The Parole Board has expressed fears that there could be reprisals if a convicted murderer is allowed to return to rural Taranaki.
Mark Goodwin was given a life sentence in 1996 for murdering his estranged wife, Nicola Goodwin, at Opunake.
Mrs Goodwin's friend, Barbara Bishop, witnessed the attack before being pushed over a 25-metre clifftop in a car.
She survived the ordeal, later gave evidence in court, and has recently had a restorative justice meeting with Goodwin.
The Parole Board says the minimum-security prisoner is doing well but Goodwin's plans to return to farming in Taranaki is ill-conceived.
The Board will next consider the case in August.