SFO charges iwi leader Roger Pikia
The Serious Fraud Office has brought fraud charges against Roger Pikia, the chairman of Te Arawa River Iwi Trust (TARIT) and its investment company THL Limited (THL).
Mr Pikia (52) did not enter a plea when he appeared in the Auckland District Court today. He is charged with ‘Obtaining by deception’, ‘Corrupt acceptance of gift by an agent’, ‘Receiving a secret reward for procuring a contract’, ‘Perverting the course of justice’ and ‘Conspiracy to commit an offence’. The charges are in relation to his role as chairman of TARIT and THL.
Mr Pikia’s co-defendant, who is charged with ‘Conspiracy to commit an offence’, was not present during the hearing.
Mr Pikia has been remanded on bail to reappear in the Auckland District Court on 26 February.
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550
Note to editors
Crimes Act offences
240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
(1) Every one is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception who, by any deception and without claim of right,—
(a) obtains ownership or possession of, or control over, any property, or any privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly; or
(b) in incurring any debt or liability, obtains credit; or
(c) induces or causes any other person to deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse, destroy, or alter any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage; or
(d) causes loss to any other person.
(1A) Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who, without reasonable excuse, sells, transfers, or otherwise makes available any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage knowing that, by deception and without claim of right, the document or thing was, or was caused to be, delivered, executed, made, accepted, endorsed, or altered.
(2) In this section, deception means—
(a) a false representation, whether oral, documentary, or by conduct, where the person making the representation intends to deceive any other person and—
(i) knows that it is false in a material particular; or
(ii) is reckless as to whether it is false in a material particular; or
(b) an omission to disclose a material particular, with intent to deceive any person, in circumstances where there is a duty to disclose it; or
(c) a fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem used with intent to deceive any person.
117 Corrupting juries and witnesses
Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who—
(a) dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person, by threats, bribes, or other corrupt means, from giving evidence in any cause or matter (whether civil or criminal, and whether tried or to be tried in New Zealand or in an overseas jurisdiction); or
(b) influences or attempts to influence, by threats or bribes or other corrupt means, a member of a jury in his or her conduct as such (whether in a cause or matter tried or to be tried in New Zealand or in an overseas jurisdiction, and whether the member has been sworn as a member of a particular jury or not); or
(c) accepts any bribe or other corrupt consideration to abstain from giving evidence (whether in a cause or matter tried or to be tried in New Zealand or in an overseas jurisdiction); or
(d) accepts any bribe or other corrupt consideration on account of his or her conduct as a member of a jury (whether in a cause or matter tried or to be tried in New Zealand or in an overseas jurisdiction, and whether the member has been sworn as a member of a particular jury or not); or
(e) wilfully attempts in any other way to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice in New Zealand or the course of justice in an overseas jurisdiction.
310 Conspiring to commit offence
(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), every one who conspires with any person to commit any offence, or to do or omit, in any part of the world, anything of which the doing or omission in New Zealand would be an offence, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years if the maximum punishment for that offence exceeds 7 years’ imprisonment, and in any other case is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had committed that offence.
(2) This section shall not apply where a punishment for the conspiracy is otherwise expressly prescribed by this Act or by some other enactment.
(3) Where under this section any one is charged with conspiring to do or omit anything anywhere outside New Zealand, it is a defence to prove that the doing or omission of the act to which the conspiracy relates was not an offence under the law of the place where it was, or was to be, done or omitted.
Secret Commission Act offences
4 Acceptance of such gifts by agent an offence
(1) Every agent is guilty of an offence who corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, or solicits from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gift or other consideration as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do, any act in relation to the principal’s affairs or business (whether such act is within the scope of the agent’s authority or the course of his employment as agent or not), or for showing or having shown favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the principal’s affairs or business.
(2) Every agent who diverts, obstructs, or interferes with the proper course of the affairs or business of his principal, or fails to use due diligence in the prosecution of such affairs or business, with intent to obtain for himself or for any other person any gift or other consideration from any person interested in such affairs or business, shall be deemed to have corruptly solicited a consideration within the meaning of this section.
8 Receiving secret reward for procuring contracts an offence
(1) Every person is guilty of an offence who advises any person to enter into a contract with a third person and receives or agrees to receive from that third person, without the knowledge and consent of the person so advised, any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward for the giving of that advice or the procuring of that contract, unless the person giving that advice himself acts as the agent of the third person in entering into the contract, or is to the knowledge of the person so advised the agent of that third person.
(2) For the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to advise another person to enter into a contract if he makes to that other person any statement or suggestion with intent to induce him to enter into the contract.
About the SFO
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act.
The SFO is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption.
The presence of an agency dedicated to white collar crime is integral to New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity and low levels of corruption.
The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.
Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”
Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”
In considering whether a matter involves serious or complex fraud, the Director may, among other things, have regard to:
- the suspected nature and consequences of the fraud and/or;
- the suspected scale of the fraud and/or;
- the legal, factual and evidential complexity of the matter and/or;
- any relevant public interest considerations.
The SFO’s Annual Report 2019 sets out the agency’s achievements over the past year and is available online at www.sfo.govt.nz.
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