Key Points:

Corrections Minister Judith Collins wants to make sure the correct procedures were followed over allegations convicted rapist Brad Shipton had breached his parole.

Shipton's lawyer has questioned the lack of investigation by authorities into allegations he had breached his parole.

Yesterday the Corrections Department backed down from moves to have Shipton recalled to prison, after he accepting he could not have met Peter McNamara, a co-offender in the rape of a woman nearly 20 years ago.

A member of the public said they had spotted Shipton on Tuesday having coffee at a Mount Maunganui cafe with McNamara.

Shipton's parole bars him from communicating with his co-offenders.

Shipton, a former policeman, and his lawyer Bill Nabney proved to the department today that he was in Auckland at the time he was alleged to have been with McNamara in Mt Maunganui.

On Thursday the department applied to the New Zealand Parole Board to have Shipton recalled to prison and lodged the alleged breach with Tauranga District Court.

The department said it was acting "on information forwarded to Corrections by the police".

A police spokesperson told NZPA there had been little involvement on their side, and the lead agencies were Corrections and Community Probation Services.

"What we provided was CCTV footage showing Brad in Auckland at the time he was allegedly in Mt Maunganui," Mr Nabney told NZPA.

"We provided statements from people in Auckland who he'd had contact with, and finally the person who was having coffee with Mr McNamara..." Mr Nabney said.

Mr Nabney said he was concerned at the lack of investigation into allegations before authorities were willing to take action against his client.

"They didn't do an investigation. We did an investigation, we provided the proof and they had to back down.

"All of that is pretty tough stuff for somebody who is 220km away at the time and for an investigation that was clearly quite slipshod. Yet a man's liberty is placed at risk just that easily."

Ms Collins said today that when investigating breaches of parole the safety of the public was the number one priority.

"I would expect Corrections Department processes to err on the side of caution when recalling parolees to prison for alleged breaches," she said.

"I will be meeting with Corrections CEO Barry Matthews next week to satisfy myself the correct procedure was followed in this instance."

Shipton was released from Wanganui prison last November after serving a third of his 8-1/2-year jail sentence for the pack rape of the woman at Mt Maunganui in 1989.

- NZPA