Taffy Hotene was born in Murupara in 1970,
but was brought up in a chaotic and abusive foster home in Mangere.
By the age of 16 Hotene was being arrested for
attempted rape and when he got out of prison he immediately offended
again with a series of brutal attacks on women in Wanganui.
Hotene was sentenced to 12 years for these attack
and, only seven weeks after being released on parole in 2001, he raped
and murdered Auckland journalist, Kylie Jones in a frenzied attack in
a Glen Innes park.
Notorious killer's final few hours
By Lin Ferguson and Lauren Priestley - Wanganui
July 28, 2011
The final hours of notorious murderer and rapist
Taffy Hotene have been revealed as part of a coroner's inquest which
has exposed critical flaws in systems at Whanganui Prison.
Since the death of Hotene at the prison on November
26, 2009, prisons throughout New Zealand have been forced to adopt a
new policy for keeping accurate records of all inmates' movements
Hotene, 39, received an 18-year non-parole sentence
in October 2000 for murdering Auckland journalist Kylie Jones, 23, and
preventative detention for raping her.
He had completed eight years out of a 12-year
prison sentence for attacking three Wanganui women and was out on
parole when he attacked and killed Ms Jones.
Hotene was also involved with Black Power and had a
history of violence.
He had first appeared in court at age 15 for theft,
and again at age 17 for attempted rape at knifepoint.
Yesterday was the final day of an inquest into
Hotene's death before Coroner Carla na Nagara.
On the day he died, Hotene was working at a
pre-cast concrete factory within the prison grounds. He had been
painting pre-cast panels for the Ohakea air base.
Prison instructor John Kuratau said that each day
when the eight inmates finished at the factory, four would stay behind
to clean up, including Hotene.
Mr Kuratau said that at 3pm on November 26, 2009,
he scanned the inmates who had finished work and were going back to
John Hackshaw, principal instructor at the factory,
told the inquest he received a phone call from a prison officer saying
Hotene had not returned to his unit.
But 10 minutes later he was phoned again to say
Hotene had been located and staff thought he was in a craft room at
Ten minutes after that, Mr Hackshaw was phoned and
told Hotene had not been found after all, and to ring control.
For 30 minutes, prison and factory staff searched
the large factory yard. Hotene's body was found at 4.20pm.
Department of Corrections inspector Niuia Aumua
said he had found "significant shortcomings" in the way records had
been kept by prison officers at Whanganui Prison.
In his analysis, he said the unit records had not
correlated with the actual number of inmates.
However, there had been system changes since those
shortcomings were discovered, he said.
Whanganui Prison manager Hati Kaiwai said custodial
prison staff and activities instructors had legal obligations
surrounding the movement of inmates.
There had been errors that day and the forms had
not been filled in properly ascertaining where the prisoners were, he
Mr Kaiwai said that system was not used now.
Ms na Nagara asked if there was a system breakdown
because staff did not know who was in the unit and who had stayed
behind at the factory.
Mr Kaiwai agreed, saying it was a poor use of the
system and he accepted the coroner's criticism.
The system had been inappropriately used and staff
had not signed prisoners in and out correctly, he said.
Ms na Nagara asked if that meant prisoners were
roaming freely between the factory and their units.
Mr Kaiwai said yes, it should not happen, but
occasionally it did.
Since Hotene's death there had been a national
review of all prison systems and an upgrade on security relating to
In the units, staff had previously been carrying
out hourly face-to-name checks of all the prisoners, he said.
This meant prison staff were unnecessarily tied up
in paperwork at their computers, he said.
However, the new system meant that, as of April 1,
prisoner checks were done at unlock and lock-up, with a random check
carried out during the day.
"It allows staff to more actively manage prisoners
rather than having to carry out an hourly muster."
He said the search for Hotene had taken far too
long and that there had been a lot of confusion because forms had not
been filled in properly.
Ms na Nagara said the investigation highlighted
significant gaps in the systems of Whanganui Prison. She reserved her
Notorious offender found dead in prison
November 27, 2009
One of New Zealand's most notorious sexual
offenders has been found dead in Wanganui Prison.
Taffy Hotene was sentenced to an 18-year non-parole
life sentence in October 2000 for the murder of Auckland journalist
Hotene also received preventive detention and a
10-year non-parole term for raping Jones.
Hotene had attacked Jones just weeks after serving
eight years in jail for attacking three women in Wanganui.
