REASONS OF THE COURT
(Given by Winkelmann and Courtney JJ)
 In 2015 Mr Merkins Agu assisted in the importation of a total of just over 33 kilograms of methamphetamine. He was convicted following a jury trial on four charges of importing methamphetamine and one of attempting to possess methamphetamine for supply. Fogarty J sentenced Mr Agu to 16 years’ imprisonment and declined to impose a minimum period of imprisonment. The Solicitor-General appeals on the ground that the sentence is manifestly inadequate and wrong in principle. The Solicitor-General argues that given the scale and seriousness of Mr Agu’s offending, the starting point and end point should have been at least 20 years’ imprisonment and a minimum period of imprisonment of 10 years should have been imposed.
 The charges arose from four separate events. In June 2015, a package arrived in New Zealand from Thailand addressed to Mr Agu’s former wife’s nephew, at the address of Mr Agu’s former wife. The package contained handbags in which 952 grams of methamphetamine had been hidden.
 In August 2015, a package arrived from China. The address it was to be sent to, '322 Barmey’s Farm Road, Clendom, Manurewa', was very similar to Mr Agu’s address, 3/22 Barney’s Farm Road, Clendon. The package contained shoes in which 1.394 kilograms of methamphetamine had been hidden.
 In October 2015, two United States citizens, Mr and Mrs Ross, were stopped at Auckland International Airport coming off a flight from Hong Kong. They were carrying two suitcases, to which they did not have keys and which they had been instructed to place in a locked storage facility for collection. New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) opened the suitcases and found just under 7 kilograms of methamphetamine. The suitcases were delivered in accordance with the instructions and eventually Mr Agu retrieved them. When he was located, however, he no longer had the suitcases and said that he had been paid $500 for retrieving them and sending them on. This incident formed the basis of one of the importing charges and the charge of attempting to possess methamphetamine for supply.
 In December 2015, a package arrived in New Zealand with the delivery address of '2A Barney’s Farm Road, Clendon, Manurewa'. The named addressee was 'Cindy Nazareth'. Mr Agu was in a relationship with Cindy Nazareth Pritchard and had previously lived at 2A Barney’s Farm Road. By the time the package arrived in New Zealand, Mr Agu had already been arrested and was in custody. Efforts by the unknown sender to re-direct the package were brought to the attention of Customs. Upon inspection, the package was found to contain three treadmills in which 23.9 kilograms of methamphetamine had been concealed.
 Fogarty J sentenced on the basis of Mr Agu’s role as a 'catcher':
 ... You were involved in the first reception of these drugs crossing over the border.
 Catchers typically are very vulnerable people in a conspiracy to import illegal drugs into a country. They are vulnerable because one of the critical methods of getting illegal drugs into the country is to get them across the border and into circulation without detection.
 This role comes with normally low expectations of profit, because the catchers are typically vulnerable people who for one reason or another, agree to take on this high risk activity; and I place you in that category.
 The Judge observed that there was no evidence Mr Agu had any role in what went into the various items he received. He noted that Mr Agu had not lived extravagantly, and had not made a substantial income from his activities as a catcher. Rather, he considered that Mr Agu:
... presented more as a vulnerable person, likely to be seduced into a catching role for probably relatively low money and in that sense formed a pattern which we see where catchers are often vulnerable people, like mules who are regarded by the drug importers, the really serious criminals who are not normally caught at all, as expendable people.
 The Judge emphasised on a number of occasions that his assessment of Mr Agu’s role was based upon close consideration of the evidence that he heard and saw at trial. He was satisfied that a single sentence should apply to the whole of the offending because the offending probably, apart from the suitcases, came from one act on the part of Mr Agu, namely providing a number of addresses.
 Having established the nature of Mr Agu’s role, the Judge identified the offending as falling within band 4 of R v Fatu. He rejected comparisons with the cases relied on by the Crown, R v Wong and R v Sze. He said that in both of those cases, the nature of the tasks undertaken by the offender were more significant than those of a 'mere catcher'. The Judge then observed that whilst a starting point of 21 years was possible on the authorities 'ultimately the sentence has to reflect ... the application of all the criteria in the Sentencing Act 2002'.
