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ARIKI Hendrix Vai - 10/07/2017

Parole Hearing
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Hendrix Vai ARIKI

Hearing: 10 July 2017 at [Withheld] via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Mr N Trendle - Panel Convenor
  • Mr L Comer
  • Ms G Hughes

Support Persons:

  • [Withheld]
  • [Withheld]

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Hendrix Vai Ariki, who is 28 years of age, is making his first appearance before the Board on a sentence of five years, one month’s imprisonment for manslaughter.  He has a statutory release date of 25 November 2020.

2. Mr Ariki has two earlier convictions for driving with excess breath alcohol and threatening behaviour prior to his index offending.  His RoC*RoI is .14172.

3. Despite his low RoC*RoI Mr Ariki has achieved an override to enable him to participate in the  [Withheld] Programme.  He is presently in the  [Withheld] Unit having completed  [Withheld].  He is now in the second week of the  [Withheld] Programme.  Thereafter he is scheduled to attend the Drug Treatment Programme.  Mr Ariki told us that he understood he would be doing so at  [Withheld] Unit.

4. Prior to today’s hearing the Board met with victims of Mr Ariki’s offending.  We relayed to him the main points that came from that meeting.  First, his victims were of the view that having regard to his offending, which they regarded as premeditated, Mr Ariki should complete his full sentence before he was released.  Secondly, they emphasised that he should have no role in the parenting of  [Withheld] who remain with  [Withheld].  Thirdly, his victims were of the view that upon release Mr Ariki should not be permitted to return to the Turangi area.  Mr Ariki acknowledged the views of his victims.  He told us that he was forever sorry for what he did  [Withheld].  He accepted that he should not return to the Turangi area without approval when he is released.  He accepted also that it would be inappropriate for him to  [Withheld].  He was somewhat ambivalent about maintaining his relationship with [Withheld].  In the finish he said that his priority in doing so was to maintain a relationship with [Withheld].

5. Mr Ariki was at pains to emphasise his remorse.  He said that prior to sentencing he had six sessions with a psychologist and through a report to the Court the psychologist acknowledged the extent of Mr Ariki’s remorse for what he did to his victim.  He is motivated to complete the  [Withheld] Programme and the Drug Treatment Programme.

6. He accepted that there are a number of complexities given his relationship  [Withheld] and the circumstances with respect to  [Withheld] that may need to be further addressed in due course.  He confirmed that whilst in prison to date he has completed a number of personal development courses and such courses as parenting.  His PCO indicated there were no problems with Mr Ariki in the unit.  Whilst initially he did not cope with his imprisonment and from time to time became frustrated and difficult to deal with, he has now settled down and there are no issues with his conduct or compliance.

7. The psychological report prepared for today’s hearing concluded with the recommendation that Mr Ariki would benefit from completing the  [Withheld] Programme.  Thereafter, the psychologist supported his reference to the Drug Treatment Programme.  We note those recommendations and support Mr Ariki’s progress along the lines referred to.  Upon completion of the Drug Treatment Programme there will likely be the reintegration phases of the  [Withheld] Programme available to him and the Board supports his progress along that pathway.

8. Mr Ariki was represented by counsel, [Withheld], who was unable to appear at the hearing today but made written submissions in advance of the hearing.  Those submissions attached a letter from Mr Ariki himself and from  [Withheld].  Whilst counsel and Mr Ariki expressed a wish for him to be released on parole, they both accepted that, if directed, he would complete the programmes for which he is sentence planned.

9. The Board is of the view that Mr Ariki needs to complete the interventions planned for him in prison and to demonstrate that he has absorbed the knowledge and skills learned through an extended period of reintegration.

10. Parole today is declined.  He will be scheduled to return to the Board in 12 months, by 30 July 2018.   Having regard to the seriousness of his offending, the Board expects to see convincing evidence of a sustained period of change.  Whether there has been sufficient time for that change to have been demonstrated will be assessed then.

Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor