A man accused of kidnapping an Auckland girl last July has admitted the charge.
Cina Ma, aged five, was abducted outside her family's home on the North Shore last July.
She was held for ransom for four days before being found unharmed.
Dequiong Deng, 25, was due to appear in the North Shore District Court in May for a deposition hearing.
But in an unexpected move he appeared on Thursday with a new lawyer, and entered a guilty plea to the charge of kidnapping.
Deng told the court, the Ma family and Cina that he was sorry. Her
father was present at the hearing, but made no comment as he left the court.
Deng was remanded in custody and will appear at the High Court for sentencing on 12 May.
The Chinese Association says Dequiong Deng's guilty plea means her family will be spared the ordeal of testifying against him.
The Chinese Association's Auckland chairperson, Kai Luey, says he's glad the man is contrite enough to save everyone time and money by admitting to his guilt.
He says he's especially happy that the family won't have to relive the experience in court.
Mr Luey says the Chinese community will also be relieved that the case won't have to be dragged out for longer than necessary.
He says it's unfortunate that there are so many high profile cases involving Chinese people, especially as they are under-represented in crime statistics.