Two of the teen killers of Auckland pizza delivery man Michael Choy are on the path to being released from prison, says the parole board.
Mr Choy, 40, was robbed and beaten to death after he was lured to a South Auckland house in September, 2001. Seven youngsters were given prison sentences for murder, manslaughter or aggravated robbery.
Whatarangi Rawiri, now 27, and Alexander Peihopa, now 25, were teenagers when they were convicted of murder and received life sentences. Rawiri planned the murder - carried out on her 17th birthday - and Peihopa wielded the bat.
Both have had separate hearings before the Parole Board this month, and the board has deemed both to be on the right track for reintegration into society.
In a report documenting Peihopa's parole hearing on February 9, Judge David Carruthers said the inmate would be further considered for parole in August, six months earlier than the statutory requirement.
"Mr Peihopa's behaviour has been excellent. He has been compliant, hard-working and well behaved. There is no history of non-compliance and all augurs well for his future."
The report recommended the convicted killer progress from his minimum security classification to External Care, to experience a number of 'leaves' out into the community.
"Basically, we believe further slow and steady advance is the key to his ultimate reintegration," said Justice Carruthers.
The inmate had successfully completed a carpentry course, was eligible to work, and a psychological report indicated he was at moderate risk of further serious offending.
Rawiri was seen on February 3, before a panel of four members of the board. Justice Marion Frater said although the prisoner had more work to do, she was heading towards reintegration within society.
"She is clearly on the right path. She is acutely aware of her high-risk situations and is committed to working on those aspects of her behaviour and attitude which she can change. She also has the benefit of an impressive group of supporters."
Rawiri has built up a strong support base in and around South Auckland.
The offender is now working as the head cook in a prison kitchen. She has had three escorted shopping trips, and went to a young childhood friend's house unescorted.
Justice Frater recommended more frequent and longer outings, leading up to outings every three weeks for up to 72 hours. Rawiri's parole was declined, but she will appear before the parole board again in 12 months.