Established on 30 June 2002, the New Zealand Parole Board holds about 9,000 hearings a year, and assesses whether offenders serving over two years in prison can be released or whether they present an undue risk to the community. The Board also sets release conditions for offenders serving over two years. The Board is an independent statutory body, chaired by Justice Warwick Gendall QC, and comprising about 40 members, about half of whom are judges or Panel convenors and the rest community-based members.
If you are a registered victim of crime, a supporter of a victim or an offender, or have an interest in the Board's operation, this site is designed to help you understand what we do.
Everyone has rights and these are preserved through the parole process.
Parole encourages people to address their offending and its causes, to rehabilitate themselves to live in society without being a risk to the community. The possibility of parole focuses offenders on what they need to live in the community with better behaviour. Release on parole, with monitoring for recall to prison, provides a real incentive to not re-offend.
Membership of the Parole Board:
Under the Parole Act, the Attorney-General must be satisfied members have:
- knowledge or understanding of the criminal justice system; and
- the ability to make a balanced and reasonable assessment of the risk an offender may present to the community when released; and
- the ability to operate effectively with people from a range of cultures; and
- sensitivity to, and understanding of, the impact of crime on victims.
The Board sits in panels of three, four or five members to consider cases either in person at a prison, or by video conference.
The Parole Act 2002 requires the Board to consider cases where offenders are eligible for release on parole, compassionate release and release at their sentence end date. It also considers cases where either the Department of Corrections or Police have applied to have a parolee recalled to prison. A person parole will have their progress monitored, which may include meeting the Board.
The Board does not consider the release of an offender on a short-term prison sentence, of two years or less, unless an application for compassionate release is made to the chairperson.
New Zealand Parole Board administration
The Board's administration is based in Wellington. The team of administrators are responsible for providing all the background information to members for upcoming hearings, as well as the preparation for hearings.
Registering as a victim
If you are registered on the victim notification system and would like to update your address details, or would like to request information about an offender to assist in preparing your submission to the Board, please contact:
The Victim Information Manager
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
Telephone: (04) 499 5620
Further information on victim notification is available on the Department of Corrections website
Other core justice-sector agencies