Uniquely violent woman prisoner Kino Hoki Matete denied parole
The only woman yet sentenced to the open-ended term of preventive detention for violence has been refused parole after more than 11 years in jail.
Kino Hoki Matete, 36, was eligible to be considered for parole after six years but her behaviour in prison was still marked by "occasional fluctuations", a parole board decision said.
Her "overall trajectory had been forward" but last November she was returned to a high security unit after four acts of misconduct, including one in which she fought with another prisoner over a vacuum cleaner.
Another two marks against her record had been for abusing or intimidating staff.
But while in the high security area Matete did very well running a boot camp for other prisoners. She was reported to have shown leadership and increased her patience and tolerance.
She also did an intensive anger management programme and met with chaplains twice a week to address spiritual issues, the board's decision said.
Not long before Matete saw the board in early May her security classification reduced to low so she had to give up the boot camp she ran in high security, but she continued her own daily gym training sessions.
Board members were encouraged with changes in her attitude and that she had shown she could walk away from disputes, although she agreed that sometimes her mouth ran away with her. She thought about the consequences of her actions, and usually her words.
Matete did not ask for release.
"She knows that with her history she needs to be carefully tested over time and in a variety of situations before there is any prospect of release."
That was obviously some way off, the board's decision said.
Matete was sentenced to preventive detention in 2006, but while serving the sentence she scalded another prisoner with boiling water as part of a power struggle over who was to control a wing of Arohata Prison, north of Wellington.
She had originally been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of wounding with intent to injure, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure, injuring with intent to injure, and assault with intent to injure and assault, stemming from three incidents.
Matete was on parole in September 2004 when she approached a woman she believed had burgled her house, the court was told. She lunged at her with an open pocket knife, causing a cut in her arm which required four stitches.
While in custody in June 2005 on charges relating to the attack, Matete threw a bucket of boiling water over a woman who had ripped off her "jail mum".
The woman was hospitalised with severe burns that could have left permanent scars.
The following month she broke a prison officer's arm after becoming enraged by the way the woman asked her to return a pen.