Reason behind Kuka's refused parole

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 10:17 02/04/2014
Lisa Kuka
LISA KUKA: Nia Glassie's mother received a nine year jail term for her daughter's manslaughter.
Nia Glassie
NIA GLASSIE: Suffered shocking abuse.

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The mother of murdered Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie was refused parole because she would not have had sufficient support in the community, the Corrections Department says.

Lisa Kuka, who on February 4, 2009 was jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of her daughter, was set to be released in April.

But last month the Parole Board released a decision saying it had reversed its decision to grant Kuka parole, following an application by the Corrections Department.

Fairfax Media requested a copy of that application under the Official Information Act.

While this was declined for privacy reasons, Corrections Services national commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot said the decision was not to do with Kuka's behaviour.

"In this case, we consider that it is in the public interest to advise you the application was not submitted as a result of Ms Kuka's behaviour," he said in his response.

"Rather, it was submitted following a change in circumstance which meant she no longer had sufficient support in the community on release from prison."

In the Parole Board's original decision to release Kuka it said she was assessed as being at a "low risk of general or violent reoffending" and would "not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community if granted parole."

The Parole Board said Kuka would see the board again as soon as practicable.

Three-year-old Nia died in August 2007 after extensive abuse. Kuka's partner Wiremu Curtis, 19, and his brother Michael, 22, were found guilty of murder in November 2008. Kuka was found guilty of manslaughter, failing to obtain medical treatment for the toddler, and failing to protect her.

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