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Seven new members have been appointed to the New Zealand Parole Board, along with the re-appointment of chairperson Judge Sir David Carruthers and 14 current members, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson announced today.
The new appointees include District Court Judges Louis Bidois, David Holderness and Anne Kiernan, who will act as panel convenors of Parole Board hearings. The other new members are Michael Christensen, Stephen Paul, Alick Shaw and Kathryn Snook.
“The new members will bring a wide range of skills and extensive experience to the important work of the Parole Board,” Mr Finlayson said.
Michael Christensen has had a career involving a variety of positions including as a Chief Executive of a kiwifruit distribution company, 10 years in the real estate industry and nine years with the New Zealand Police. He currently works as a line-haul driver for a transport company.
Stephen Paul has been employed as a Reintegration Coordinator, at the Te Piriti Special Treatment Unit at Auckland Prison since 2006. He has regularly contributed to Parole Board reports in this role.
Alick Shaw works as a member and director on the boards of Crown Entities and Council Controlled Organisations, and sits as an independent commissioner in Resource Management Act hearings. Mr Shaw served three terms as a Wellington City Councillor and was Deputy Mayor for six years.
Kathryn Snook has practised law for nearly 20 years, both in private practice and as an in-house solicitor in the public sector. She has a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system.
The members reappointed are Dr Philip Brinded, Dr Jeremy Skipworth, Brian McMurray, Richard Lewis, Shannon Pakura, Rhonda Pritchard, Alan Ritchie, Neville Trendle, Darlene Cullen, Janice Donaldson, Matt Hakiaha, Lavinia Nathan, Jim Thomson and Robin Wilson.
Judge Sir David Carruthers will be completing his second term in the position. Sir David was appointed to the District Court Bench in 1985. He was subsequently appointed as the Principal Youth Court Judge in 1996 and the Chief District Court Judge in June 2001. He retired from the bench in 2005 to take up appointment as Chairperson of the Board but has remained on an acting warrant since that time. In his earlier career, he was in partnership in a Pahiatua law firm for 20 years and practised for a further two years on his own account in Palmerston North. He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005 and knighted in 2009 for his services to the District Courts.
Panel Convenors (new members)
Judge Louis Bidois was appointed as a District Court Judge in July 2002. Judge Bidois’ tribal affiliation is to Te Arawa. He was admitted to the Bar in 1983 and was a partner in Chadwick Bidois until his appointment to the Bench. After a period of general practice following admission to the bar, he began specialising in criminal work and appeared regularly in the Youth Court, District Court, High Court and the Court of Appeal. Judge Bidois has a strong interest in Māori culture and has held several positions of responsibility on Māori Trusts and for clubs and marae, including a period of 17 years as treasurer of the Awahou Marae.
Judge David Holderness was appointed to the District Court Bench in 1993. He retired in 2010 but remains on an acting warrant. Judge Holderness chaired the Dunedin District Prisons Board from 1996 until 2002 when the Parole Act disestablished the district prisons boards. He served as a relief Chairperson of the Liquor Licensing Authority in 2009.
Judge Anne Kiernan came to New Zealand from Ireland in the 1980s and was admitted to the Bar in New Zealand in 1988. The following year she joined Meredith Connell in Auckland as a Crown Prosecutor. Her career as a lawyer was mostly in criminal prosecution work. She returned to England twice, in 1991-92 and 1993-96, and for both periods was employed by the Crown Prosecution Service. On each return to New Zealand she resumed employment with Meredith Connell where she undertook criminal prosecution work and some civil litigation for the Police and other government agencies. Judge Kiernan was appointed to the Bench in 2002.
Forensic Psychiatrist Members (re-appointments)
Dr Philip Brinded is the Clinical Director, Forensic Psychiatry Service, Canterbury District Health Board and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine. He also has a private practice with three forensic psychiatric colleagues. He has specialised in forensic psychiatry since 1984, giving expert evidence in the District Court, High Court, Family Court, Employment Court and at Coroners' inquests. He has extensive experience in all aspects of civil and criminal forensic psychiatry, expert witness evidence, risk assessment, inpatient and prison based psychiatric practice. In 1988 he was part of the assessment team for the Mason Commission of Inquiry, performing bi-cultural assessments on inmates at Paremoremo Prison.
Dr Jeremy Skipworth is a consultant psychiatrist who has 13 years’ experience in the civil and criminal arenas, writing psychiatric reports and giving expert evidence in both the District and High Courts. He is currently working for Auckland Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services. He has clinical experience in both acute and rehabilitation forensic settings, as well as in prisons, the community, and in an administrative role as Deputy Director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health. Dr Skipworth has lectured on medico-legal report writing, giving expert evidence, and applying the law to mental health issues. He has published in international journals relating to his particular areas of interest, which include risk assessment, rehabilitation, and mental health legislation reform.
Brian McMurray was the Assistant General Manager of Prison Services (Rimutaka) prior to his appointment to the Board in 2008 and was with the prison service from 1971 until that time. He is highly experienced in structured decision-making processesand has taken a leadership role in programmes supporting Māori and Pacific Island offenders.
