One of New Zealand's most high-profile criminals has returned to the familiar surroundings of a courtroom.

Dean High Te Kahu William Wickliffe, 68, appeared before a registrar in the Tauranga District Court today to face two charges, including one charge of excess breath alcohol and one of breaching parole conditions.

Through his lawyer, he entered an intimated guilty plea to both charges, which relate to an incident on September 23. An intimated guilty plea effectly tells the court the accused intended to plead guilty at a later appearance.

Wickliffe, one the country's longest-serving inmates, has spent more than half his life behind bars.


He is serving a life sentence for the manslaughter of Wellington jeweller Paul Miet during an armed robbery, a sentence originally imposed in 1972.

Wickliffe has been released and recalled to prison five times between 1987 and 2011.

Last year he was denied an early release as the Parole Board felt he posed an undue risk to the community. However, this year the board granted Wickliffe parole on May 17.

This time, Wickliffe has been remanded at large to appear in front of a judge later this month.