The first woman in New Zealand to receive an indefinite prison sentence has been denied parole.

Kino Hoki Matete was sentenced to preventive detention back in 2006 after a string of violent attacks on other people, including throwing a bucket of boiling water over a fellow prison inmate.

In a decision released today, the Parole Board said there was still "considerable concern" about Matete's conduct and attitude in prison.

The 40-year-old Porirua woman's history of assaults are some of the most serious committed in prison in New Zealand.

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She received her preventive detention sentence with a nine-year non-parole period after pleading guilty to charges including wounding, injuring and causing grievous bodily harm to others.

She was on parole in September 2004 when she attacked a woman she believed had burgled her house with a pocket knife, causing a cut in her arm which required four stitches.

While on remand in June 2005 for that attack, she threw a bucket of boiling water over a woman who had ripped off her "jail mum". The woman was hospitalised with severe burns.

The next month Matete broke a prison officer's arm after becoming enraged by the way the woman asked her to return a pen.

Defence lawyer Val Nisbet said at the time Matete's early life was fraught with difficulty and violence. Her adoptive parents separated when she was 10 and she was a ward of the state at 13. She attended secondary school for only one year before spending years on the street and ending up on youth remand in Mt Eden Prison at the age of 15.

She also has previous convictions for assaulting police, attacking a woman with a crowbar, and hitting another woman with an iron bar.

Matete, who is currently on a minimum security classification in prison, has been completing programmes and hoped to soon be allowed to participate in a Release for Work scheme.

"We consider that Ms Matete has made some progress. At times she has struggled to regulate her emotions and there have been incidents when she was verbally aggressive, the board's decision said.

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"She can be rigid and her communication style can seem offhand and aggressive."

For now, she remains an "undue risk".

The board declined her parole. She will be up for parole again in April next year.

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