Hirini Desmond TE RUNA 18/3/2021
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hirini Desmond TE RUNA
Hearing: 18 March 2021
at Auckland South Corrections Facility
via AVL From New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board: Judge D Mather – Panel Convenor
Mr A Hackney
Ms S Bailey
In Attendance: (withheld) – Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mr Te Runa is serving a composite sentence of six years four months. He received a sentence of two years 10 months in September 2015 following conviction on charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and breach of release conditions. Then he received a cumulative sentence of three years six months for wounding with intent to injure. That was a particularly concerning event which involved Mr Te Runa repeatedly assaulting a cellmate as part of a Black Power conditioning ritual.
- The three-year six-month sentence was a second strike offence so Mr Te Runa has had to serve that sentence in full. His sentence end date is now 7 December 2021.
- It is concerning that Mr Te Runa has yet to undertake any offence related treatment. His behaviour in prison has been poor which has resulted in high security classification and his not being eligible for programmes such as the STURP. He is not willing to undertake the DTP although he accepts he does have AOD needs and he may well need to address those following his release.
- The only likely initiative in the nine months or so prior to his sentence end is one-to-one counselling with a psychologist. The case manager told us that this is unlikely to start before August or September this year. We invite Serco to reconsider and re‑prioritise Mr Te Runa given his offending history and the importance of some offence related treatment prior to his sentence end date.
- Another alternative is that Mr Te Runa engage further and more fully with (withheld) and the (withheld). Mr Te Runa has already had contact with (withheld) and acknowledges the benefits of his programme. It would be good if Mr Te Runa could develop a safety plan and a release plan either with (withheld) or with one-to-one counselling if that is made available to him.
- Mr Te Runa does not have a release address for consideration. He has previously said he is not interested in (withheld) and is not keen on entering a residential programme which will extend beyond his sentencing end date. He might want to reconsider that approach.
- He said he will make some effort to look for a release address. He has unfortunately not had significant contact with his whanau and no options are apparently available there.
- Another option was raised by his case manager which is the Short Violence Prevention Programme. That starts in September in Rimutaka Prison and if Mr Te Runa were interested in that he could be considered for transfer to do it. He needs to think about that as well.
- At present, as an untreated offender without a release plan Mr Te Runa presents as an undue risk and parole must be declined. We schedule his next appearance before the Board in October this year, no later than 31 October. That will allow for a short period on parole or alternatively the fixing of release conditions.
Judge D Mather