Gordon Anthony RUNGA 6/4/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Gordon Anthony RUNGA

Hearing: 6 April 2022

At Whanganui Prison via MS Teams

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Mr L Tawera

Ms F Pimm

Counsel: Mr M Antunovic

In Attendance:                                  [withheld] – Case Manager

Support Persons:                            [withheld]


  1. Gordon Anthony Runga is 38 years of age.  He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for manslaughter.  He has a final release date of October 2025 and his security classification is high.
  2. This was Mr Runga’s first appearance before the Board today.
  3. He has two pages of previous convictions involving violent and property offending.
  4. Mr Runga is a member of Black Power.  He and a number of other members of Black Power shot and killed a Mongrel Mob member.  The Mongrel Mob member was living in an area of Whanganui. Mr Runga and Black Power believed it was their area.  They warned him to leave the area, but he did not do so.  Eventually, they arrived to confront him.  He had a shotgun, but it was not fired but one of the Black Power members fired a shot at the Black Power member and he was killed.
  5. Today, before the hearing we saw the [WITHHELD]  who died and today we also provided Mr Runga with a summary of what she had told us at that hearing.
  6. Because Mr Runga has spent a significant period of time on remand, does not have a full report today. In the circumstances, with the agreement of Mr Runga, we decided to proceed today given that that would facilitate an early consideration of both his security classification and also his eligibility to undertake rehabilitation programmes.
  7. Mr Runga had a number of incidents earlier on in his remand but for a significant period of time he has behaved well within the prison and there have been no difficulties.
  8. He understands the unlikelihood of a release to Whanganui when he is released.  We also note that there could be no release to the Hawke’s Bay given victim protection issues.
  9. Having discussed the matter with Mr Runga’s PCO, we would encourage PCO to support a reduction in Mr Runga’s security classification to at least low/medium so that he can begin his rehabilitation.  Given his long period on remand and his good behaviour, there seems no real reason why he should currently be on high security classification.
  10. We think the way forward now is for him to complete two sections of the Te Tirohanga Programme.  He is not currently identified to do the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP) portion of Te Tirohunga.  Mr Runga is keen to do that programme and has also raised the possibility of leaving the Black Power gang.  We have encouraged him in that consideration.
  11. In the meantime, he is an undue risk.  We will see him again in December 2022 with the hope that he has been able to complete his rehabilitation and has a release plan.

Sir Ron Young