RATIMA, Raymond Wahia - 03/11/2014
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 3 November 2014
Members of the Board:
Hon M A Frater – Panel Convenor
Judge J P Gittos
Dr J Skipworth
Ms M Coleman
Ms P Rose
Support People: (withheld)
Ms D Mussen (Reporter)
Ms J Turner (Communications Manager, NZPB)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. On 26 June 1992 Raymond Ratima killed his three sons, his sister-in-law, her partner, their son, their unborn child and his teenage brother-in-law. He also injured and was subsequently convicted of attempting to murder his father-in-law. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 6 September 1992 and became eligible to be released on parole on 27 June 2002.
2. Since then there have been nine parole hearings, including today. He has also been subject to three postponement orders. The most recent was made two years ago.
3. Although 22 years have elapsed since the terrible events of that night Mr Ratima has still not come to the point where he can talk about his offending. He has had individual treatment sessions with a departmental psychologist once a week since April 2013. He has been working with his current psychologist since February this year. They are building trust and discussing matters such as relationships, consequences and how to deal with others. He is said to have made significant gains in understanding himself and the way he manages his emotions.
4. He is not causing any problems in custody. He maintains a minimum security classification, has not incurred any misconducts and is IDU free. He continues to be housed in (withheld). He participates in reintegration outings from there. He leaves the prison as part of the community gang every fortnight or so. He also participates in escorted shopping outings and he has had one temporary release to attend (withheld), with a view to building his support network.
5. In past decisions mention has been made about the possibility of a ‘muru’ or restorative justice meeting. Mr Ratima is working with a therapist, using the bicultural therapy model, to discuss this and other cultural issues. (withheld) has taken over responsibility for endeavouring to arrange the meeting. However, plans about when and where it will happen and who will be invited to attend seem as nebulous as ever.
6. Mr Ratima is scheduled to begin treatment for a serious medical condition in the next few weeks. He anticipates that it could take up to a year to complete and he does not believe he will have the strength to engage properly in the muru process while this treatment continues.
7. Mr Ratima’s offending was horrendous. Many people were adversely affected by his actions. He has been shown a letter from a representative of (withheld). They ask about his thinking leading up to the offending and whether he ever considered the impact of his actions on members of the victims’ families. They also ask how he could be filled with so much hate and anger to inflict such injuries on so many, whether he has confronted and dealt with the issues that led to his actions, if he is capable of coping in a non violent way if ever faced with such strong emotions again, and how he would respond to ongoing animosity by members of the wider family and the community on release. These are valid questions which, at this stage, Mr Ratima cannot answer.
8. We also told him of the meeting we had with a representative of (withheld). They are also opposed to his release. However, the family representative said she would value the opportunity to meet him at a muru to spell out the tremendous loss her family have suffered.
9. We are concerned that Mr Ratima is engaging in a number of re-integrative activities when he is nowhere near completing rehabilitation. Given that, we do not support any move to Release to Work or more un-restricted release into the community in the foreseeable future. And it seems Mr Ratima accepts that.
10. We talked about the possibility of making another postponement order. He is not averse to that; certainly not to a postponement order of two years duration.
11. There can be no question of parole today. It is declined. Mr Ratima did not expect it or seek it.
12. Mr Ratima will be scheduled to be seen again at the February 2015 sitting of the Board to consider the question of postponement only. It will be up to that Board to determine whether to make such an order and, if so, its duration. He will be given formal notice of his right to legal advice and representation in connection with that matter.
13. Unless there is a significant change in Mr Ratima’s circumstances, no further reports are required for the next hearing.
Hon M A Frater