Mikaere HURA - 09/03/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Mikaere James HURA

Hearing: 9 March 2020

at Tongariro Prison via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor
  • Mr C Borrows
  • Mr A Spierling


  • Ms E Reilly

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]

In Attendance:

  • Mr D Innes – Case Manager
  • Mr L Kloppers – Farm Instructor


  1. Mikaere James Hura is serving a sentence of six years’ imprisonment following his conviction for the manslaughter of Raymond and James Fleet.  He becomes eligible for parole on 26 March 2020 and he has a statutory release date of 25 March 2024.
  2. His offending arose against the background of senior members of Mangu Kaha’s involvement in methamphetamine manufacturing and dealing.  It would seem as if those senior gang members sought retribution against Raymond Fleet over suspicions that some methamphetamine had gone missing.  Mr Hura and another prospect were required to assist them and were present at the time of the fatal assault on both victims by a Mr Hone.
  3. Mr Hura has a short offending history involving a previous conviction for driving with an excess breath or blood alcohol level.  He has a RoC*Rol of .28403.  He holds a minimum security classification.
  4. Mr Hura told us that he made the decision to accompany his co-offenders to what turned out to be the fatal scene because he was still prospecting to join Black Power and he feared the consequences if he did not.  He accepted that he knew violence was likely.  He referred to a previous beating he had incurred at the hands of Mr Hone for not following orders.  He told us that he accepted responsibility for his role in the offending that occurred and the decisions he made.
  5. We refer to that by way of background as prior to today’s parole hearing the Board met with one of his victims’ family who expressed her concern that Mr Hura had not clearly taken responsibility for the decisions he made.  He tended to shift his responsibility to the principal offender, whereas he could have made a difference at various points as events unfolded.  She also indicated a willingness to engage in a restorative justice meeting with Mr Hura.  Finally, she requested that Mr Hura not be permitted to return to the Mamaku area when he leaves prison.
  6. Mr Hura made it clear to us that he accepted the criticism of his victim that he made decisions that contributed to the death of her brother and son.  He acknowledged he should have made different decisions. Through the work he had done in prison he maintained that he had changed.  Foremost among the changes was the decision to sever all contact and association with the gang.  We are satisfied from the information before us that he has been committed to that end for some time and demonstrated that commitment.  Mr Hura also acknowledged that he should not return to the Rotorua area when he left prison.
  7. To date Mr Hura has completed the Mauri Tu Pae programme and the follow up maintenance.  He has completed a number of educational and work-related programmes.  He moved from the internal farm to the external farm where he is driving the tractor and is in a relatively trusted position.  He has prepared a safety plan and at the end of last month participated in a reintegration meeting with his whānau and supporters where he presented his plan as to how he will keep himself and the community safe when he leaves prison.  He told us that he would be living with [withheld].  He has solid support.  That was in evidence at the hearing with the attendance of [withheld].
  8. Ms Reilly appeared as counsel and made oral submissions to supplement those that were before the Board in writing.  She emphasised the changes Mr Hura had made since he came to prison and the strength of his support.  He was assessed as being at low risk of re-offending and his release plan would further mitigate that risk.
  9. While we acknowledge the progress he has made, we see considerable benefit for Mr Hura in participating in a restorative justice meeting with his victims’ sister and mother before he leaves prison.  He expressed his motivation to participate.  In our view his participation in such a meeting will further develop his insight into his offending, the decisions he made at the time and the changes he has made since.  Rather than holding a further parole hearing at some date in the future, we are setting a date for his release to allow that meeting to occur while he is in Tongariro Prison.
  10. Accordingly, we direct Mr Hura’s release from prison on 18 May 2020.  Thereafter he will be subject to standard conditions and special conditions set out below for a period of two years.  One of his conditions requires him not to use, possess or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances.  He is aware that he may be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing at any time.
  11. We have also included a condition for a monitoring hearing in September of this year.  For that hearing the Board requests a report from Mr Hura’s probation officer as to his compliance with release conditions and his progress on parole.  If, after reviewing that report the Board requires Mr Hura to personally attend the hearing, he will receive the appropriate direction.  Otherwise the matter will be considered on the papers.  We impose that condition having regard to the seriousness of Mr Hura’s offending and the need for him to maintain his distance from the Bay of Plenty and to establish a new life away from gang influences and in a supportive environment.  It is important that he complies with release conditions that are intended to mitigate his risk of further offending and to assist with his reintegration.  We do not see partial residential restrictions as necessary to that end.
  12. As soon as practicable. we invite his case manager to initiate the restorative justice process so that the meeting can take place before he leaves prison.
  13. On his release from prison, Mr Hura’s special conditions are as follows:

    (1) Not to enter the Rotorua area, including Mamaku, as defined by a Probation Officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (2) To reside at [withheld] or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (3) Not to communicate or associate, directly or indirectly, with any person known to you to associate with Black Power or associated chapters unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (4) If directed, to attend an assessment for a departmental maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.

    (5) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.

    (6) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offenders directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (7) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a monitoring hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.

Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor