Two Hawke's Bay women jailed for ripping off Inland Revenue to the tune of $1.3 million have been declined parole because of their lack of remorse.
The mother and daughter duo of Moehau Smith, 70, and Christine Smith, 46, committed a substantial fraud over a brief period involving the filing of 49 false GST returns through four farming entities.
The returns related to two farms near Wairoa, Hawke's Bay, and IRD investigators began looking into the returns in 2016.
The offending occurred over a 21-month period during which they claimed refunds amounting to $1.5 million. A total of $1.3 million was received.
There is approximately two years six months still remaining on both their sentences.
At a recent hearing to determine if they should be released the Parole Board considered what both women had done since the offending took place.
In prison Christine has been engaged in the Kowhiritanga rehabilitation programme.
During the programme she recognised the role her emotions played during her offending and acknowledged that managing finances is a high-risk situation.
However, her acknowledgment was tempered by her blaming external factors for her offending and placing little culpability on her own management, this week's decision said.
Moehau told the parole board that regarding the offence she should have known better and described her offending as a mistake.
She said IRD taught her to complete the GST returns and for a while a person from IRD checked them every month.
However according to the decision she "seemed evasive" and contradicted herself during the hearing.
There also appeared to be a dispute in the family, and it was not clear what impact that will have on Moehau's release proposal as well as that of her daughter.
Nor was it clear what role she would play regarding the farms that she clearly still sees as hers, the decision said.
Neither mother nor daughter filled the parole board with any degree of confidence that they had analysed or taken responsibility for their offending.
Their parole was declined. Both will be seen for further consideration of parole by the end of the year.