Ministers release Robertson Inquiry report

  • Judith Collins
  • Amy Adams
Justice Corrections

The Inquiry report into the management of Tony Douglas Robertson before and after his release from prison is being released today by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Corrections Minister Judith Collins.

On 11 December 2013, Tony Robertson was released from prison on six months standard and special release conditions after serving his full sentence of eight years imprisonment for convictions relating to abduction, indecent assault and attempted kidnapping of children. On 24 May 2014, before the expiration of his release conditions, he raped and murdered Auckland mother of three Blessie Gotingco.

“A Government Inquiry was established on 10 August 2015 to look into matters surrounding the management of Mr Robertson by state sector agencies both before and following his release from prison. Mr Mel Smith CNZM was appointed to head the Inquiry,” Ms Adams says.

Mr Smith was asked to report the Inquiry’s findings and opinions to the appointing Ministers by 30 November 2015. On 26 November 2015, the reporting date for the Inquiry was extended until 29 January 2016.

“The Inquiry presented its final report on 29 January 2016 but it was not released because of Robertson’s appeal against his conviction and sentence. Now that the legal process involving Robertson is complete, Mr Robertson not having lodged any further appeal, the report can be made public.

“We have only released the report once the Gotingco family has been fully briefed on its contents, conclusions and recommendations. I know this is an extremely difficult time for the family and my thoughts and condolences are with them,” Ms Collins says.

Mr Smith made a number of findings and 27 resulting recommendations which identify areas where the management of high risk offenders such as Mr Robertson could be improved.

“However the Inquiry found that no aspects of Mr Robertson’s management by Corrections or Police provided an opportunity for Mr Robertson to murder Mrs Gotingco. The Inquiry concluded that Robertson and only Robertson can be held responsible for what happened to Mrs Gotingco,” Ms Collins says.

“The government accepts all of the Inquiry’s recommendations which are fair and constructive. Most of the recommendations are directed to operational changes within Corrections and are in progress with some completed. A complete list of the recommendations along with implementation status is attached.

“I would like to thank Mr Smith for his work on the Inquiry report and once again express my deepest sympathies to the Gotingco family for their tragic loss,” Ms Collins says.

A copy of the Inquiry report is attached. The report is being released with a small number of redactions to safeguard security and to comply with orders made by the Inquiry.