Parole Board says violent woman has still a way to go before release

2019-06-11 16:36:26

The first woman to receive an open-ended prison term for violence in New Zealand is making progress but, even after 13 years in jail, still has a way to go before release.

Kino Hoki Matete, 39, 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. 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.

The Parole Board recently decided that Matete was still an undue risk to release. Although she had been in a fight, beyond that generally interactions in prison were positive.

A psychologist said Matete still had some "concerning attitudes" and her "concrete thinking" was of concern.

Based on past experience Matete has not wanted to do group therapy sessions so one-to-one counselling was recommended but had not started yet. She also did not want to go into a "self-care unit", a flatting-type living arrangement in prison.

However she was a trusted worker in the prison kitchen and gym, and had received positive feedback. The board was told Matete wanted work in the community on a "release to work" programme and it agreed that was one of the steps needed for her to prepare herself for release.

The board is due to consider her release again in one year.

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