Sam TEHEI - 22/02/2017

Parole hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 22 February 2017 at [Withheld] Prison by AVL to [Withheld] Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Hon. JW Gendall QC (Panel Convenor)
  • Judge L Bidois
  • Mr B McMurray
  • Dr J Skipworth


  • [Withheld]


1. Sam Tehei is serving a life sentence for murder imposed on 19 November 1987.  His parole eligibility date was extended to 13 April 2005.  Since his murder conviction he has incurred convictions for assault, possession of cannabis (x2), attempted murder and assault with a weapon.  He has spent 30 years in prison. Obviously he has had high reintegrative needs.

2. He was subject to a postponement for two years on 28 January 2014 and was last seen by the Board on 19 January 2016.  He had completed the STURP Programme but was described as, “A high risk offender with gang affiliations.”

3. Since then he has incurred a minor misconduct on 2 October 2016, has had some escorted outings and was approved for release to work.  He commenced this at [Withheld]  on 18 April 2016 which ended when the season was completed.  But he has had some further opportunity on release to work and work in the prison library. He returned to the orchard work for a short period in November 2016.  He has been approved for further release to work at [Withheld], hopefully to commence later this month.

4. Mr Tehei has been working with [Withheld], [Withheld]  and his case manager to obtain support and accommodation. He has been offered accommodation with [Withheld] as from 30 April 2017.

5. Psychologist reports that he has a long history of [Withheld] involvement at a senior level. There are some concerns arising out of a recent intel report with his conversations of whānau members.  He describes those conversations to simply being discussions with friends that he knows, and enquiring about others who may be gang members, but he insists that he has put behind him any affiliations or interest in pursuing criminal activities and association with any gangs.

6. He has had positive reports from his release to work employers. He has had escorted visits and outings and there have been positive changes in his behaviour and attitudes through his intensive treatment.  This has been relatively recent however and does not appear to have been tested extensively across less restricted environments.

7. Amongst the psychologist’s recommendations is that external self-care may be a potential future option but it seems as though that may not happen.

8. It is obvious from the psychologist’s report that Mr Tehei has moved in to the early stage of reintegration. He would need careful management as on a number of his dynamic risk factors, he has a PCL-R score which is within a range that it is likely to meet the diagnostic criteria of psychopathy. But his progress in recent times has been encouraging.  The Psychologist reports that Mr Tehei is aware of his problem areas and that behavioural changes have been made but, “However these changes need to be tested across time and context.”

9. Such progress Mr Tehei has made needs to continue. He needs a gradual reintegration back into the community which is to be very cautiously managed. He has to be able to prove himself over a reasonable period of time in the release to work environment or such other reintegrative activities as prison management deem appropriate.  Extended opportunities in release to work and reintegrative activity may enable him also to hopefully build up his circle of support in the [Withheld] area. That may take some time.

10. Mr Tehei has not yet reached the stage where he meets the statutory criteria for release on parole as he remains an undue risk to the safety of the community and parole is declined.  He will be seen again in 12 months’ time, that is in the month of February 2018, namely before 28 February 2018.

Hon. JW Gendall QC
Panel Convenor