One of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals will stay in prison until he gains more insight into his "pro-offending attitudes".

Dean Wickliffe was released on parole last year but recalled to prison after he was twice caught drink driving.

Wickliffe, now 70, has spent more than half his life behind bars for a plethora of offences.

His most notorious crime was the manslaughter of Wellington jeweller Paul Miet during an armed robbery in 1972.


READ MORE: Exclusive: Dean Wickliffe, the life and times of New Zealand's most 'notorious' crim

Wickliffe was jailed for life for the killing, but has was released and recalled to prison five times between 1987 and 2011.

He was recalled again last year after he pleaded guilty to two charges of driving with excess breath alcohol.

He spoke at length to the Herald about his offending, and life, at the time.

Wickliffe appeared before the Parole Board again on August 6.

Parole Board panel convenor Tania Williams Blyth said each of Wickliffe's prison recalls had been preceded by further offending, including aggravated robbery, escaping, kidnapping, driving with excess breath alcohol, possessing and selling cannabis, and manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine for supply.

Last August the board requested a psychological assessment of the elderly inmate.

"The report was to assess Mr Wickliffe's risk, consider the treatment necessary," said Williams Blyth in a decision released to the Herald today.

"He was then to complete the treatment. Given Mr Wickliffe's failures on parole, the board also requested consideration of a supported residential placement."

Dean Wickliffe is one of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals and prison escapees. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Dean Wickliffe is one of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals and prison escapees. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A psychological report from February revealed Wickliffe had engaged in 70 individual treatment sessions between February 2009 and January 2017.

"Whilst Mr Wickliffe has completed much psychological treatment, there appears to remain rigidity in his thinking, limiting his ability to consider potential variations in relation to high risk situations," the report stated.

"He takes full responsibility for all his offences and is able to describe precipitating factors but is unable to generalise these to other possible future situations.

"Mr Wickliffe demonstrates limited insight into his pro-offending attitudes and potential future high-risk situations rendering any safety plan ineffective.

"He demonstrates motivation to engage in community activities and has identified some personal pro social reports.

"However, the degree to which he will utilise these upon release is questionable, given his seeming ambivalence about needing support and the type of support he will require."

The psychologist recommended Wickliffe participate in individual treatment to strengthen his safety plan and "continue to identify and challenge pro-offending cognitions and increase insight into potential high-risk situations".

A further psychological assessment for the board addressing Wickliffe's current risk and outstanding treatment needs had not been received.

Also not received was an assessment of his release proposal.

"With respect, given Mr Wickliffe's long history of offending, the serious offending for which he received a life sentence, the intense offence focus treatment he has received, the fact that he has been recalled on six occasions together with February 2019 report completed for prison services, the Board finds it difficult to carry out our legal obligation to assess Mr Wickliffe's risk," said Williams Blyth.

Dean Wickliffe, one of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals and prison escapee talks about his life behind bars. He is the only person to have escaped Paremoremo maximum security prison twice and he was New Zealand's longest-serving prisoner. / Brett Phibbs

"These issues were discussed with Mr Wickliffe. He believes that he has done all he can do.

"He highlighted the wide support from his community. For the first time he has great support."

That support includes members of his family, who have not been part of his life in the past.

"A couple of weeks ago Mr Wickliffe went to Maketu, the guided release included attending a meeting with his probation officer," said Williams Blyth.

"He and the probation officer have come to an agreement that he will join a kaumatua group who meet twice a week and attend cultural events.

"There is also the possibility of a three month drink-driving course which Mr Wickliffe has agreed to participate in. He will also work with a psychologist as well as attending te reo classes."

Williams Blyth said Wickliffe's immediate aim on release was to settle down into his life.

"Income will not be an issue as he is entitled to superannuation," said Williams Blyth.

"His safety plan is about putting himself first.

"He will now avoid confrontations."

The Parole Board is
The Parole Board is "not satisfied" that Dean Wickliffe no longer poses an undue risk. Photo / John Borren

However, based on the information given to the Board - and the lack of the requested psych reports and assessment - Williams Blyth said Wickliffe simply could not be released.

"On the information before the Board today we are not satisfied that Mr Wickliffe no longer poses an undue risk," she said.

"Parole is declined."

Wickliffe will see the Board again in December.

A full report assessing his current risk, outstanding treatment needs, and an assessment of his release proposal has been sought.