Investigate Your Department - Nandor Says
Investigate Your Department - Nandor Tells Minister
Corrections Minister Matt Robson was challenged in the House today by Green MP Nandor Tanczos over accusations of bribery regarding the proposed prison at Ngawha.
"The reported accusation that a major Corrections contractor tried to bribe a local to withdraw their Environment Court appeal against the proposal is a serious concern. It throws the whole process into question," said Nandor.
"Mr Robson has expressed his satisfaction over the consultation process in the past. Yet there is evidence that the Department has attempted to use the Public Works Act to bully landowners into selling their land and now evidence that it has tried to bribe opponents of the prison to withdraw their opposition.
"The so called consultation process is a farce," he said.
"We need a full review of the activities of the Corrections Department and its contractors over this proposal."
Speaking on behalf of the Minister, Associate Corrections Minister Tariana Turia agreed during Question Time that she was concerned at reports that the Department offered a financial settlement in exchange for the withdrawal of opposition to the prison by local woman Shayron Beadle.
Ms Turia also agreed that it was not appropriate for the contractor in question to be awarded a Department contract just two days after leaving a management position in the Department, without the new position being notified or tendered.
"The way the Department has handled the Ngawha prison proposal has been truly shocking. If the Minister and the public are to have any faith in this Department and in the process surrounding this proposed prison the whole thing needs to be independently investigated to the full."