Corections Department Assistant General Manager of
Operations Leanne Field said that staff had provided medical
assistance but were unable to revive Hotene, who was pronounced dead
by ambulance staff when they arrived.
The death is not considered suspicious, but the
death has been referred to the coroner for investigation.
Killer escaped indefinite jail
By Scott Inglis
August 9, 2000
A High Court judge rejected
prosecution pleas eight years ago to jail indefinitely the man who
went on to murder Aucklander Kylie Jones.
Justice Paul Neazor refused to
impose preventive detention on Taffy Herbert Hotene in April 1992 for
three attacks on Wanganui women, and instead sentenced him to 12 years
The law required that Hotene, who
came to prefer life in jail, had to be released in April this year
after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
Two months later, on June 6, he
abducted and killed 23-year-old Kylie Jones in a lonely reserve near
her Glen Innes home, and yesterday he pleaded guilty to her murder.
The Wanganui attacks took place
between February 13 and 18, 1992, just three weeks after Hotene had
been released from a four-year sentence for attempted rape.
He bashed and raped a woman in a
video shop then went on to attack two other women in shops.
At the sentencing in the High Court
at Wellington, Justice Neazor was asked to lock up Hotene
The prosecutor, Bridget Mackintosh,
said he had used extreme violence on his victims and deserved
preventive detention - an indefinite jail term with a minimum parole
period of 10 years.
However, the judge said that
Hotene, as a 21-year-old, was too young for preventive detention and
it was not plainly apparent that he would offend again in a sexual
"It would be a dreadful prospect to
impose such a sentence on a man who has really had no life outside
institutions," he said.
But the detective who arrested
Hotene for the Wanganui attacks, Sergeant Craig Hawkins, now of
Taumarunui, says it was clear he would offend violently again.
"It was obvious from things he said
that he would reoffend. He certainly had a dislike for women, and in
particular ones who wore short dresses. He said to me: 'Hey, if my
missus wore a short dress she would get everything she deserved'."
Sergeant Hawkins said Hotene had
been "cool, calm and collected" when attacking the woman in the video
"He locked the video shop front
door - this is 4 pm - and while he was in the process of beating the
living daylights out of her, someone knocked on the door. He stuck his
head up - wearing his mohawk - and said: 'Sorry, we're closed, come
back in five minutes'."
Hotene had exhibited similar
coolness after an attack on a woman in a Wanganui fruit shop.
"He picked up a knife and stabbed
her, but it bent. So he picked up another knife and that bent again
and she escaped.
"He was always thinking ahead
though. He ran away and sprinkled pepper where he changed his clothes
to put any dogs off the scent. Then he just jogged off down the road
as happy as larry."
Both Ms Mackintosh and Sergeant
Hawkins said that although they had sought preventive detention, 12
years was still a strong sentence for Hotene. The maximum sentence for
rape at the time was 14 years.
Hotene, who has spent nearly all
his adult life in jail for violence and sex crimes, yesterday also
pleaded guilty to kidnapping Kylie Jones, robbing her and causing her
grievous bodily harm.
He was remanded in custody to the
High Court for sentencing next month. The Crown has yet to decide
whether it will seek preventive detention in this case.
Hotene made his surprise plea
shortly before 3 pm. His case was originally heading for trial and was
set down yesterday for a pre-depositions conference.
In the attack on Kylie Jones, he
stole some of her belongings, including three ATM cards. He then went
to a party in Glen Innes where he handed over a knife to his brother,
In the days after the murder, he
tried to use one of the cards and police tracked him after witnesses
provided a detailed description.
Kylie Jones' family were in court
for Hotene's three-minute appearance. They asked the inquiry head,
Detective Senior Sergeant Stu Allsopp-Smith, to say that they
acknowledged the guilty plea, but that nothing would change what
Hotene had done to Kylie, her partner and the family. Detective Senior
Sergeant Allsopp-Smith said he had no idea what persuaded Hotene to
enter a guilty plea.
Hotene has not been charged with
rape and police refused to comment on whether he would face any more
Kylie Jones killer was on parole
August 8, 2000
The man who pleaded guilty to murdering Kylie Jones
in a suburban Auckland park two months ago was on parole at the time
of the killing.
Taffy Herbert Hotene, aged 30, of Glen Innes, made
the guilty plea during a routine appearance in the Auckland District
The unemployed man admitted attacking the
22-year-old journalist on June 6.
