Ewen Macdonald's estranged wife does not think he will be set free from prison after a parole hearing today.

Macdonald became eligible this month for parole, after he was sentenced to five years' jail for arson, vandalism and killing deer and calves on neighbouring Feilding farms.

His term was imposed in September, after he was found not guilty of murdering his wife's brother Scott Guy by a High Court jury in July.

When he was sentenced, Macdonald had already served more than a year in prison awaiting trial.


This month he had officially served a third of his sentence and became eligible to go before the board.

He and his wife Anna Guy have since separated.

Ms Guy, who was also Scott Guy's sister, did not attend today's parole hearing, which was understood to be taking place at Manawatu Prison.

But she told Radio New Zealand she did not think Macdonald would win his parole bid so she was not preparing for his release.

"I'm trying to focus on what I'm doing and jobs and where I'm going to live and looking after the kids and stuff."

She said she did not know when Macdonald would be released on parole, but would "deal with it when that time comes".

"I don't think it will be today but you never know."

Ms Guy said the situation had been confusing for their children.

"They understand what he's done and that makes it very difficult for them."

She said it was going to be difficult for her to trust anyone again.

"But if I don't I'm going to be miserable and I'm going to be scared my whole life and I probably won't be able to get on with people or be myself.

"At some point you've just got to let it go and take the risk and trust someone."

Ms Guy said Christmas was quite a difficult time for the family.

"It's a lot quieter than it used to be."

Next year, Ms Guy will be starting a new job job in broadcasting in Auckland, where her boyfriend lives.

"I'm ready, whether it's a new year or not."

Mr Guy's wife, Kylee, who also was not attending today's hearing, was still working with private investigators after launching her own inquiry into her husband's death. He was shot in the driveway of their farm in July 2010.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with his death, but did not seek a retrial for Macdonald.

Most initial parole applications are declined. The board uses the first hearing to establish contact with the prisoner and to ascertain what rehabilitation is needed before release can be properly considered.