Ewen Macdonald has today been denied parole for a third time.

The 34-year-old, who was acquitted of murdering his brother-in-law Scott Guy, learned of his fate at a Parole Board hearing at Rolleston Prison outside Christchurch this morning.

"Mr Macdonald has been declined parole as he still poses an undue risk to the safety of the community," the Parole Board said.

"He will be considered again as part of the statutory cycle."


The full decision will be released at a later stage.

The board will not be making any further comment.

After a jury found him not guilty of murder at high-profile trial in Wellington, Macdonald was sentenced in September 2012 to five years' imprisonment for a crime spree targeting neighbouring Feilding farms.

Macdonald pleaded guilty to six charges, including vandalism of a new house that Scott and and his wife Kylee were building, the slaughter of 19 calves with hammer blows to their heads, the theft and killing of two trophy stags, emptying a neighbour's main milk vat of about 16,000 litres of milk worth tens of thousands of dollars, and burning down a 110-year-old whare.

The charges were not revealed to the murder trial jury, partly because they would have been prejudicial.

He has served three-and-a-half years behind bars.

His sentence end date is April 6, 2016.

Parents, Kerry and Marlene Macdonald were again at the hearing to support their son.

Last year, the Parole Board was not satisfied Macdonald no longer remained an undue risk to the safety of the community.

During last year's hearing, the board found he had "significant personality disturbance".

For the last two years, he had been on working day release into the community, mowing lawns, chopping firewood, and working on local farms. Macdonald last year identified areas of high risk, if he was released, would include contact with his ex-wife and her partner, adverse comments from members of the public, building trust with new relationships, contact with his co-offender and media harassment.

He said his proposed release conditions of living in the South Island, living under a curfew and electronic monitoring, would have alleviated his victims', and the public's, concerns.

He believed he would still be with his wife if he had not been convicted of these crimes.

Macdonald told the hearing that with the help of a psychologist he had changed greatly over the last year.

His last parole hearing had come shortly after the murder trial and he accepted he hadn't thought much about the crimes he'd been convicted of.

Nor did he think about the victims if the crimes which he accepted were driven by revenge, bad ideas, and in the past, if someone he thought had crossed him, he would hold a grudge and seek revenge.

Macdonald's ex-wife, Anna Guy, yesterday told the Herald on Sunday the couple's four children weren't particularly excited at the possibility their dad might be released.

The last time they saw him was in April, although they spoke every 10 days on the phone. "It's such strange circumstances. It's difficult and awkward for everyone," she said.

Guy wants her ex-husband to serve his full sentence which would end next April. But if he is to be paroled, she is relieved there will be restrictions on where he can travel. "It's not like he will be moving close by in the same town."

Scott Guy's father Bryan said he was pleased that Macdonald is not "coming out straight away".

"We're pleased that he is at least going to spend a bit more time in jail. There are consequences for when you commit crimes, and it's good the Parole Board hasn't been lenient in this case," he said.

He hoped that Macdonald could benefit from more rehabilitation while inside prison, "if possible".