Hotene was on parole at the time, after being
jailed for 12 years following convictions in the Wellington High Court
in 1992 for crimes including rape and robbery.
As well as admitting to the murder, Hotene also
pleaded guilty to detaining her and to robbery.
Ms Jones was repeatedly stabbed in the upper body
and left naked in a shallow creek 150m from her home in Glen Innes.
Despite arrest police still want info in Kylie
Jones murder inquiry
June 11, 2000
Detectives investigating the murder of Auckland
journalist Kylie Jones are stilll trying to piece together her last
movements, despite an arrest last night.
A 29 year old unemployed Glen Innes man will appear
in the Auckland District Court tomorrow, charged with killing the 23
Police say the arrest followed a massive manhunt
yesterday in the east Auckland suburb where Kylie lived.
However Detective Senior Sergeant Stu Allsopp-Smith
says a major part of the investigation is still to come.
He says police want to hear from anyone who saw
Kylie from the time she left work in the city on Tuesday evening at
It's believed she took one of two 625 buses to Glen
Innes before she was attacked.
Report on Taffy Herbert Hotene
Minister of Corrections
This report outlines the Department’s management of
Taffy Herbert Hotene. It updates and replaces previous reports
supplied to you in June and July 2000. It also canvasses issues raised
publicly at the time he was convicted.
1 Taffy Hotene is a 30-year-old Maori man.
[Withheld under section 9 (2) (a ) of the Official Information Act
1982] at age 16 years he was convicted of attempted sexual violation
and was sentenced to imprisonment. Since that time he has spent most
of his life in prison.
2 In 1988, having been charged with assault with
intent to commit sexual violation, he underwent a psychiatric
examination [Withheld under section 9 (2) (a ) of the Official
Information Act 1982]. He was initially sentenced to two years
Supervision with a condition that he reside at the Legionnaire’s
Academy. This sentence was appealed and he was then sentenced to four
3 Whilst in prison he received psychological
assessment and counselling. He was released in March 1991 but was back
in custody in August following further offending. He was released in
January 1992 but within three weeks of release, and at age 21 years,
he committed a number of serious sexual and violent offences and was
sentenced to twelve years imprisonment. He was released on 12 April
4 Taffy Herbert Hotene has now pleaded guilty and
has been convicted of the murder of Kylie Jones in Auckland on 6 June
2000. His sentencing date is set for today.
Offending and Sentencing History
5 Attached to this report is a summary of Mr
Hotene’s offending and sentence history. This summary shows that over
a 15-year period he has been convicted of 24 offences, nine of which
were violent offences.
6 Most of his sentences have been custodial, the
last sentence imposed in 1992 being 12 years imprisonment.
7 As the summary of sentences shows, on each
occasion following release from imprisonment Mr Hotene re-offended
within a very short period of time. Community Probation file notes
made following each release show him to be very unsettled and
continuously moving from place to place.
8 In relation to his most recent sentence of
imprisonment, Mr Hotene was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on 16
April 1992. He was released by as required by law on 12 April 2000 at
his final release date having served two thirds of his sentence of
imprisonment. The Parole Board imposed conditions on his release. As
he was sentenced prior to 1993, he was not eligible for recall.
Management in prison
9 While in prison he undertook a range of
programmes. These included:
Alternative to Violence Programmes (basic and
Substance Abuse Programmes
Dynamics of Whanaungatanga
Skills for Living, and
There has been some publicity about Mr Hotene’s
involvement in the Alternatives to Violence programmes. He and another
high-profile inmate were in the same block and attended the programme
together and subsequently facilitated a group, which meets to practise
the principles taught through the programme. At no time was Hotene
teaching or leading the programme.
10 He was also referred to the Psychological
Service for assessment and treatment and was seen by a psychologist
for periods in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, twice in 1998 and twice this
year. As part of the work undertaken with the Psychological Service he
attended and successfully completed two therapy groups for rapists.
The remainder of his time was spent in individual sessions addressing
a range of issues related to his offending and relationship with
women. He also underwent treatment and monitoring for suicide risk,
depression and grief counselling.
