Daniel LUFF - 06/12/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Daniel John LUFF

Hearing: 6 December 2019

at Spring Hill Corrections Facility via AVL from Christchurch Men’s Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
  • Assoc Prof. P Brinded
  • Ms M More


  • [withheld]


  1. Daniel John Luff was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, attempted murder, burglary, kidnapping and breaches of protection order.  He was first sentenced in 2002.  He had no convictions prior to that time.  He shot and killed a police officer and attempted to murder another police officer.
  2. We saw previously by way of a parole hearing but there was no psychological report and so we are seeing him again today.
  3. Mr Luff did not seek parole.  He is in the middle of doing the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) and hopes to complete the first part in January 2020 with likely some further maintenance required of him.  He then plans to return to Auckland Prison.
  4. Mr Luff is undertaking his PhD; he has already completed significant academic qualifications.  His plan, once he has completed the STURP, was to have a period of time on guided releases, perhaps to the university and then was looking towards release. He has broad support within his family and has good accommodation for any ultimate release.
  5. We told him today that our expectations had been of a rather fuller reintegration proposal.  Ordinarily, we would have expected a period of time in self-care so that he could illustrate that he could accommodate other people’s needs and manage shopping trips and the like.  Then we were looking perhaps to a more liberal regime where he might work outside the wire or even be on release to work.
  6. All of this is particularly relevant to Mr Luff given that it was difficulties in relationships that were partly the trigger for the killing of the police officer and the attempted murder of another police officer.
  7. Mr Luff has advised us that the current arrangements for the university to do his PhD, particularly his scholarship, essentially requires him to attend to the PhD work 50 hours a week and prohibits him from earning any further money.
  8. We have explained to Mr Luff that, in the end, the Board will have to be satisfied he is no longer an undue risk.  Part of that is likely to involve our assessment of whether or not he has not only learned the lessons from the STURP relevant to his offending but that he is able to apply them to a variety of circumstances.  It will be difficult to see that guided releases will satisfy us in that regard.
  9. The arrangements with the university were not discussed beforehand with the Board nor was it anticipated apparently the effect that it could have on our assessment of risk and reintegration.
  10. We think the Department of Corrections and the university should work together to try and meet the expectations of the Board in terms of reintegration.  There may be inventive ways in which to do this.  It might include for example, some form of release to work employment for Mr Luff at the university. In the end, it is not for us to manage Mr Luff’s sentence.  We have been clear, we hope, to Mr Luff that he will need to satisfy the Board that there has been proper testing of what he has learned on his rehabilitation programmes and at the moment he understands our doubt that his current plan would meet that.
  11. We will see him again in 18 months time, in May 2021.  He will have completed by then, we are sure, all of his rehabilitation and we hope he has developed a reintegration plan and has begun the plan.

Sir Ron Young