Dartelle ALDER - 17/01/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Dartelle Maremare James ALDER

Hearing: 17 January 2020

at Hawke’s Bay Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
  • Mr A Hackney
  • Dr G Coyle


  • Mr M Phelps


  1. Dartelle Maremare James Alder was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, rape, abduction and unlawful sexual connection.  He was first imprisoned in December 2001 for this offending.
  2. He is 42 years of age.  He has minimum security classification.
  3. He did not previously offend prior to this offending.
  4. We last saw him in January 2018.  The Board then noted that his earlier time in prison had been very difficult but that there had been significant improvement more recently.  Mr Alder had undertaken a number of work-related qualifications and had commenced [withheld] counselling.  The Board said that Mr Alder needed to do the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme (ASOTP) and after his rehabilitation was completed, move towards reintegration.
  5. As far as the current position is concerned we began by giving Mr Alder a summary of what the victims had told us prior to his Board hearing.
  6. Mr Alder has clearly made good progress in reducing his anxiety.  He is living in self-care 1 within the Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and he has behaved well in prison.  He is working some 35 hours in the joinery and has reached stage 3 of the machinery qualifications, apparently the first person to do so while in prison.  This ultimately should be of value to him in employment once he is released.
  7. Since the last Board saw Mr Alder in January 2018, he has completed 27 one on one sessions with a psychologist.  That was completed in June 2018.  It was primarily to prepare him to do the ASOTP.  He completed that in 2018 with good reports.  It was proposed then that he continue with the Special Treatment Unit (STU) maintenance and develop a release plan and a reintegration plan.
  8. Further, he was encouraged to continue [withheld] counselling and, if possible, to begin work outside the wire and a possible release to work.
  9. It was also suggested that there be a structured risk assessment prepared for the Board.
  10. As to the current position, Mr Alder today was not seeking parole.  He accepted there was further reintegration work that was required of him.
  11. Firstly, he has been continuing with his [withheld] counselling.
  12. Secondly, he has continued his contact with forensic services and has recently changed his [withheld], which now seems to be working much better for him.
  13. He is assessed now as being of low-medium risk of re-offending.  He is currently in self-care 1.  There had been some issues about how he could usefully progress.  Corrections indicated they thought he should continue on with the STU maintenance group.  Mr Alder felt that was impeding his progress along self-care and with his reintegration.
  14. To resolve these issues there is to be a meeting next week with all of those interested in Mr Alder, including we hope, his counsel.  The idea is to identify a way forward for Mr Alder to ensure that he does have appropriate follow-up maintenance but also to try and provide a reintegration pathway for him.  We express our hope that it can provide an appropriate way forward, perhaps to self-care 2 and guided releases, work outside the wire and ultimately, release to work.
  15. Another matter that arose related to whether it was appropriate for Mr Alder to be released to [withheld].  His offending occurred in Hawke’s Bay. All of [withheld] are in Hawke’s Bay.  It is not necessary for us to make a decision but we have pointed out that should [withheld] be the place chosen, there are likely to be substantial pressures by way of publicity and perhaps anger in the local community that Mr Alder would be released to the very area where he committed this terrible crime.  He has discussed the matter with his family.  Mr Alder is aware of the issues.  We note that Mr Alder had been suggested as being an appropriate attendee at the [withheld] but that has been rejected on the basis that he would be too close to the area where he offended.  We simply signal this matter as something that will need considerable thought and care in the long term before his release.
  16. We also discussed briefly with Mr Alder the possibility of a restorative justice meeting.  He told us that he would be interested in a restorative justice meeting with the victims of his offending but will leave it to them to decide whether or not they wish to do so.
  17. We draw this matter therefore to the attention of the victims and leave the matter to them to progress further should they wish to do so.  In the meantime, as we have noted, Mr Alder did not seek parole and we agree he remains an undue risk.
  18. We will see him in 12 months time by the end of February 2021 with the hope that his reintegration has been significantly progressed.

Sir Ron Young