Blair Wiremu TAMIHANA 15/9/2021
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Blair Wiremu TAMIHANA
Hearing: 15 September 2021
via AVL to Otago Corrections Facility
Members of the Board: Judge D Mather – Panel Convenor
Dr S Davis
In Attendance: (withheld) - Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mr Tamihana is serving a sentence of three years, eight months for attempted murder. He was given a minimum period of imprisonment of half his sentence.
- He last appeared before the Board in February this year when he was still to complete the DTP. He also had the MIRP on his sentence plan, but that has not been followed through.
- He completed the DTP in February this year. We have seen the completion report which is positive. He developed a safety plan and we have seen that as well and that reflects a good deal of work on his part. We note he was, in fact, assessed as ineligible for the MIRP because of issues which could raise safety concerns for him and others.
- Mr Tamihana has put a good deal of work into his release plan. He has approved accommodation with (withheld) who was due to attend this hearing but was unable to. We have seen a letter. She appears to be a robust, prosocial person and offers a good release option for Mr Tamihana.
- He has also provided the Board with a significant number of other letters from supporters, both family and friends. In addition to that support, he has support from a cultural advisor, and he will have the support of a (withheld) after-care worker following the DTP.
- The Board has a (withheld) from January this year. That refers to fluctuating (withheld) on Mr Tamihana's part, including three (withheld). He has been (withheld) from (withheld) with underlying (withheld) with other underlying issues. However, the (withheld) concluding view is that Mr Tamihana does not require long-term follow-up by (withheld).
- Notwithstanding that, he has recently undertaken work with a (withheld) in prison. With his consent we have received a report from her. She refers to him having had six sessions with her but, in her view, he needs to do more work and he is agreeable to continue to meet with her.
- He received a positive report from his PCO. The Parole Assessment Report refers to a number of courses which are available for Mr Tamihana, including driver licence theory work which might well assist him with employment following his release.
- We discussed with him the importance of a reintegration meeting where he can share his safety plan with his supporters as well as professionals including the (withheld) after-care worker, his Probation Officer and his Case Manager and the (withheld) working with him. He is enrolled with the (withheld), so they will be able to follow up with to address any ongoing (withheld).
- Having carefully considered these matters, we take the view that it is essential that Mr Tamihana attend the reintegration meeting referred to before he is released. He is serving his first prison sentence for a serious offence, but in our view, clarity around the support network for him following release and the role to be played by those who will be supporting him is essential.
- On that basis we have concluded that Mr Tamihana still presents as an undue risk and parole is declined. We will see him again in December 2021 no later than 31 December. As mentioned, the most important initiative to be undertaken over the next three months is the reintegration meeting, but Mr Tamihana can also follow up on the other matters referred to above.
- This decision has been issued following consideration of parole in accordance with the provisions of an epidemic management notice issued by the Government on 30 March 2020 and in accordance with section 13A of the Parole Act 2002. There has been a hearing conducted by a Panel Convenor and Board member. All of the usual material has been considered and there has been a MS Teams discussion involving the Board, the offender, the Case Manager and The Principal Corrections Officer.
Judge D Mather