Established on 30 June 2002, the New Zealand Parole Board holds around 9,000 hearings a year and assesses whether offenders serving over two years in prison can be released or whether they present an undue risk to the community. The Board also sets release conditions for offenders serving over two years. The Board is an independent statutory body, currently chaired by Hon. Warwick Gendall QC, and comprising about 40 members, about half of whom are judges or Panel convenors and the rest community-based members.
If you are a registered victim of crime, an offender, a supporter of a victim or an offender, or are a lawyer or other professional or another member of the community this site is to help you understand Parole and help you if you are involved in Parole Board activities.
Everyone has rights and these are preserved through the Parole process.
Parole encourages offenders' to address their offending and its causes to rehabilitate themselves to live in society without being a risk to the community. Possibility of Parole focuses offenders on what they need to live in the community with better behaviour. Release on Parole, with monitoring for recall to prison, provides real incentive to not reoffend.
Members of the Parole Board;
Under the Parole Act, the Attorney-General must be satisfied members have:
- knowledge or understanding of the criminal justice system; and
- the ability to make a balanced and reasonable assessment of the risk an offender may present to the community when released; and
- the ability to operate effectively with people from a range of cultures; and
- sensitivity to, and understanding of, the impact of crime on victims.
The Board sits in panels of three or four members to consider cases either in person at one of the country's prisons or by video conference.
The Parole Act 2002 requires the Board to consider cases where offenders are eligible for release on parole, compassionate release and release at their statutory or final release date. It also considers cases where either the Department of Corrections or Police have applied to have an offender, released on parole, recalled to prison. An offender on parole will have their progress monitored, which may include meeting the Board.
The Board does not consider the release of an offender on a short-term prison sentence, of two years or less, unless it involves an application for compassionate release is made to the chairperson.
New Zealand Parole Board administration
The Department of Corrections, under section 110 of the Parole Act, is required to ensure that the Board is provided with administration and training support.
The Board's administration is based in Wellington. The team of administrators are responsible for providing all the background information to members for upcoming hearings, as well as the preparation for hearings.
Registering as a victim
If you are registered on the victim notification system and would like to update your address details, or would like to request information about an offender to assist you in preparing a submission to the Board, contact:
The Victim Information Manager
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
Telephone: (04) 499 5620
Further information on victim notification is available on the Department of Corrections website
Other core justice-sector agencies