 The Judge clearly saw Mr Agu’s very limited role, including the fact that he had been used by others more senior in the criminal enterprise and the apparently limited remuneration he received, as critical in setting a starting point of 16 years’ imprisonment, a lower starting point than that sought by the Crown. No minimum term of imprisonment was imposed.
 On appeal, Mr Carruthers submits that because of the scale and seriousness of Mr Agu’s offending, the starting point and end sentence should have been at least 20 years’ imprisonment with a minimum period of imprisonment of 10 years imposed. He cites a number of authorities which he says support this submission.
 Mr Carruthers also argues that parity with co-offenders Mr and Mrs Ross, who carried some of the drugs into the jurisdiction, acting as drug mules, required a much higher starting point for Mr Agu. Mr Carruthers submits that Mr Agu’s role as catcher is more serious than that of a mule or courier. In that regard he relies upon R v Wong and the statements by this Court in that case that the role of catcher is regarded more seriously than that of drug mule who carry drugs into the jurisdiction. He also relies upon the following passage from the evidence of Detective Sergeant Sowter given at trial about the roles of catchers and mules:
Not always, but generally the courier is someone that if they get apprehended, they will not know a great deal about the supply chain itself, who the supplier is, who the intended recipient is, their role would be they may have been recruited by associates they don’t know, the head of the organisation, and when they get to - and we’re talking New Zealand - they may not have any information as to who they are meeting or what they are supposed to do, so they’ll be someone that I guess because of their vulnerability and agreeing to do the courier role is someone that’s expendable to the organisation but, then again, I’m talking generally here, that’s not always the case, but it’s generally the case.
There’s another role that we sort of term colloquially as a catcher. A catcher is someone that their role is to ultimately arrange for or receive the drugs because at some point in a drug importation, the buyer wants to get the drugs to sell them, so a catcher is someone that is quite a diverse role. They may be a person that has organised the particular address for drugs to be sent to. They may be a person that will arrange for somebody else to uplift a drug or they may even receive it at an address themselves and go and pick it up. So, their role is something along the lines of facilitating that import to get to either themselves, if they are the intended recipient, or to the ultimate purchaser of the drug.
 The fundamental task for the sentencing judge in selecting a starting point is to identify the criminality involved in the offending, the offender’s culpability for that offending, and also to take into account the purposes and principles of sentencing set out in the Sentencing Act. In Fatu, this Court identified quantity and role as critical in the assessment of the seriousness of the offending and the offender’s culpability for it. The Court in Fatu provided clear guidance as to how the quantity of methamphetamine is to be assessed in terms of culpability preferring the quantity of drug as a measure over monetary yield. But the Court acknowledged the significance of the role played, as well as the importance of other Sentencing Act considerations:
 Our sentencing ranges overlap between categories. Where an offender fits within any particular band will depend not just on the quantity and purity of the drugs involved but also the role played by the offender. Those who are primary offenders can expect starting point sentences towards the higher end of the relevant band with the converse applying to those whose role is less significant. Obviously the sentencing Judge will also need to take into account the principles of sentencing referred to in s 8 of the Sentencing Act 2002. Further, the aggravating and mitigating factors relevant to the offending (as opposed to the offender), as set out in s 9 of the Sentencing Act, will also be highly relevant in fixing the starting point within a particular band.
 Mr Carruthers relies upon a number of authorities which were not referred to by the sentencing Judge in support of his submission that the sentence imposed in this case was manifestly inadequate. It is unclear whether these authorities were relied upon by the Crown at sentencing. The Judge’s sentencing notes record only two cases relied upon by the Crown as supporting a starting point of 21 years’ imprisonment. One of those was R v Wong, also relied upon by Mr Carruthers, which was distinguished by the Judge on the basis that although there was a starting point of 15 years adopted for the importation of two kilograms of methamphetamine, the offender was categorised by the trial Judge as a manager and organiser of the importation. The Judge was also referred to the case R v Sze, which involved an importation of 40 kilograms of methamphetamine, where a starting point of 21 years was adopted. However the Judge thought Mr Agu’s offending was materially different from the offending in that case because in Sze, 'there [was] no doubt that the husband and wife were 'hands on' in the whole exercise of sending the drugs into New Zealand'.
