A man who murdered his wife and tried to kill her friend has been paroled.

Mark Goodwin, 43, and his prostitute partner Jan Yorke - whose son Dennis Paul was convicted in 2005 of murdering 14-month-old Palmerston North toddler Merana Clements-Matete - murdered Goodwin's estranged wife, Niki Goodwin, in 1995.

They also tried to kill her friend, Barbara Bishop; they had forced both women to take a cocktail of drugs before bashing Ms Goodwin with a brick and putting Ms Bishop in a car which they then pushed off a 25m cliff.

She survived, and the Parole Board decision released today noted she had recently had a restorative justice meeting with Goodwin.


The board's decision described Goodwin's crime as "an appalling event'' and said it was only by an "extraordinary stroke of luck that a further murder did not occur''.

Goodwin and his family had previously proposed that he return to the area of Taranaki where the crime happened - and where his victim's family still live - to work on his family farm.

The board did not believe that was appropriate but had approved him living with a supporter at a rental property in Taranaki and continuing to work for a contractor, who has employed him on a prison release to work programme for nearly two years.

"All of that has gone without incident. It is proposed that he continues that work, that he does it within a circle which roughly encompasses the Wanganui and top of the Manawatu districts, that he keeps away from a larger part of Taranaki and particularly important areas of Taranaki,'' the board's decision said.

He would also be electronically monitored and on a 7pm-7am curfew.

Goodwin had been assessed as being at a moderate to low risk of reoffending and, while in prison had had no misconducts or incidents and had had a minimum security qualification for a long time.

"Mr Goodwin has shown by his behaviour ... that he is no longer an undue risk to the safety of the community and we propose releasing him accordingly,'' it said.