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The New Zealand Parole Board
For more information on the processes involved and for specific cases, we encourage you to view the New Zealand Parole Board official Web site.
The New Zealand Parole Board makes decisions on the release of offenders from prison on parole and home detention.

It also sets conditions for offenders when they are released, and can recall offenders to prison if they don’t follow the conditions set for them.

Under the Parole Act 2002, the Board has the following functions. To:
  • consider and, if appropriate, direct offenders to be released on parole
  • consider applications by offenders to serve all or part of their sentences on home detention
  • consider applications for release on compassionate grounds
  • set conditions for offenders who are to be released on Parole, Home Detention and on compassionate release, and to set conditions for offenders who must, by law, be released having reached their Statutory Release Date (in these cases the Board’s only role is to set conditions)
  • vary or discharge release conditions
  • consider applications from the Department of Corrections, through the Community Probation Service, to have offenders recalled to prison
  • make postponement orders
  • make and review non-release orders (under Section 107 of the Parole Act 2002)
  • review Board decisions
  • consider imposing special conditions for extended supervision orders
  • consider variations or discharges of conditions of extended supervision orders.

Additionally, offenders may apply to the Chairman of the Board for an early referral for a hearing before their Parole Eligibility Date. Under Section 25 of the Parole Act 2002, they must cite "exceptional circumstances" with the Chairman having the discretion to grant a hearing.

In the year to 30 June 2004, the Board conducted more than 9000 hearings, around half of these involving applications for Home Detention.

Parole is when an offender is released from prison to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community on conditions, supervised by a Probation Officer, part of the Department of Corrections’ Community Probation Service. In most cases, an offender does not "apply" for parole, but becomes eligible for consideration based on how long they have served in prison.

Home Detention is when an offender serves their prison sentence, or part of their prison sentence, at an approved address. Offenders under Home Detention may work, but wear an electronic device allowing their movements to be monitored. They receive supervision from a Probation Officer.

Compassionate Release is when an offender applies to the Board for release from prison due to either giving birth or a terminal illness. If granted compassionate release, an offender will be given release conditions and may be recalled to prison if these conditions are not followed.

Variations and Discharge applications occur when an offender or a probation officer applies to the Board for the conditions of their release to be varied, or discharged.

Extended Supervision Orders are part of new legislation introduced in July 2004. The Department of Corrections will be able to apply to court for intensive supervision of eligible offenders convicted of certain sexual offences for up to 10 years after they have been released from prison. If an order is granted by the court, the Department may apply to the Board for special conditions to be imposed. These can include:
  • home detention-style conditions for the first 12 months of an extended supervision order, where an offender may not leave their home, or approved address, without the permission of their probation officer
  • restricting areas and places an offender may go
  • prohibiting contact with any person or class of person (eg people under the age of 16)
  • electronic monitoring.

Postponement Orders are made when the Board considers an inmate will not be suitable for release on parole at the next scheduled hearing. Their next parole hearing can be postponed for up to two or three years, depending on the type of sentence they are serving.

Section 107 Orders are made when the Department of Corrections applies to have an offender kept in prison beyond their Final Release Date (two-thirds of their sentence). The Board must be satisfied that the offender will commit a specified offence between the date of their release and the applicable release date.

Recalls occur when a Probation Officer applies to the Board to have a released offender recalled to prison. This can happen when an offender fails to comply with the conditions of their release and on a number of other grounds.

Reviews occur when an offender applies to have the Board review a decision made at hearing. This application must be made in writing within 28 days of the decision. The grounds for a review are set out in section 67 of the Parole Act 2002 and include:
  • the Board not complying with the procedures set out in the Parole Act 2002
  • the decision being based on an error of law
  • the Board basing its decision on "erroneous or irrelevant" information
  • the Board acting without jurisdiction.
For more information on the processes involved and for specific cases, we encourage you to view the New Zealand Parole Board official Web site.

NZPB Guiding Principles
The Board’s primary role is to assess whether an offender poses an undue risk to the safety of the community.  read story...
History and Structure
The New Zealand Parole Board (NZPB) was established on 30 June 2002, under the Parole Act 2002, and replaced 17 District Prison Boards and the national Parole Board.  read story...
Parole Eligibility
Eligibility for parole is determined under the Parole Act 2002.  read story...
Structured Decision-Making
As well as receiving submissions, the Parole Board is given information when considering an inmate’s case.  read story...
Historical Parole Outcomes
  read story...

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In the year to 30 June 2004, the Board conducted more than 9000 hearings, around half of these involving applications for Home Detention.

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