Sam TEHEI - 19/01/2016


Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002



Hearing: 19 January 2016 via AVL from NZPB Head Office, Wellington to [Withheld]

Members of the Board: 
      Hon JW Gendall QC – Panel Convenor
      Dr J Skipworth 
      Ms P Rose 

In attendance:


      Counsel:  [Withheld]  



1. Sam Tehei is serving a life sentence imposed on 19 January 1987 for the crime of murder.  His parole eligibility date was extended to 13 April 2005 because of later convictions for attempted murder in 1996 (of a fellow prisoner) and assaults in 1997 and 2002.

2. He was declined parole in 2014 and subject to a postponement order for two years from 28 January 2014.  Mr Tehei was seen for the first time since then today.  He does not seek parole, but through his counsel, [Withheld], seeks some “recommendation from the Board as to reintegrative activities”.

3. Mr Tehei has completed the STURP programme and other prison-based reintegration steps.  He has spent a significant proportion of his life in prison and is a high risk offender with gang sympathies and affiliations.  He commenced work outside the wire on 3 September 2015.  It is said that he would benefit from placement in Internal Self Care.  He has had five escorted outings and has behaved appropriately well on each of these.

4. It is clear Mr Tehei remains an undue risk to the safety of the community and has a considerable way to go before his risk would be reduced to a level where he could be paroled.

5. We accept that he has reached the reintegration state of his life sentence and it is recorded that he has considerable reintegration needs.  The reintegration pathway is now appropriate and how that is pursued is a matter for the prison management.  Those are sentence management decisions for it and not the Parole Board.  But, of course, if those responsible for those decisions work towards Mr Tehei having further escorted and unescorted outings and the opportunity to have Release to Work, then we would accept and see that as appropriate.

6. For the moment, Mr Tehei is declined parole and he will be seen again in 12 months’ time; that is in the week commencing 7 February 2017.  We are not able to define a “specified activity” in terms of the Parole Act 2002.

7. The Board would benefit from an updated Psychological report at the next hearing.


Hon JW Gendall QC
Panel Convenor