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BUSCH - Michael Patrick - 12/11/2012

BUSCH, Michael - 12/11/2012


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


Michael Patrick Busch


12 November 2012


Members of the Board:                  
Hon. Justice J W Gendall – Panel Convenor

Judge E Paul

Ms L Nathan

Professor P Brinded

Mr J Thomson


Support Person:

In Attendance:                                 

Decision of the Board


1.                  Michael Busch was sentenced to life imprisonment on 18 May 1990 for the crime of murder, together with a term of 10 years imprisonment for a separate crime of attempted murder.  The circumstances of the offending were horrific.  He had a parole eligibility date of 28 November 1999.  He was released on parole on 15 July 2002 but recalled within four months in November 2002 because of concerns over unsupervised conduct with children, suggestive of grooming arising out of sexual proclivity.

2.                  Since then he has completed the Te Piriti programme in 2006 and was last seen by the Board on 16 November 2011.  He has made some progress in being in External Self Care since March 2012 and on release to work.  But he has had no psychological treatment or counselling since he last appeared before the Board.  He has had some releases to attend church services with his strong supporter, (withheld). 

3.                  It transpired that Mr Busch’s accommodation and release plan has altered since that which he put forward to the Board in the recent parole assessment report.  As a consequence, the accommodation offered by (withheld) and his family at an address south of Hastings has not yet been assessed.  The future employment envisaged by Mr Busch appears to be different from that originally proposed. 

4.                  The psychological report expresses an opinion that there is little else Mr Busch can do by way of programmes in prison.  Yet we are concerned that his release proposal does not adequately address what appears to be a major risk factor, a component in the original offending, that being his understanding of his sexuality.  Because of his conversion to Christianity, and the beliefs that he conveyed in answers to the Board, it is apparent he continues to harbour conflicts about his sexuality,  and consequently its risks.  It may be that Mr Busch may have gained very little from what he received in the Te Piriti Programme.

5.                  Mr Busch needs to work with a senior psychologist to revisit and receive counselling to assist him to achieve the treatment gains that should have followed from completing the Te Piriti programme.  In our judgement, his current presentation does not support the conclusion that the treatment was successful.

6.                  As a consequence, we are compelled to the view that he remains an undue risk to the community if released now.  Accordingly, parole is declined and he will be seen again in accordance with the statutory cycle.

Hon. Justice J W Gendall

Panel Convenor




 You may apply for a review of the Board’s decision under section 67(1).  The only grounds under which you may make an application for review are that the Board, in making its decision:


a)     Failed to comply with procedures in the Parole Act 2002; or

b)     Made an error of law; or

c)     Failed to comply with Board policy resulting in unfairness to the offender; or

d)     Based its decision on erroneous or irrelevant information that was material to the decision reached; or

e)     Acted without jurisdiction.

 To apply for a review you must write to the Board within 28 days of its decision stating which of the above ground(s) you consider to be relevant in your case and giving reasons why you believe that ground(s) applies.

 Reviews are considered on the papers only.  There is no hearing in respect of your Review Application.