A Dannevirke accountant pleaded guilty in the Masterton District Court on Tuesday to stealing more than $150,000 from a client.

Natasha Hinehuia Haycock, 37, pleaded guilty before Judge Barbara Morris to a charge of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Haycock was an accountant for the victim, a Hawke's Bay company known as RJ 2012.

Haycock's employer was a Dannevirke-based accountancy firm, from which she obtained details of the victim's financial information, including internet banking details.


Between September 2013 and August 2015, Haycock made several direct internet transactions from the RJ 2012 account, withdrawing a total of $155,959 and putting it into her personal bank account.

She made these appear genuine by coding them as ACC payments, tax payments, and accountancy fees.

The victim's bank became suspicious, and the company confronted Haycock, who made a part repayment of $43,000.

However $112, 959 is still outstanding.

Judge Morris asked Haycock's lawyer, Susie Barnes, why the matter was being heard in Masterton.

Ms Barnes said it was because Haycock's lawyer was based in Masterton, and Haycock wanted to avoid paying lawyer's travel costs because she was still engaged in repaying the victim.

Judge Morris said the case should be heard in the community it had occurred, and remanded Haycock on bail to reappear in the Dannevirke District Court on April 15, at 11.30am.