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Wife killer Greg Meads released on parole to 'oceanfront luxury' home

Anna Leask,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 9:54am

Wife killer Greg Meads released on parole to 'oceanfront luxury' home

Anna Leask,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Feb 2024, 9:54am

The Matamata horse breeder who shot his wife dead after she told him she wanted to end their marriage has been released on parole to a $3.1 million “luxury” beachfront property. 

Helen Meads was shot at point-blank range in September 2009. 

Her husband Gregory Howard Meads was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2011. 

While he acknowledged he was responsible for Helen’s death, Meads maintained that the gun “went off by mistake” when he went to confront her about why she was leaving him. 

Helen Meads was murdered at her Matamata home in 2009. Her death came four days after she told her husband she was leaving him. Photo / SuppliedHelen Meads was murdered at her Matamata home in 2009. Her death came four days after she told her husband she was leaving him. Photo / Supplied 

After 11 years behind bars he became eligible for parole - but was declined a number of times as the board had concerns he had not genuinely accepted responsibility for his offending. 

He still maintained Helen’s death was an accident. 

But in 2022 Meads’ narrative changed dramatically and he conceded that he was “fully responsible” and killing Helen was “a deliberate act”. 

Meads also admitted being abusive and physically assaulting Helen during their marriage. 

In January this year, the 68-year-old was able to satisfy the board that he could safely be released from prison. 

The Herald has confirmed the killer was released on February 19 and is living at a family-owned property in Mt Maunganui. 

It is the same property where Meads lived while on bail awaiting his murder trial. NZME reported at the time the property had been purchased by Meads’ father for $1.4m. 

The property owned by Meads' family. Photo / Alan GibsonThe property owned by Meads' family. Photo / Alan Gibson 

The three-storey, five-bedroom property now has an estimated value of $3.1m and is described in previous real estate listings as an “oceanfront luxury... executive home”. 

It boasts a billiards room, expansive and uninterrupted ocean views and a balcony set out over the beach. 

A resident of the area said it was “quite a shock to discover he is out” and they were “not thrilled” he was living nearby. 

Murderer Greg Meads' new view is much different from his prison cell. Photo / suppliedMurderer Greg Meads' new view is much different from his prison cell. Photo / supplied 

The Parole Board considered releasing Meads in October last year as had completed all of his rehabilitation. 

However, that was stymied after the board received “feedback” from residents who lived on the same street that Meads wanted to reside on. 

Meads then accepted it “would not be appropriate” or in his best interests for him to live at the property given the “hostile” reaction he likely would have received. 

The Mount Maunganui property was then put forward and approved. 

“We think that was a wise decision,” said Parole Board chair Sir Ron Young. 

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of the way his potential neighbours felt, it would simply not be a safe and enjoyable place for him to be released.” 

Greg Meads in court. Photo / NZHGreg Meads in court. Photo / NZH 

Sir Ron said the board was now satisfied Meads had “dealt with” and understood the issues and “precipitants” that led to him murdering his wife. 

“We have previously said to him that this was an extremely serious murder that arose in very worrying circumstances - essentially out of the blue,” he said. 

“He maintained a denial for many years, being unable apparently to face the fact that as someone with a self-image of a good, law-abiding person he had killed his wife. He now seems to have come to terms with that.” 

Sir Ron confirmed Meads had “completed all of the rehabilitation that is required of him”. 

“He does have extensive support in the community - that includes not only friends but family members who have come to terms with his killing of (Helen). In addition... victims of the offending have also come to terms with Mr Meads’ progress and also believe the time has come for him to be released,” he said. 

“We are satisfied, given all of the work he has done, that he can now be released.” 

Police at the scene of Helen Meads' murder. Photo / Alan GibsonPolice at the scene of Helen Meads' murder. Photo / Alan Gibson 

Meads’ sentence remains in place for the rest of his life and if he breaches any of his parole conditions or commits new offences, he could be recalled to prison to serve that out. 

He is subject to a number of parole conditions that remain in place for the rest of his life. 

They include: 

Not entering Matamata and several other areas where members of Helen’s family live unless he has written permission from his probation officer
Not to have any contact with any victims of his offending
To disclose details - at the earliest opportunity - details of any intimate relationship which commences, resumes or terminates
To live at an approved address and not move without the written permission of his probation officer
To attend any assessments, treatments or programmes his probation officer directs

Meads must also appear before the Parole Board again later this year for a monitoring hearing. 

Helen’s family told the Herald they were “relieved” Meads was released as it meant their own parole journey - which had been harrowing and exhausting - was over. 

“It’s time it happened - it’s a relief, it’s the end of the road,” a family member said. 

“We don’t have to do any more submissions for the Parole Board, we don’t have to deal with him. He’s restricted from contacting the family... it’s a good conclusion. 

“And he has a life sentence so that still stands, his parole conditions are for life - if he does not obey them he will go straight back inside. 

“The Parole Board have been brilliant, we have great admiration for them.” 

At sentencing, Meads’ offending was described as “particularly callous”. 

“Your shooting of Helen was undoubtedly horrific and indeed, incomprehensible,” said the sentencing judge. 

“There can be no doubt that you deliberately disengaged the safety mechanism before the shotgun was fired... so there was an element of preparation before you confronted Helen. 

“During the last few seconds of her life, she must have been utterly terrified.” 

Anna Leask is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers national crime and justice. She joined the Herald in 2008 and has worked as a journalist for 18 years. She writes, hosts and produces the award-winning podcast A Moment In Crime, released monthly on nzherald.co.nz 


Where to go for help or more information:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz

• Women’s Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz

• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584

• It’s Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz

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