The young nanny who orchestrated an elaborate plot, including a fake pregnancy, to kidnap a newborn baby will soon be released from prison.

Nadene Faye Manukau-Togiavalu appeared for her third parole hearing today and will now be freed in December, the Parole Board confirmed to the Herald.

The Parole Board's written decision and reasons are expected to be published within the next 10 days.

Time on parole is included as part of a person's sentence, with Manukau-Togiavalu's due to end on August 30, 2020.


The parents of the kidnapped baby girl, who was just 11 days old at the time, told the Herald Manukau-Togiavalu's impending release was "massively disappointing".

"The whole legal process was a drawn-out saga," the father told the Herald today.

He also wished to warn other parents of Manukau-Togiavalu, whom he still considered to be "clearly a danger to the community, especially babies and young children".

The parents have earlier told the Herald their daughter's kidnapping has caused "lasting and considerable damage" and described it as a "living nightmare".

Manukau-Togiavalu was jailed for three years last July after her plot to kidnap the baby was revealed.

The now 23-year-old had been declined an early release by the Parole Board in May.

Before today's hearing, the board had requested a psychological assessment of Manukau-Togiavalu to evaluate her level of risk and the progress she has made while undertaking her treatment programmes.

While behind bars Manukau-Togiavalu has completed a rehabilitation programme and has told the Parole Board she learned how to identify high-risk situations in relationships and associates.


The minimum security prisoner has had several incidents while in prison, including one with a prison guard.

"There have in the past, been a number of misconducts," the board's May decision reads.

"The most recent was for fighting with or assaulting another prisoner in January of this year. There has also been an incident where Ms Manukau-Togiavalu sprayed disinfectant towards a prison officer."

Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu appears for sentencing as baby’s parents read victim impact statements. / Michael Craig

The courts have earlier heard that much of Manukau-Togiavalu's offending may have stemmed from the killing of her cousin - rising rugby league star Luke Tipene.

Tipene died after he was stabbed in the neck with a broken beer bottle by Vincent Skeen during a brawl outside a party in central Auckland in November 2014.

Manukau-Togiavalu held her 17-year-old cousin in her arms as he bled to death and later gave evidence at Skeen's murder trial and retrial.

The kidnapping plot began after Manukau-Togiavalu developed the fantasy she had given birth to a boy but had adopted him out.

She then began to spread the lie and told people she wanted her baby back.

Her scam included a hoax baby shower and realistic pregnancy suit to convince her family and friends.

Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu wore a fake pregnancy suit during her hoax baby shower before the kidnapping. Photo / Supplied
Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu wore a fake pregnancy suit during her hoax baby shower before the kidnapping. Photo / Supplied

After duping a nanny agency, Manukau-Togiavalu then began working for an Auckland family and caring for their newborn girl at their Epsom home.

She devised a plan to kidnap the baby and also enlisted the help of her younger cousin Sydnee Shaunna Taulapapa.

In the early hours of August 9, 2017 the baby was taken.

A creeping and balaclava-clad Taulapapa entered through the back door, with the chilling scene caught on CCTV cameras.

The baby's parents and about 80 police launched a major search to find the newborn, who was discovered later that afternoon with Taulapapa in a car in the suburb of Favona.

Sydnee Shaunna Taulapapa, pictured during her High Court sentencing. Photo / Sam Hurley
Sydnee Shaunna Taulapapa, pictured during her High Court sentencing. Photo / Sam Hurley

Manukau-Togiavalu was also convicted and discharged for burglary, criminal harassment, making an intimate visual recording and dishonestly using a document.

Taulapapa, meanwhile, was discharged without conviction for kidnapping and burglary after she was conned into believing her cousin's delusional tales.

She was, however, ordered to complete 400 hours' community work and pay $2000 to the baby's parents, or a children's charity.

The money was donated to fertility research.

The Crown, seeking a conviction for Taulapapa, later unsuccessfully challenged the sentence in the Court of Appeal.