The incident which sparked scrutiny of the Corrections Department was the murder of father-of-two Karl Kuchenbecker, who was gunned down by Graeme Burton on January 7, 2007. Burton was free on parole for murder at the time.
Corrections' handling of the Burton case was criticised on several grounds including:
- After his parole on July 10, 2006, Burton missed several mandatory meetings with his probation officer before authorities moved to have him returned to jail.
- Burton first broke his parole conditions on December 5, 2006, when he phoned his parole officer instead of meeting him, but the parole officer took no action.
- Corrections did not lodge a complaint with police until December 19, a week after Burton failed to report at all and two weeks after his first breach.
Burton went on a four-day rampage of violence in January 2007 which culminated in the killing of Mr Kuchenbecker.
At the time Mr Kuchenbecker's father Paul said: "Somebody has to be held accountable for it."
Coroner Garry Evans said in his report on Mr Kuchenbecker's death: "Fundamentally, Burton was treated as a normal parolee ... when, in fact, he was a high-risk, high-profile parolee, registered on the department's Offender Warning System, who required close monitoring for early signs of relapse and the taking of immediate and effective action on presentation of such signs ... "
- NZ HERALD STAFF