Manu Mapuhola MAFI-VATUVEI 17/05/2023

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Manu Mapuhola MAFI-VATUVEI

Hearing: 17 May 2023

at Auckland South Correctional Facility

Members of the Board:

Judge C Blackie – Panel Convenor

Ms K Coutts

Mr A Hackney


Ms V Feyen

Ms H Aitken

In Attendance:                                  

[withheld] – Principal Case Manager

[withheld] – Case Manager

Support Persons: [withheld]


  1. Manu Mapuhola Mafi-Vatuvei made his first appearance before the Parole Board on 17 May 2023.
  2. Mr Mafi-Vatuvei is serving a sentence of three years seven months’ imprisonment following his conviction on a charge of importing methamphetamine and amphetamine.  His sentence commencement date was 2 March 2022, and his sentence end date is 1 October 2025.
  3. Currently Mr Mafi-Vatuvei has a security classification of minimum and a RoC*RoI of .17508.
  4. The Judge’s sentencing notes record that Mr Mafi-Vatuvei became involved in a drug ring after a sequence of unfortunate life events.  Those included his marriage breakup and a forced retirement from professional sport.  Further, he was influenced by the activities of his elder brother, Lopini Mafi, who had a leading role in a relatively sophisticated drug importation enterprise.
  5. When asked by the Board why he offended, Mr Mafi-Vatuvei explained that he was in a vulnerable position [withheld].  He then went on to say that prison had been a great help to him – to open up with others and let them assist with his struggle.
  6. Within the prison Mr Mafi-Vatuvei has maintained a minimum security classification.  Although there were three early incidents for which he was admonished, his overall conduct has been good and an example to others.
  7. On account of his being a first offender with a low RoC*RoI score, Mr Mafi-Vatuvei is regarded as being a low risk of re‑offending.  Nevertheless, his conviction on a drug related charge makes him eligible for the DTP.  Although Mr Mafi-Vatuvei was motivated to undertake the programme he raised concerns about engaging in a group setting.  He explained that he would be hesitant talking about his offending and usage with a group.  [withheld].
  8. As an alternative to the DTP Mr Mafi-Vatuvei was waitlisted for individual psychological treatment.  However, on account of his sentence end date not being until 2025 it was unlikely that he would be given any priority.
  9. In order to progress his rehabilitation Mr Mafi-Vatuvei engaged the services of an independent consultant forensic psychologist who has carried out an extensive analysis of Mr Mafi-Vatuvei’s risk and has produced a comprehensive report.  In her view Mr Mafi-Vatuvei can be assessed as a low risk of future general offending.  He presents with insight into his offending and has expressed motivation to desist from offending in the future.  He has a number of strong protective factors in place that include family support, prosocial peers and prosocial orientation and attitudes.  He is also committed to being a positive role model to his children (and rugby supporters).  With her assistance Mr Mafi-Vatuvei was able to prepare a comprehensive relapse prevention and safety plan.
  10. During the course of discussions with Board members Mr Mafi-Vatuvei was able to outline his areas of high risk [withheld].  He spoke comprehensively as to how he would deal with each of these issues if so confronted in the future.
  11. Not unexpectedly, having regard to the fact that he was so well known, Mr Mafi-Vatuvei has substantial support within the community.  [withheld]  Further, Mr Mafi-Vatuvei has the ongoing assistance of his psychologist, [withheld], to ensure adherence to his safety plan.
  12. Looked at overall, the Board is satisfied that having regard to Mr Mafi-Vatuvei’s low risk of re‑offending, his safety plan and the comprehensive, almost wraparound support that he has in the community that he can no longer be regarded as an undue risk and therefore is a candidate for parole.
  13. Mr Mafi-Vatuvei will be released as from 31 May 2023 and then will be subject to the standard conditions and the special conditions set out hereunder for a period extending to his sentence end date, 1 October 2025.
  14. Special note should be taken of the need for a monitoring hearing and also the non‑association with the Comancheros and/or the Killer Beez gangs.  Although there was no evidence that Mr Mafi-Vatuvei had ever been directly associated with either of these gangs or any member thereof, nevertheless, the provision is imposed as a precaution for the benefit or Mr Mafi-Vatuvei should he, having regard to the nature of the offending, ever be approached by any such gang member.
  15. The Special Conditions are:

(1) To attend a reintegration meeting as directed by a Probation Officer.

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

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

(4) Not to communicate or associate, directly or indirectly, with any person known to you to associate with the Comanchero and Killer Beez gang unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(5) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offender Lopini Lautau Mafi directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(6) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a probation officer.

(7) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.

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

“Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.”

Judge C Blackie

Panel Convenor