The killer of an East Auckland man stabbed to death while he walked home from a party will stay behind bars - but for the first time has admitted his crime and says he wants to "move forward" in his life.
Daryl Graydon, 26, was killed in Howick in December 2007 while walking home from a party with his friend.
While at the party - about half an hour before the murder - the pair had a verbal altercation with two youths outside the address.
They were Sean Ira Selby and Daryl Lee Fraser, who were both 18 at the time.
Fraser and Selby went back home, planned revenge and got knives.
They caught up with Graydon on Ridge Rd and challenged him, saying "knifey, knifey", and brandishing the knives.
Graydon ran but was caught and stabbed five times.
Selby fled to Australia after the murder, assuming a new identity.
But police eventually found him and he was extradited back to New Zealand and charged in January 2008.
After a trial in the High Court at Auckland, Selby was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.
Fraser was found not guilty of murdering Graydon but guilty of manslaughter and jailed for six years.
Selby, now 30, appeared before the Parole Board for the first time at the end of November.
At his hearing, for the first time, he took responsibility for Graydon's murder.
"In terms of his defence at the time, Mr Selby says today that he spent the first seven years of his sentence in denial," said Parole Board panel convenor Tania Williams Blythe.
"He blamed his victim and said it was self-defence.
"He said his victim swung a bottle. He went to trial with that narrative and stuck to it.
"He is clear today that it was not self-defence. His victim did not swing a bottle."
Williams Blythe said the information presented to the board about Selby painted a "positive picture".
She said he had completed both a rehabilitation programme and maintenance of it and during his time behind bars had "achieved a number of educational qualifications".
"He also received the outstanding achiever award for 2018/2019 from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University," she said.
"Mr Selby has provided extensive submissions. The submissions present a picture of a young man who is intelligent, focused and has a plan to move forward in his life.
"Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues that have not yet been clearly addressed."
Williams Blythe said the first issue was that Selby had spent 12 years behind bars and only in the past two years had started the reintegration progress.
Further, he had only moved into a self-care unit and started the release-to-work programme in early November.
He had yet to engage in guided releases to the accommodation he proposed to live at if he were to be released - and had no bank account.
Effectively, Selby did not have a solid release plan and did not seek parole.
Williams Blythe said Selby "impressed" the board but it was not possible for him to be released yet.
"He has a good understanding of his offending and what led to it," she said.
"He seems to have taken onboard all the offence-focused treatment and excelled in achieving academic qualifications.
"The board commend Mr Selby for the positive progress that he has made.
"We are, however, faced with a very brief time engaged in external reintegration activities and we do not have a confirmed release proposal.
"In the circumstances, Mr Selby remains an undue risk and parole is declined."
Selby will be seen for further consideration of parole in February 2021.
"In the meantime, the board supports Mr Selby engaging in reintegration activities including guided releases to the accommodation proposed and to obtain a bank account," said Williams Blythe.