They Are Us?

A woman who scammed cash from a fund set up to aid the victims of the Christchurch earthquakes was jailed:

A woman was described as “cynical, calculated, and manipulative” by a judge who jailed her for fraudulently claiming Red Cross hardship grants after the Christchurch earthquakes.

The woman, Donna Marie Nicola Paish also known as Nikita Victoria Burns, was jailed for two years three months for claiming grants in the names of people who really needed them.

Paish, 40, had admitted using documents fraudulently 20 times to receive $18,000 from a fund which New Zealanders had contributed to.

It was to help people who had to live without power, water, and sewerage, or who had to leave their homes, during the weeks after the earthquakes.


But a pair who attempted to scam the Mosque victims fund were given a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket:

Two people lied that they were at one of the mosques during the Christchurch terror attack so they could claim a share of the millions donated to the victims.

The pair, who stood to gain $17,000 each, escaped charges and were instead warned by police, who would not say why they chose not to prosecute them.

A Muslim community group says there are shooting victims in desperate need of financial support and it’s “extremely disappointing” people tried to gain access to the money illegitimately. […]

Members of the Muslim community have raised concerns about people trying to access the donated money illegitimately.

Police this week said they were aware of the concerns and followed up on information they were provided.

Two people had received written warnings for “making a false claim that they were present at the time of the shootings”, a police spokeswoman said.

She did not give further details about what happened or say why the pair were not prosecuted.

“We will not be providing comment on specific charging decisions.”


“They are us” – except when it comes to things like this, it seems. Obviously, the fact that the jailed woman was white and non-Muslim had nothing to do with the police decision. Presumably, this pair were not “cynical, calculated, and manipulative”.

Perhaps they used the Metiria defence?