11 . [Withheld under section 9 (2) (a ) of the
Official Information Act 1982]
12 Just prior to his release, the prison became
aware that Mr Hotene was anxious about leaving prison and arranged for
him to see a psychologist and a social worker to assist with his
release. He was also prepared for release including transport
arrangements being made and being given a “Steps to Freedom” coupon
(this enables the inmate to access Department of Work and Income
13 It is important to be aware that Mr Hotene had
served two-thirds of his sentence and as required by law had to be
released. Application under Section 105 of the Criminal Justice Act
was available, which, if granted, means that the offender must serve
the full term of the sentence. The threshold to be met under the
legislation and case law about Section 105 indicates that applications
should be reserved for cases where risk of specified re-offending is
exceptionally high, either because of specific characteristics of the
individual, their extreme behaviour, psychological/ psychiatric
conditions, or attitudes towards treatment. Given this, Hotene did not
meet the criteria. There are currently seven offenders subject to
Section 105 orders.
14 In preparation for release, two reports were
prepared for the Parole Board hearing in September 1999. A report
prepared by the Psychological Service contained a full analysis of the
factors that gave rise to Mr Hotene’s offending, details of his
treatment needs and summary of what had been provided up to that time.
The psychologist assessed his risk of re-offending as “moderate”. The
appropriateness of this assessment will be addressed later in this
15 The second report was a Pre Release Assessment Report prepared by
the Public Prisons Service assessor. The Board postponed his case to
February 2000. A supplementary report was prepared outlining proposed
conditions for release for that hearing.
Management in the community
16 Mr Hotene was released from prison on 12 April
2000 with the following conditions:
Subject to standard conditions for the period 16
April 2000 to 15 April 2002, and
To reside at Ngati Arohanui Trust, Ponsonby,
Auckland and to participate in the programmes offered, or at an
address approved by the Probation Officer
Make an appointment within 72 hours of release
with the Departmental Psychologist and keep such appointment and
thereafter attend counselling as directed by the Probation Officer
To undertake other such counselling and treatment
as directed by the Probation Officer
To complete an assessment for the Straight
Thinking programme and if found suitable to complete the programme
as directed by the Probation Officer
Not to make contact with the victim(s) directly
or indirectly, without the written approval of the Probation
17 He was also instructed to report to the
Community Probation Service office at Henderson within 72 hours of
release. However, as set out in the following paragraph he did report
within 72 hours but at another office.
18 On release Mr Hotene went directly to Ngati
Arohanui Trust. . [Withheld under section 9 (2) (a ) of the Official
Information Act 1982], the Manager of the Trust rang the Community
Probation Service to report his arrival. Arrangements were then made
for Mr Hotene to report to a Probation Officer at the Mount Eden
19 Although attendance at Ngati Arohanui Trust was
a condition of release, the condition had the additional wording “or
at an address approved by the Probation Officer”. On leaving the
programme he was not therefore considered to be in breach of this
20 The Probation Office did discuss with Mr Hotene
why he left the programme and tried to facilitate his return there.
However he was not willing to return and the Trust was not willing for
him to return if he was not motivated. He had an alternative address
to live at with a family member which had been assessed to be
appropriate and was approved by the Probation Officer and appropriate
counselling was arranged.
21 As found when released following previous terms
of imprisonment, Mr Hotene experienced difficulty in settling into the
community and in finding stable accommodation and support. His
frequent moves meant he reported to a number of different Probation
Officers in the first weeks following release. Despite best efforts to
engage him in counselling and assessment for the Straight Thinking
programme, his instability meant that no one Probation Officer was
able to take full responsibility for his case and to begin a planned
case management assessment at an early enough point following release.
22 It should be noted, however, that he did report
as instructed on every occasion (10 reports) and he had weekly
probation meetings. He also attended counselling. Mr Hotene
consistently met the conditions of his release. Although he moved
frequently, this is true of many offenders. The aim of the Community
Probation Service was to manage Hotene back into the community under
the terms of his release.
23 One issue that has been identified in this case
is that Mr Hotene’s release papers were not received by the CPS until
five days after his release and they were sent to the wrong CPS
Service Centre. While CPS did receive advice of the pending release
eight days in advance, this advice was the Victim Notification
Register advice to prison notice that stated the offenders name, date
of release, sentence length and victim details. Further, the sentence
details were entered into IOMS (Corrections’ offender database) on 21
March but the case was not allocated to a Probation Officer until
after release. It is standard procedure that cases are not allocated
until the release papers arrive. This is because release plans may
change before the final release date. If release papers have not been
received by the CPS Service Centre before the offender reports for the
first time (within 72 hours), then the offender would be seen by the
duty Probation Officer, as happened in Hotene’s case. This issue is
procedural and despite this Mr Hotene did meet with probation staff
regularly. The Public Prisons Service has instructed all staff of the
requirement to send release papers to the appropriate CPS Service
24 The only release condition that was not met was
the requirement for an appointment within 72 hours of release with the
Department’s psychologist. He did, however, attend another appropriate
25 On 12 June, a Probation Officer commenced making
an appointment for Mr Hotene.
