One Woman Crime Wave Highlights Defects In NZ’s Legal System (Updated)

Patricia Toia, 29, was recently deported from Australia back to her native New Zealand. Toia has a criminal history that’s said to include 30 jail terms for crimes that include robbery, assault and trafficking heroin. Whilst in jail she committed another 56 offences, such as assault, intimidation and damaging and destroying property. Whilst in Australia the Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Julian Block said of her in 2007:

“She is a threat to the Australian community, and Australia deserves protection against her, given that the risk of recidivism is, as must be obvious, very substantial indeed.”

We wonder what protection New Zealand will have against her, if any.

She arrived in Auckland on 10 September by chartered jet (costing $40,000) because commercial carriers refused to touch her and is now living in an hotel at the tax payers expense.

According to Garth Vicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust her return exposes a deficiency within the justice system in New Zealand. This quote is taken from a News NewstalkZB report:

“The Sensible Sentencing Trust sees the deportation of a woman with over 30 pages of criminal convictions from Australia as proof of what’s wrong with our justice system.

Patricia Toia was born in New Zealand, but has lived most of her life in Australia. She has been sent back after racking up 30 jail terms, and well over 100 driving convictions.

Trust spokesman Garth Vicar says it is just a matter of time before the woman, dubbed a “human crime wave” breaks the law here. he says New Zealand’s criminal-friendly system means she can come home to make a fresh start. In her case, he believes it is likely to include a fresh crime and therefore a fresh victim. Mr McVicar says Toia is a cunning and manipulative career criminal.”

Mr McVicar says the Government claims to be tough on crime, so it needs to step up and make sure she is watched for the safety of New Zealanders. He says she should have been put on permanent police supervision the moment she arrived here, rather than waiting for her to reoffend.”

New Zealand already has the second highest rate of total crime victims in the Western World, her return is going to do nothing to improve that. Perhaps her repatriation should been seen as an impetus to review the laws and systems currently in place for the handling of repeat offenders, and the risks they present to the society around them. A three strikes rule could be just the thing.


The New Zealand Herald newspaper tried to find Ms Toia, only to find that she’d disappeared from her hotel. Staff told them she’d been “intimidating” towards other guests and had run up $860 in international calls. They had no idea of who she really was, nor did they realise the circumstances under which she’d left Australia.