The Parole Board has reserved its decision after today's parole hearing for disgraced former Heart of the City Boss Alex Swney.

Swney, 59, was jailed for five years and seven months in June 2015, after he was convicted for tax evasion and "sophisticated" offending involving more than $4 million over a decade.

A decision will be released in the next two to three weeks.

The Herald revealed earlier this year that Swney was working with fellow inmates via one of the organisation's peer-to-peer literacy programmes.


New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform chief executive Mike Williams was to appear as a character reference at the parole hearing for the former high-flyer.

The literacy programmes that Swney had been involved with in prison are New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform peer-to-peer literacy programmes.

Williams said: "Alex told me after he'd been convicted but not sentenced, 'I am used to the idea of going to jail and I want to make use of my time there, what can I do?'."

"Generally white collar offenders teach the others how to read and write on a one-on-one basis. Alex received a certificate from Judith Collins last November for teaching two prisoners. I hope the parole board notice that."

Swney, a father-of-two, pleaded guilty to charges laid by the Inland Revenue and Serious Fraud Office for offending that Judge Grant Fraser said involved "a gross breach of trust".

Among the offences were 229 false invoices used to obtain $2,527,005 from the Heart of the City organisation between February 2004 and October 2014.

He also pleaded guilty to not paying taxes of $1,757,147.