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Prison Consent Decision Will Be Appealed

The Department of Corrections will appeal the denial of resource consents for earthworks for the planned Northland Region Corrections Facility near Ngawha, says Minister of Corrections Matt Robson.

"I am surprised and disappointed that the Department has been unsuccessful in obtaining these resource consents. However we are not abandoning the project and will be reviewing all the documents associated with the Northland Regional Council's decision," says Matt Robson.

"We will appeal the decision.

"The timing of the project is not affected. We always expected either the Department or one of the prison's opponents would lodge an appeal in the Environment Court, depending on the outcome of the resource consents application hearing.

"The Department is well aware of opposition to the site, but is satisfied the site is suitable for the prison.

"Prison construction is always controversial. The Environment Court is well-qualified to balance all the issues with the necessary impartiality.

"Technical evidence on the site's suitability has been accepted. I am confident the cultural issues identified during the application hearing can be resolved satisfactorily."

A date for the Environment Court hearing is still to be set.


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