Teen's Mongrel Mob killer granted parole

A Mongrel Mob member who murdered a 16-year-old girl has now been granted parole.

Sam Te Hei has spent 30 years behind bars, but will be released on strict conditions in April.

A date the mother of his victim is now dreading.

It's been a painful 30 years for Ida Hawkins, who holds onto the memory of her daughter through photos.

In 1987, Colleen Burrows was kidnapped by Sam Te Hei and another Mongrel Mob member in Napier. She was attacked and run over by a car when she refused to have sex with them.

While serving time for that, Te Hei had his sentence extended for the attempted murder of an inmate, who refused to stab a prison guard as part of a gang initiation.

He'll now be released in April.

"Last year, he shows a sign of, like, he's just trying to do something now for himself and they want to re-integrate him into society so soon," says Ms Hawkins.

The Parole Board decision notes Te Hei says he still has gang affiliations, but doesn't want to associate with them when he's released.

Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust is sceptical.

"He said he would get his facial tattoos removed, but he won't get his hands cleaned up," he said. "He will keep his association with the Mongrel Mob.

"That realistically should have been alarm bells for the parole board."

But the board decision states that "notwithstanding his long history of association with the Mongrel Mob and a recent adverse intel report... there had been positive reports from his release to work employer and evidence of positive changes in his behaviour and attitude".

Since being in jail, Te Hei received tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for being beaten by guards at Hawke's Bay prison during the '90s.

For Ida Hawkins, that just added to her personal struggle.

"It's a life that I wouldn't want to put on anybody else - you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. I live like that."

The most recent report into his behaviour says he now falls below the criteria to be diagnosed with psychopathy and with strict parole conditions, his overall risk of re-offending is moderate.