 As to the other cases referred to by Mr Carruthers, this Court has stated on many previous occasions that on a sentence appeal it is not helpful to isolate individual sentencing decisions of the High Court and to seek to argue from those selected decisions that the sentence imposed was inappropriate. Each case must turn on its own facts, informed by the principles articulated in the decided cases but always guided by the Sentencing Act. Nevertheless, we have read the multiple authorities referred to us and we discuss them, if briefly, below.
 In R v Nguyen, Mr Nguyen was convicted on one charge of importing methamphetamine and one of cultivating cannabis. The importation related to 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine and a starting point of 16 years’ imprisonment was taken for that charge. However, Mr Nguyen’s involvement seems to have been greater than Mr Agu’s, as he was involved in a level of processing of the drugs received. Involvement in the processing of the drugs is significant because it reveals a greater level of involvement in the criminal enterprise than those who merely receive a package and pass it on.
 In Chen v R, a starting point of 15 years was fixed for importing a total of 2.99 kilograms of methamphetamine. In that case, the Court found that the appellant’s role was 'significantly above that of a courier'. The appellant was not only receiving the goods, but extracting the methamphetamine and re-packing it into small zip-lock bags for supply.
 In R v Pai, a starting point of 18 years’ imprisonment was adopted for Mr Pai’s involvement as a catcher in relation to an importation of 22.6 kilograms of methamphetamine, for which he and another were each paid $10,000. Mr Pai rented a property in order to receive shipments of heavy machinery with methamphetamine packed inside. Mr Pai also was involved in the processing of the drugs on arrival.
 In R v Wan, a starting point of 17 years and six months’ imprisonment was given for the importation of 19.1 kilograms of methamphetamine where the defendant acted as catcher but the offending had a greater level of sophistication and premeditation than the role played by Mr Agu. Mr Wan found accommodation and set up an office using false names, so that the drugs could be received by the 'company'. This is to be contrasted to the Judge’s assessment that Mr Agu’s wrongful actions had consisted largely (with the exception of the suitcase) of the provision of addresses, probably on a single occasion.
 In Lam v R, Mr Lam pleaded guilty to four separate charges of importing a total of 1.89 kilograms of methamphetamine and one charge of supply. A starting point of 17 years for the totality of the offending was adopted. However, Mr Lam’s role was more than 'a mere mule or catcher'; rather his role was that of facilitator or organiser. Mr Lam admitted coming to New Zealand from Hong Kong for the purpose of facilitating the importation of methamphetamine in order to make money.
 In Solicitor-General v Huang, five co-offenders arrived in New Zealand from Taiwan carrying a collective total of 8.1 kilograms of methamphetamine. Mr Huang carried 1.3 kilograms and was paid $8,900 for his part in the importation. A starting point of 15 years’ imprisonment was adopted. On appeal, a minimum period of imprisonment of four years was imposed.
 Mr Carruthers submits that these authorities show that an offender in the role of a catcher or slightly above who imports one to two kilograms of methamphetamine can expect a starting point in the region of 15 to 16 years’ imprisonment, as can a ‘mere’ mule who imports slightly more than that. Since Mr Agu’s role was a catcher of 33 kilograms of the drug, the starting point should have exceeded that by a considerable margin. It should likewise have exceeded, again by a considerable margin, the starting point of 14 years used when sentencing Mr and Mrs Ross - Mr Agu’s co-offenders who brought the suitcases into the country.
 We are not persuaded that Mr Carruthers is right that there is a clear hierarchy in sentences between ‘mules’ and ‘catchers’. The actions taken by each person in connection with the offending must be closely assessed by the sentencing judge to determine the extent of the offender’s involvement in and responsibility for the criminal enterprise - it is not a question of simply applying labels, such as mule or catcher. Detective Sergeant Sowter’s evidence was, in its own terms, describing patterns the police observe in offending and did not address Mr Agu’s offending. In this case the Judge considered Mr Agu to have played a limited role and to have become involved in the offending through vulnerability - characteristics the officer describes as typical of drug mules.
 As to the many authorities relied upon by Mr Carruthers, they reveal a range of sentences based on each court’s assessment of the offenders’ culpability, having regard to the quantity of methamphetamine involved and a close analysis of the role played by the offender. That was the approach taken by the Judge in this case.
