Topic: Crime

Parolee on the run claims he will hand himself in

By Dean Nathan

Over two weeks have passed since the police issued a warrant for the arrest of Chris Ngarino after he removed his electronic bracelet.  Today an emotional Ngarino spoke on the reason for his actions and his plan to give himself in.

Ngarino says, "I felt like a prisoner in my own home, you know you get out here and corrections give you no support.  They help you live in jail. Why would you want a man to live in jail?  Why wouldn't you want him to live out here? So they should help you out here you know you end up it just destroys your life."

34 year old Ngarino was released from prison on parole 10 months ago after being convicted of the armed robbery of a Hikurangi food market in June 2005.  But he claims restrictions make it impossible for parolees to start a new life.

"They tell you not to break the law and they know I've got a learners licence and you tell them, bro, I have to drive here.  I've even rung them and told them before you know I've gotta drive here.  They say well you've got to make it here or we'll beat ya so I've gotta break the law to meet their requirements.  I'm a product of the system. You end up hurting all your close loved ones because you can't function out here."

While on the run Ngarino made contact with well-known advocate Phil Paikea.

Paikea says, "My job really was just to sit and listen to him, listen to his korero and help him to make the right choice and really the right choice was to stop running and to face what actually takes him to that dark place."

Te Kaea spoke with Ngarino in 2014 as an inmate at Ngawha prison celebrating new skills he'd acquired that would provide him with a livelihood after completing his jail term.

Ngarino said, "One day I picked up that chisel and I hammered into a piece of wood and I found myself inside it.  And from then everything I've made I haven't made money of anything I've given it all away you know only the stuff I do through the exhibitions I donate it back to victim support." 

Phil Paikea says more support is needed to help in the reintegration of inmates into society, "I think that Probation are doing a good job but there are others maybe that need to have a bit more compassion and to be a part of the restoration and reconciliation of these former inmates into family."

Chris Ngarino claims he will give himself up to Auckland police tomorrow, "I'm going to hand myself in in the morning and see what they do with me again.  I'll put my life back in their hands again and hope for the best."