Richard Lewis was appointed to the Board in 2004. Prior to his appointment he was an experienced Senior Probation Officer in Christchurch with expertise in the management of high risk offenders on parole. He specialised in the management and rehabilitation of sexual and violent offenders, and developed skills in risk reduction and relapse prevention for these groups. Mr Lewis is an experienced trainer and professional supervisor, with over 20 years’ experience of working in the criminal justice field, both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Shannon Pakura was appointed to the Board in 2008. Immediately prior to her appointment she was employed with the Social Workers Registration Authority but had previously worked in a number of key roles within Child, Youth and Family including as the General Manager Service Development. In that role she was responsible for leading the development of high quality care and protection, youth justice and adoption services.
Rhonda Pritchard was a Senior Research Analyst for the Centre of Social and Evaluation, Ministry of Social Development prior to her appointment to the Board in 2008. While at the Ministry she researched family violence and prevention strategies. She was also previously a self-employed counsellor, trainer and consultant.
Alan Ritchie was the Executive Director of the New Zealand Law Society from 1985 until his appointment to the Board in 2008. Since being admitted in 1971, he was an employee then partner at an Ashburton general practice law firm, He worked briefly at Chapman Tripp, Wellington, in 1985. Mr Ritchie is a highly experienced administrator who has an agile intellect who brings a broad knowledge of the criminal justice system.
Neville Trendle is a former police assistant Commissioner. (2000-2001) and barrister with 40 years’ experience working in and around the criminal justice system. He has participated in law reform in the criminal justice sector in the Police and at the Law Commission and is a Visiting Justice. He has been a member of the board since 2008.
Darlene Cullen has been a member of the Board since 2004 and has connections to the Samoan community. She has been a Tenancy Adjudicator and Mediator in Auckland for the last 22 years andhas a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Waikato University.
Janice Donaldson is of Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā descent and has been a member of the Board since 2002. She is the Portfolio Manager, Service Improvement for District Health Boards New Zealand and has previously held management positions with Taranaki Health, Māori Health for Canterbury District Health Board and Ngai Tahu Development Corporation. She worked as a Probation Officer in Christchurch and Timaru from 1981-89. Ms Donaldson has also been actively involved in the Christchurch Community Law Centre, the Canterbury District Legal Services Committee and the Māori Legal Service.
Matt Hakiaha is a current member of the Board and lectures at the Bible College. He has had work published on indigenous perspectives and youth justice. He is a former Probation Officer (1985-87) and Youth Justice Co-ordinator for Social Welfare. He has also worked as a tutor in social work and conference co-ordinator for CYPF Services. He was a member of, and specialist adviser to, the Ministerial Taskforce on Youth Offending. Mr Hakiaha is a fluent and committed Te Reo speaker.
Lavinia Nathan is Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Whātua descent and has been a member of the Board since 2002. She has a background in the corrections environment and senior management experience. She has worked extensively with recidivist offenders, initially as a probation officer, then in psychological services and for the last four years as manager of the Te Piriti Special Treatment Unit at Auckland Prison.
Jim Thomson has been a member of the Board since 2002 and lived and worked in a number of countries before settling in New Zealand. He was previously a Service Manager for the Community Probation Service from 1997-2002 with responsibility for home detention in Christchurch. He was the Community Probation Service member of the Rolleston and Christchurch District Prisons Boards.
Robin Wilson has been a member of the Board since 2002. He retired as General Manager of New Zealand Children and Young Persons Service in 1994 after more than 22 years in Social Welfare. During this time he had responsibility at various levels for juvenile justice, including the management of institutions for young offenders. He also played a role in developing culturally appropriate services for Māori and Pacific people. Mr Wilson has a detailed knowledge of prison administration.
Members (new appointees)
Michael Christensen has had a career spanning a variety of positions including Chief Executive of a kiwifruit distribution company, 10 years in the real estate industry and nine years with the New Zealand Police, retiring with the rank of sergeant. He currently works as a line-haul driver for a transport company. Mr Christensen is a Justice of the Peace and is a former Chairperson of the now disestablished Bay of Plenty Legal Services Committee.
Stephen Paul has been employed as a Reintegration Coordinator, Te Piriti Special Treatment Unit at Auckland Prison since 2006. In this role he has regularly contributed to Parole Board reports. He has previously spent 28 years in the Royal New Zealand Navy and from 1997 to 2004 provided cultural advice and support to successive Chiefs of the Defence Force and other senior military officers. His tribal affiliations are to Nga Puhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Aupouri and Ngāti Kuri.
Alick Shaw works as a member and director on the boards of Crown Entities, Council Controlled Organisations and sits as an independent commissioner in Resource Management Act hearings under the jurisdiction of the Wellington City Council. He is also extensively involved in voluntary, sporting, cultural and community organisations and privately held companies. Mr Shaw served three terms as a Wellington City Councillor, six years of which he was the Deputy Mayor.
Kathryn Snook has practised law for nearly 20 years both in private practice and as an in-house solicitor in the public sector. Her most recent employment was with Minter Ellison Rudd Watts from 2008 to 2010 and with the Office of Treaty Settlements, Ministry of Justice from 2004 to 2008. She has a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system.