 As to parity with co-offenders, the Judge had the opportunity to assess Mr Agu’s culpability as against that of Mr and Mrs Ross. And we note that while the total amount of methamphetamine involved in his offending was significantly greater than that of Mr and Mrs Ross, that was reflected in a higher starting point.
 Having considered all of the arguments for the Solicitor-General, we are not persuaded that the starting point Fogarty J adopted was outside the available range of sentences so that the sentence imposed was manifestly inadequate and wrong in principle.
Minimum period of imprisonment
 In declining to impose a minimum period of imprisonment, Fogarty J identified the requirements of s 86 of the Sentencing Act, that the sentencing Judge had to be satisfied that the potential standard of a minimum of one-third of the sentence before release on parole would not be sufficient to hold the offender accountable, denounce his conduct, deter others from committing the offence or protecting the community. He was not satisfied of those matters. He went on to say that:
 I have confidence that the Parole Board will, over the time that you are a prisoner, form a reliable judgment as to your character, as to your prospects of re-entering society and it can be left in the usual way for the Parole Board to decide upon your date of release.
 Mr Carruthers relied on this Court’s previous decisions that indicate that in cases of serious drug offending, the criteria for imposing a minimum period of imprisonment will almost invariably be made out. Mr Carruthers emphasised the importance of denouncing and generally deterring such offending and submitted that Fogarty J had given insufficient weight to these considerations. He argued that Mr Agu’s offending was very serious; he was not merely a mule involved in a one-off importation but, rather, a catcher who facilitated four separate importations totalling a large amount of methamphetamine over a period of six months. In addition, Mr Carruthers referred to the fact that Mr Agu had a previous conviction for importing heroin into the United States in 2001.
 Finally, Mr Carruthers submitted that Fogarty J had wrongly deferred to the Parole Board’s expertise in determining when a prisoner is ready to be released from prison, conflating the questions of denunciation and deterrence which were matters for the sentencing Judge, with rehabilitation and reintegration, which were matters for the Parole Board.
 Mr Newell acknowledged the effect of the decisions relied on by the Crown but submitted that the length of the sentence itself was sufficient to reflect the considerations contained in s 86(2) of the Sentencing Act.
 We do not consider that Fogarty J did defer to the Parole Board’s expertise in determining when a prisoner is ready to be released from prison rather than addressing the issues he was required to address under s 86(2). It is apparent from the sentencing notes that the Judge addressed himself to the re
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quirements of s 86(2), and expressed himself not satisfied that any of those purposes of sentencing required the imposition of a minimum period of imprisonment in this case. We are not in a position to say that he erred in that regard, given the Judge’s assessment of the very limited role that Mr Agu played. The fact that Mr Agu had a previous conviction in the United States does not alter this position, given the age of the conviction and the fact that nothing was known about the circumstances in which it was entered. Result  The appeal against sentence is dismissed. --------------------------------------------------------  R v Agu  NZHC 248.  R v Agu, above n 1.  At .  R v Fatu  NZCA 278;  2 NZLR 72 (CA).  R v Wong  NZCA 332; R v Sze  NZHC 1703.  R v Agu, above n 1, at .  At .  Lam v R  NZCA 280; R v Nguyen  NZCA 239; Chen v R  NZCA 552; and Solicitor-General v Huang  NZCA 436.  R v Fatu, above n 4, at .  R v Fatu, above n 4.  Lam v R, above n 8; R v Nguyen, above n 8; Chen v R, above n 8; and Solicitor-General v Huang, above n 8.  R v Wong, above n 5, at .  R v Sze, above n 5.  R v Agu, above n 1, at .  See R v Curry CA272/00, CA273/00, CA326/00, 28 September 2000 at .  R v Nguyen, above n 8.  Chen v R, above n 8.  At .  R v Pai  NZHC 2345.  R v Wan  NZHC 2376.  Lam v R, above n 8.  At .  Solicitor-General v Huang, above n 8.  R v Ross  NZHC 698.  R v Agu, above n 1.  See R v Aram  NZCA 328 at ; R v Zhou  NZCA 365 at ; Solicitor-General v Huang, above n 8, at – and ; Makanesi v R  NZCA 134 at ; Chea v R  NZCA 207 at ; and Mok v R  NZCA 537 at .