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HAPUKU - Trent Owen Ngaruhe - 12/08/2015


Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Trent Owen Ngaruhe HAPUKU

Hearing: 12 August 2015  at [Withheld]

Members of the Board: 

      Ms K Snook (Panel Convenor)
      Ms L Nathan
      Mr L Comer 

Support Persons: 



1. Trent Owen Ngaruhe Hapuku, 26, appeared for a further consideration of parole on a sentence of nine years’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of his then partner’s five month old baby son.

2. Mr Hapuku is minimum prison security classification, he has a RoC*RoI of 0.37363, and a sentence expiry date of 25 September 2020.

3. When Mr Hapuku last saw the Board on 4 September 2014 he had already completed [Withheld].

4. At that hearing Mr Hapuku acknowledged that he did hit Mikara once in the abdomen leading to his death.  He confirmed again today to the Board that he does now accept full responsibility for his offending.

5. At the time of his arrest Mr Hapuku denied the offending.  He denied it through two trials and was convicted by a jury at the second trial.

6. In advance of the hearing today the Board met with the [Withheld]

7. The Board told Mr Hapuku that his victims believe it is too soon for him to be released from jail.  They are concerned that he is only now saying that he is guilty of the offending to get an early release from prison.

8. In addition they reiterated their stance from last year that they do not want Mr Hapuku to be released on parole to the Hawke's Bay region.

9. Mr Hapuku is generally well behaved in prison.  There are some references to a negative attitude and an intimidation earlier this year.  Mr Hapuku told the Board today that these related to his frustration regarding issues about how his health had been dealt with.  He had suffered from some [Withheld] and had been admitted to [Withheld].  His behaviour is now said to have settled down.

10. Mr Hapuku is waitlisted to do the [Withheld] Programme on segregation.

11. At the time when the Board saw him last he was contemplating doing the [Withheld] programme in one of the M‚ori Focus Units. 

12. Mr Hapuku told the Board today that at this time he has decided not to pursue placement in a M‚ori Focus Unit as he does not want to move off segregation.  He has safety concerns given the nature of his offending.

13. [Withheld], the Officer who attended the hearing today, is also the Manager of [Withheld], the M‚ori Focus Unit at this prison.  He said that it is a mainstream unit but it is operated as a harmony unit.  In his view Mr Hapuku would fit in well in that unit.

14. The Board could see a strong benefit in Mr Hapuku moving to [Withheld] to complete the equivalent of the [Withheld] programme in that unit.  We discussed those benefits with Mr Hapuku.  At the end of the day the choice is Mr Hapuku’s.

15. It is clear however that Mr Hapuku still needs to complete the [Withheld] or its equivalent before he would in any way be considered suitable for release. 

16. In addition the Board sees benefit in reintegrative activities for Mr Hapuku.  It appears from the information we have that he predominantly spent his time playing Xbox games prior to coming into prison.  Release to Work may well be a useful reintegrative activity when the time is right.

17. We also asked Mr Hapuku to look again at his release plan given the strong and reasonable concerns of the victims about any release to the Hawke's Bay region.

18. Mr Hapuku’s [Withheld] were at the hearing today.  It is clear they provide ongoing and very strong support.

19. An alternative address in [Withheld] was mentioned and that is something that could be investigated for the next Board.

20. For today risk remains undue and parole is declined.  Mr Hapuku needs to get on and complete a [Withheld] or equivalent programme and develop a strong and robust release plan as well as participate in some reintegrative activities.  That will all take some time.

21. We will see Mr Hapuku within the usual statutory cycle.

22. For that next hearing we ask for a psychological assessment of Mr Hapuku’s risk taking into account the programmes he has completed in prison at that time and his release and reintegration plan.  We also ask that the assessment give some consideration to appropriate special conditions of release for Mr Hapuku.


Ms K Snook
Panel Convenor