26 A number of practice issues have been identified
in investigating the management of Taffy Hotene. These relate to all
27 Earlier in this report it was noted that Mr
Hotene was assessed by the psychologist as being of “moderate” risk of
reoffending. On review, the psychologist gave too much weight in her
judgement to factors indicative of progress, which could reasonably
have been assumed to mitigate his risk of re-offending. This is an
issue of clinical judgement, and all clinical judgement deals in
probabilities rather than categorical terms.
28 Unrelated to this case, at the end of 1999,
Psychological Service reports to the Parole Board were subject to
clinical audit. The principal finding of that audit was that, while
reports were generally considered to be of a high quality and to
contain a wealth of informative clinical information, there were
inadequacies noted in the judgement of risk that were made. As a
result of this risk assessment training was provided to all
Psychological Service staff. In addition, last month Dr Paul Barrett,
a Home Office expert, conducted a session on risk assessment at the
Psychological Service conference.
29 Furthermore, as part of Integrated Offender
Management (IOM), the Department will be introducing objective risk
instruments – Risk of Conviction (ROC) and Risk of Imprisonment (ROI).
With the roll out of IOM over the next two years, this will greatly
assist with the determination of objective risk against which
judgements of mitigating factors can be made.
30 Auckland prison staff do not currently have
access to Psychological Service reports. Access to such reports is
considered necessary for effective offender management. Information
contained in such a report could also prompt a “Section 105”
application. However, as mentioned above, in this case such an
application would not have been made as Mr Hotene had been assessed as
only “moderate’ risk. However, national protocols for sharing relevant
offender information between the Public Prisons Service and
Psychological Service have been developed to address this.
31 The Community Probation Service Manual requires
that a Probation Officer is to gather all relevant information and
review the offender’s history and current sentence or order
requirements. This includes explaining to the offender the
requirements of the sentence or order and their rights and
32 Since 1993 all offender-related information has
been held on the Department’s computer systems. The Probation Officers
who dealt with Mr Hotene had access to information about his previous
offences and rehabilitative programmes undertaken in prison. The pre
1993 information on Hotene’s closed file was not obtained, mainly due
to Hotene changing Probation Officers several times so that the
administrative actions to retrieve the closed file were not completed.
33 The induction and sentence planning processes,
which includes accessing and reviewing the closed file were delayed.
His decision to leave the Ngati Arohanui Trust was followed up
immediately and appropriate counselling was organised. Because of Mr
Hotene’s inability to settle in the community the initial management
of him following his release was not able to be as planned and
organised as the Community Probation Service Manual procedures
34 In addition to the introduction of objective
risk instruments as outlined in paragraph 29 all Probation Officers
have recently received training in practice standards for the
management of Supervision and Parole. The induction process ensures
that Probation Officers have all the information required to manage
the sentence appropriately. In the event Mr Hotene did comply with the
conditions required of him.
35 Mr Hotene was released as required by law having
served his prison sentence. Although conditions for release were put
in place to best assist him in his safe reintegration into the
community, Mr Hotene’s inability to settle and refusal to accept the
support available in the community placed him at high risk of
re-offending. This has been the pattern for most of his adult life.
36 Although the three Services of the Department of
Corrections acknowledge some procedures were not followed within the
timeframes required, it is considered that had all procedures been
followed it would have been unlikely to be sufficient to prevent such
a tragic outcome as this from happening at some point.
37 The procedural issues that were identified in
the management of this case have been addressed thus:
Protocols have been developed between the Public
Prisons Service and the Psychological Service to govern sharing of
relevant offender information;
Public Prisons Service has reminded all staff of
the requirement to send release papers to the appropriate CPS
Service Centre prior to an offender’s release;
All Community Probation Service staff have been
trained in practice standards for supervision and parole. Auckland
staff received this training in June 2000;
Training session on risk assessment for
Psychological Service was held last month with UK Home Office
T J Bannatyne
Service Purchase & Monitoring
Taffy Herbert Hotene
Kylie Sheree Jones