Representations To The Corrections Department
Prime Minister Helen Clark said tonight that the Minister of Corrections has made it clear to his department that representations received from ministers and MPs are to be given the same weight as are representations from members of the public.
“The Associate Minister of Corrections, Tariana Turia, is well aware of, understands, respects, and upholds the operational independence of the Prison Service.
“She does believe, as a Member of Parliament, and as the Associate Minister, that she is entitled to forward representations to the service.
“Mrs Turia did forward to the Corrections Department representations from the family of a young man who, many years ago, had been placed as a state ward in her home by the Department of Social Welfare. This connection was declared to the Department of Corrections.
“Mrs Turia always does her best to pass on to the Prison Service the requests of prisoners and their families.”
Helen Clark said that the Minister of Corrections and the Associate Minister of Corrections are working on clarifying the procedures to be followed when representations are made concerning prisoners in the future.