A petition to keep child rapist Raurangi Mark Marino behind bars for life has reached more than 120,000 signatures.

Marino, who was 16 at the time, was drunk when he came across a five-year-old sleeping in a Tūrangi campground and attacked her in December 2011.

Marino, whose father was a Mongrel Mob member, was sentenced to 10 years' prison but was released after serving seven of those years.

The crime was described by the Parole Board as a "particularly horrendous rape" of a young child "involving significant violence".


In the Parole Board decision that released Marino it was noted he had completed the Te Piriti Sex Offender Treatment Programme and the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP): "Therefore he had completed all the rehabilitation programmes required of him."

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He had also strengthened his release plan as asked, and had people who would support him in the community, according to the report.

"Overall, Mr Marino has done all that has been asked of him in terms of reintegration."

The Parole Board applied onerous conditions when releasing him early.

They included:

• Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed by a health professional.

• To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring.


• To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting/changing employment.

• Not to communicate or associate with any person known to associate with gangs unless with prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

However, the petition asks: "Why should a convicted violent offender, who chose to brutally rape an innocent 5-year-old child be given the right, the privilege of early release? Why does Marino deserve his freedom when he stole everything from an innocent victim and her family?"

A New Zealand Parole Board (NZPB) spokesperson said the board's job was to focus on risk, and public safety is the paramount consideration in every decision.

"We have parole as a proven way to reduce reoffending, by closely supervising an offender's reintegration to society, rather than releasing them at the end of their sentence when oversight is no longer legally possible.

"Raurangi Marino was released on parole in July, subject to conditions."

Day-to-day, probation officers from Community Corrections ensure those on parole comply with the conditions set by the Board, the spokesperson said.

A person on parole can be recalled to prison if undue risk is identified, or there is a breach of conditions.

"There has been no recall application received or approved by the Board in this case," the spokesperson said.

"The Board is also able to hold monitoring hearings to assess the progress of people on parole. In this case, a monitoring hearing is due to be held in February 2020."

Marino's horrific crime stunned the nation, with New Zealanders donating gifts and money totalling $62,000 to the victim's family, who were from overseas.

The family in turn donated $20,000 of that money to several organisations including $5000 to Taupō District Council to go toward playground equipment in Tūrangi.

At the time they said in a statement: "We were amazed at New Zealanders' generosity. We in no way blame the Tūrangi community for what happened and so we wanted to give something tangible back.

"We understand they are fundraising for a new children's playground and so we want $5000 spent on a piece of equipment that young people in Tūrangi can enjoy."

The rest of the money was donated to paediatric surgical instruments and items for the children's ward at Waikato Hospital, as well as support for ECPAT Child Alert NZ Ltd and Victim Support Hamilton.

At his sentencing in 2012, the court heard how Marino had come from a troubled, violent background and dysfunctional family and was drunk at the time of the attack and could recall little of it.

He had been bullied, abused, had attempted suicide and began taking drugs and alcohol from an early age.