Press Release – New Zealand Parole Board
Mr Field will be released on parole on 17 October 2011 on standard and special conditions as follows…
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Phillip Hans FIELD
Hearing: 5 October 2011
Members of the Board: Judge J Lovell-Smith
Ms L Nathan
Mr R Lewis
Support People: (Withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Phillip Field appears before the Board for consideration of parole in respect of two cumulative sentences, four years imprisonment imposed for corruption charges and two years imprisonment imposed for attempting to pervert the course of justice. The Board has considered the sentencing notes and the judgment of the Court of Appeal. There is no issue that this was serious offending by Mr Field when he was a Member of Parliament for the Mangere electorate. The sentencing Judge acknowledged that there was no risk of Mr Field reoffending. He is a first offender. This is his first appearance before the Board.
2. Mr Field’s sentence commencement date was 16 October 2009 with a parole eligibility date of 7 October 2011 and a statutory release date/sentence end date of 15 October 2015. Mr Field has a RoC*RoI of 0.09124 and his current prison category is that of standard case management. His security rating is minimum. Mr Field has not incurred any misconduct reports during his time in prison. He has been subject to routine Departmental drug and alcohol testing procedures which have returned negative results.
3. The Board notes that he was initially assessed as a Maintenance category prisoner and identified as not eligible under the offender management process to attend the rehabilitative programme. Due to a change in offender management relating to prisoner categories, he is now identified by the Corrections Analysis and Reporting System (CARS) as a standard case management prisoner who is still not eligible to participate in a rehabilitative programme.
4. Since Mr Field has been in prison he has been working in the Corrections Inmate Employment Internal Grounds party before progressing to the CIE External Grounds Party. The CIE instructor reports that Mr Field has fitted into the work party very well. He is always courteous and respectful towards others in the work parties. He is described as an excellent worker. Mr Field has obtained 17 unit standards in grounds maintenance, six unit standards in catering Level 2 of the New Zealand quality assurance framework. He has also completed the quality assurance qualification of a National Certificate in Horticulture.
5. He is currently residing in a Self Care Unit with no issues.
6. The test for the Board is undue risk to the safety of the community. The guiding principles are set out in s 7 of the Parole Act 2002 which provides:
(1) When making decisions about, or in any way relating to, the release of an offender, the paramount consideration for the Board in every case is the safety of the community.
(2) Other principles that must guide the Board’s decisions are –
(a) that offenders must not be detained any longer than is consistent with the safety of the community, and that they must not be subject to release conditions that are more onerous, or last longer, than is consistent with the safety of the community. . .
(3) When any person is required under this Part to assess whether an offender poses an undue risk, the person must consider both—
(a) the likelihood of further offending; and
(b) the nature and seriousness of any likely subsequent offending.
7. Mr Field has been assessed as at a low risk of reoffending and no rehabilitative needs have been identified by the Department for Corrections. There are no issues with his conduct in prison.
8. Mr Field’s release proposals have been approved as appropriate by the Department for Corrections to manage his risk of reoffending while on parole. No concerns have been identified and his community support is regarded as being more than sufficient. There is no evidence of protection orders or Child, Youth and Family involvement with regard to his family. He has extensive and responsible community support. Mr Field’s health issues will not impact on his obligations and requirements of any parole conditions.
9. Taking all these matters into account, the Board is satisfied that if released on parole on standard and special conditions to his sentence end date, Mr Field will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.
10. Mr Field will be released on parole on 17 October 2011 on standard and special conditions as follows:
(1) To undertake and complete appropriate treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and treatment provider. The details of the counselling or treatment to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(2) To reside at (Withheld) and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) To notify your Probation Officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.
(4) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
Judge J Lovell-Smith
• You may apply for a review of the Board’s decision under section 67(1). The only grounds under which you may make an application for review are that the Board, in making its decision:
a) Failed to comply with procedures in the Parole Act 2002; or
b) Made an error of law; or
c) Failed to comply with Board policy resulting in unfairness to the offender; or
d) Based its decision on erroneous or irrelevant information that was material to the decision reached; or
e) Acted without jurisdiction.
• To apply for a review you must write to the Board within 28 days of its decision stating which of the above ground(s) you consider to be relevant in your case and giving reasons why you believe that ground(s) applies.
• Reviews are considered on the papers only. There is no hearing in respect of your Review Application.