A rest home caregiver has admitted to stealing from residents.

Jaime Pairangi Kara was working as a caregiver at New Vista rest home in Whanganui last year when residents noticed money disappearing from their drawers.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stephen Butler told the Whanganui District Court last week that in her role Kara was tasked with looking after the health and wellbeing of elderly rest home residents.

He said staff become "suspicious" at Kara's behaviour, and noticed her going into residents' bedrooms when they weren't present. CCTV was set up in one of the bedrooms, and Kara was spotted rifling through the victim's drawers and taking their wallet, which had $65 in it.


She told police she didn't know why she took the money, Mr Butler said. Kara pleaded guilty to theft by a person in a special relationship.

Defence lawyer Stephanie Burlace said Kara was apologetic, embarrassed, and accepted there were no excuses for her offending.

"You have gone and stolen from someone who was trusting of you, who had every reason to feel safe in your care," Judge Dugald Matheson said to Kara.

"You are going to carry around the label when you are employed that you are a thief."

He sentenced her to 120 hours of community work and ordered she pay $65 reparation to the victim.