A high-risk sex offender who has repeatedly breached his extended supervision order does not meet the criteria for a public protection order, Corrections says.
Darren Jolly, who was released from prison in 2011 on a 10-year extended supervision order, was arrested in Canterbury this week after absconding in breach of his conditions.
Jolly has multiple convictions for sexual connection with, and indecent assault, of girls aged under 16.
He has breached the supervision order multiple times, including in 2012 when he spent three weeks on the run.
Two years ago Parliament passed a law introducing public protection orders, which allow a court to detain high-risk individuals until they no longer pose a serious and imminent threat to public safety.
New Zealand's first PPO was granted against convicted paedophile Glen Anthony Douglas earlier this month.
But Corrections deputy national commissioner Rachel Leota said the department had not applied for a public protection order for Jolly, as he would not meet the threshold.
Ms Leota said his current supervision conditions ensured the safety of the public.
"Only a very small number of people are likely to become subject to PPO, and the threshold is very high," Ms Leota said.
Jolly's current supervision conditions did, as far as possible, ensure the safety of the public, she said.
"His compliance with conditions is closely managed by a team of experienced probation staff. Non-compliance with any conditions is addressed promptly."
The frequency Corrections laid charges against Jolly for breaching his conditions showed the department was committed to strictly managing him, Ms Leota said.
"Corrections will continue to intensively manage his adherence to the conditions of his extended supervision order and hold him to account for any non-compliance, including further breach charges being laid in court if necessary."