Ministry of Social Development v Charni Cleary [2016] NZDC 3095

Published 31 July 2016

Benefit fraud — omitting to supply material information — using a document to obtain pecuniary advantage — Social Security Act 1964, s 127 — Crimes Act 1961, s 228(b) — Ruka v Department of Social Welfare [1997] 1 NZLR 154. The prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt one Social Security Act charge of wilfully omitting to supply material information to the Ministry, and nine Crimes Act charges of using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage. Due to the nature of the charges and the way prosecution case was presented, if the charges were to succeed at the relevant times the defendant had to have been living in a relationship in the nature of marriage. On examination of the evidence the Judge determined this proved along with the other elements required.