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Prison Privatisation is History - Minister

Privatisation is history, but existing contract honoured

"A contract entered into by the former government with a private sector company for the management of the new Auckland Central remand Prison will have to remain in place, but any further plans to involve the private sector in prison management will cease forthwith," said Minister of Corrections Matt Robson.

Matt Robson recently became aware of clauses in the contract with Australasian Correctional Management whereby the new government might be able to withdraw at a cost.

"I consulted with my officials and my cabinet colleagues immediately. There is no doubt of the new government's commitment to public prisons, and in an ideal world we would rather start with a clean slate.

"However it was clear that the cost of withdrawing from the former government's contract could not be fully quantified. The advice we received could not give us a firm guarantee that the costs could be accurately predicted.

"The government could have been dragged into a lengthy and costly legal process, and we are not prepared to take that risk with taxpayers money.

"We have to put this behind us now, and will get on with developing the best run public prisons, staffed by the best people for the job. My priority is to develop prisons that take in offenders and return them after sentence as safe members of our community.

"Prisons will not become a growth industry under this government. Crime prevention will," said Matt Robson.

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