from the Bay of Islands.

Police in New Zealand had been investigating whether Mr Bennett and Ms Wright were linked to the theft of the yacht.

Officers also wanted to speak to the couple in connection with an alleged NZ$250,000 fraud involving Canterbury helicopter company HeliPower.

Speaking to the Herald this evening, former HeliPower director Mike Jacomb said he was "thrilled" at the news of Wright's arrest.

"It's been a long time and lots of frustration but we are finally getting there."

The company had shut down as a result of the financial damage Bennett had caused, he said.

Jacomb it was time for Wright to "face the music".

In an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday in 2016, Bennett revealed his marriage to Wright had hit the rocks.

She had not spoken to him for more than a year and was now living 150km north of Sydney with her mother, he said.