A Top Judge sorts out ratbag debtor

What a ripper…perhaps New Zealand should consider debtors prisons to sort these ratbags.

Jacqueline Anne Galland was before the court over a $2000 debt that she owed to a previous landlord.

The Tenancy Tribunal had ruled that Galland skipped away from a rental property leaving unpaid rent and so much rubbish that it cost the property owner $1000 to clean it up and resulted in him taking five trailer loads of rubbish to the dump.

In all, Galland owed the landlord $2014, but she alleged to the tribunal that she could only afford to pay him $2 a week.

The landlord asked that Galland be means tested by the court. Her allegation that she had no discretionary income was bearing out in court – until Judge David Saunders asked how much she spent a week on cigarettes.   

Galland said she did not smoke and did not she provide her son, who she supports, with cigarette money.

“But you asked him to get $62 worth of tobacco in New World on Monday,” Judge Saunders said.

“No I didn’t,” Galland replied.

“You were standing there beside him and told him what to buy,” the judge said.


Judge Saunders: “Your son has a bald head and has a passion for cars, because he also bought a car magazine?” Galland: “Oh, that. That was Wednesday and it was his (the son’s) girlfriend’s money.”

Judge Saunders: “Wednesday was last night. It was Monday, and you were with your son because I was right behind you in the queue.”


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  • opusx

    Absolutely awesome.

  • I knew Dave Saunders long before he was appointed to the bench. He is another Judge with common sense in spades. I would love to have seen the look on Ms Galland’s face when Judge Saunders busted her.

  • Ronnie Chow

    We need more of these judges who stake out supermarkets in their own time .
    God New Zealand is a small town .

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    What a top judge. I bet she shit herself when she realised she had been caught telling bullshit in court. It seems that the victim(Landlord she owed money too) misses out again. She will pay the first few payments, then stop and that will be the end of it.

    • Dave Broad

      Not necessarily. Given this woman is likely a long term beneficiary, the courts can produce a sealed attachment order against her benefit, for a fixed weekly amount until the debt is repaid. Often such debtors lead chaotic lives, & their benefits are sometimes changed or temporarily suspended. In that case the attachment order stops, but all one has to do is to send a copy of the sealed attachment order to WINZ, 93 Mascot ave, PO Box 439003, Mangere, Auckland. And you’ll be “reattached” to that debtors benefit.

  • peterwn

    Years ago, a guy was caught pee-ing over milk crates beside a dairy. He was charged with ‘casting offensive matter’. ‘I buy my milk from that dairy’ said the judge handing down a heavier than usual fine.

  • peterwn

    Presumably she is not a ‘renter’ at present as she would be on a tenancy blacklist.

  • motorizer

    Ha ha ha top job. I bet a clever lawyer would get her off on circumstantial evidence or such the like, though.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    Why not make he pay it back at $300 a week? Can’t afford it? Mow some lawns or something, get a second job

  • ConwayCaptain

    What we need are MAGISTRATEs to try these low level crime. Ex Military officers. MN Captains to bring some common sense in to the system

  • Beagle2

    Fucking brilliant!

  • deanobravo

    I’ve never understood why if you steal $2000 and get caught you’ll probably go to jail but if you obtain $2000 worth of services and then don’t pay – nothing! Can somebody tell me what the difference is? Because I can’t see it.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Cut her benifit by $62 per week

  • Rex Widerstrom

    So wage and salary earning and business owning taxpayers should underwrite the risk of property developers even more so than they do now (by paying more tax so they can enjoy deductions on the maintenance and improvement of a non-productive asset) by funding debtors prisons?


    Are we going to imprison the owner of a business in which people invest but which fails to pay a return? (unless of course they acted fraudulently, stole from the firm etc.) Every business sometimes encounters a bad debt when a client goes bust. If you’re not making enough profit to cover the occasional loss you’re an idiot.

    Compared to entrepreneurs (whom we should be doing far more to encourage), those who sink their cash into property face very minimal risk. About the only way they can lose is with a dud tenant.

    Fair enough said tenant should be sued, and made to repay the debt if they can afford to do so. But taxpayers already pay the operating costs of courts in their civil jurisdiction (costs, when they can be recovered, never reflecting the reality of the actual expense). That’s quite enough subsidisation of landlords thanks.

    • Agent BallSack

      debtor prisons should contract toilet cleaning services perhaps. treat someone like shit and end up cleaning it
      Seripissoff should be the cleaner at the cake tin is what I am saying here.

  • BR

    With the current system weighted in favour of tenants, there may soon be very little property available to rent. I have several friends who are commercial landlords. Sometimes the tenants get months behind in the rent and they are unable to be kicked out. They have to go through the tenancy tribunal and jump through hoops just to be allowed to get rid of the bastards. The law should stipulate that once a tenant is in arrears, they are trespassing and that the landlord may use any means necessary, including physical force, to evict them.


    • GregM

      Agree Bill, I now have a tenant that paid two weeks up front, plus two weeks bond. The bond cheque bounced and I haven’t seen a cent from the ratbag for six weeks. I have served him with the 14 day notice of arrears, and am waiting ( waiting, waiting ) for a date from the tenancy tribunal.
      It’s a fucking joke. Why can’t I just beat the shit out of him until he pays up, and / or repossess his car to recover what he legally owes, and then kick him out and blacklist him.
      I’m a property manager, I’m sick of it, good on Judge Saunders.

  • baw

    Debtors prison – locking somebody up costs about $70’000 a year.

    Are you sure?

    • Agent BallSack

      Yup. Still cheaper than paying a living wage to a street cleaner. Go to debtors prison which contracts out street cleaning, scrub cutting, toilet cleaning for $1 an hour and you wont want to go back in a hurry

      • baw

        Living wage costs about $40,000 a year, or far less if you pay them minimum wage. Jail still costs more.

        Far cheaper is to cut the dole. Charities can cut their support, but the law requires the govt to pay out benefits to anyone who is eligible. We have mentoring programs for young persons and we manage their money. Perhaps a similar version could be undertaken to help these people – with the knowledge if that they do not change they will be cut.

  • JimmyMatamata

    Good on the Judge. We have been chasing a former tenant for over two years for approx 2k in unpaid rent. Bailiffs can never find her to serve her with the court summons. Sooo frustrating.

    Sealed Tenancy Tribunal orders should come with automatic attachment orders (on their wages or on their benefit) so landlords dont have to waste thousands of taxpayer dollars chasing bad tenants through the inadequate enforcement process.

  • Col

    What a cracker that was, fucking retard.

  • Kopua Cowboy