Ronald VAN WAKEREN - 14/12/2017

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 14 December 2017

at [withheld]

Members of the Board:

  • Judge L Bidois – Panel Convenor
  • Mr B McMurray
  • Mr C King

Counsel: [withheld]


1. Ronald Van Wakeren is for reconsideration of parole.  He is serving 12 years three months for 80 offences that are fraud related.  His sentence commencement date was 1 February 2006, his parole eligibility date was 4 June 2013, his statutory release date is 23 September 2019.  Mr Van Wakeren is today supported by his counsel [withheld].
2. Mr Van Wakeren was previously released on parole in December 2015 but an interim order was made on 16 November 2016 and made final on 20 December 2016.  The Board in making that order determined that he would be seen in this sitting of the Board for reconsideration of parole.
3. Mr Van Wakeren seeks a grant of parole to [withheld].  That address has been assessed as suitable.  Mr Van Wakeren submits that there is 19 months to go, and that he has the support of his elderly parents, he likewise wishes to support them in their later years, he has undertaken work with Dr [withheld] a private psychologist, and that a Corrections psychological report says that he has made appropriate progress in relation to further rehabilitative measures that has been undertaken.
4.[withheld] submits that with the much stronger special conditions that are now proposed that that would further reduce the risks that Mr Van Wakeren may pose to the community.  [withheld] points out there was no actual offending other than breaching his release conditions.
5. Mr Van Wakeren is employed within the prison, is doing well and there have been no behavioural issues.  He engaged with [withheld] to work on an individual treatment programme, and she has assisted in preparing a detailed release safety plan.  She is also prepared to work with him in the community.
6. The Corrections psychologist says that the individual treatment is relatively recent, and his skills are yet to be adequately demonstrated over time across relevant high risk situations and context.  The psychologist recommended no further treatment but supported progress, in the reintegrative phase of this sentence including application for internal Self Care, support to engage in further employment initiatives within the prison, and later release to work if that became available.
7. The psychologist also said, however, that if released on parole it is recommended that he engage in brief individual treatment with a department psychologist to support him with the implementation of a safety plan in the community setting.  A focus should be placed on consolidating his risk management strategies and supporting him to practise and implement these across relevant high risk situations in the community as they are arise.
8. Mr Van Wakeren spoke of a greater insight into his offending, and into his behaviour, and is prepared to be more transparent, communicative, and engage better in the future.
9. Mr Van Wakeren did raise an issue with his probation officer where he disclosed that upon request for a home visit his [withheld] refused permission.  That was of some concern to the Board as to suitability of the proposed sponsors.
10. [withheld] at the conclusion of her report said Mr Van Wakeren should engage in a whānau hui/support meeting as soon as appropriate with his probation officer and relevant supports for the purpose of sharing his relapse prevention/safety plan.
11. The Board considers that is a sensible proposal, particularly in the light of the boundaries that [withheld] have imposed on Mr Van Wakeren and accepting him [withheld], but also to enlighten [withheld] as to what their responsibilities are as a sponsor housing a person on parole.
12. Given the comprehensive special conditions, the length of time that Mr Van Wakeren has spent since being recalled, the one-on-one treatment that he has received that despite there being effectively 20 months to statutory release date, he does not pose an undue risk to the community.  Parole will be granted from [withheld].  Standard and special conditions will run through to sentence end date, special conditions are:

(1) Undertake and complete any assessment and or programme/treatment if directed, including a Departmental Programme or Problem Gambling Treatment and abide by the rules of the programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.

(2) Attend for a psychological assessment if directed. You are to attend and complete any treatment/counselling if recommended by the psychological assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.

(3) You are not to purchase, possess or use any electronic devices, including a mobile phone capable of accessing the internet for any purpose for the duration of your Parole without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(4) You are not to enter any internet cafe, cyber cafe or any place used for accessing the internet without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer

(5) You are not to enter licensed premises or any premises where gambling is permitted, including casino's without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(6) To make available or surrender upon request to a Probation Officer, or an approved agent on their behalf, any computer or electronic device (including a cell phone) used by you, that is capable of accessing the internet, for the purpose of checking or monitoring that your use of the device is in compliance with your conditions of release.

(7) To reside at [withheld] and not to move from that address, or any subsequently approved address, without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(8) Upon release from prison, to travel directly to [withheld] and await the arrival of a Probation Officer and a representative of the monitoring company.

(9) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer and comply with the requirements of residential restrictions. To remain at your approved address between the hours of 9pm and 6am daily, unless your absence from that address has been approved in writing by a Probation Officer, or is permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.

(10) To notify your Probation Officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.

(11) You are not to engage in, or have any role in the affairs of any business, trust, company or voluntary organisation without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(12) You are not to give financial advice to any other person, paid or unpaid.

(13) You are not to handle financial transactions for or on behalf of any person, or the money of, any other person paid or unpaid.

(14) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.

(15) Not to contact, communicate with or be in the presence of Mr Kapa, or any other co-offender unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer

(16) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you, to enable the Parole Board to monitor your compliance with your release conditions.

Judge L Bidois
Panel Convenor