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A Safer New Zealand: Northland Decision Released

9 April 2002

“I welcome the Environment Court decision announced today that the Northland regional prison can proceed.” says Corrections Minister Matt Robson.

“This will be the first Maori design prison in the world. It’ll target re-offending, and has a far better chance of reducing crime than the old style prisons.

“Northland offenders will stay in Northland.

“Up to 350 of them will now serve their sentences in their own communities, under the watchful eye of families and whanau.

“Offenders are more likely to be accountable for their crime when closer to their community. There is little to be gained from shipping an offender from the North to a prison in Dunedin.

“The prospect of a new prison has been controversial. I appeal to all involved to put the tense times behind them. Together we can become world leaders in crime reduction.

“Not only that, we can now create hundreds of new jobs in the North.

“I call on opposition MPs to support the new prison.

“New Zealanders want longer sentences for the most violent offenders, and this government has made a committment to do just that with the new Sentencing and Parole Bill.

“But we all have to accept that if we have longer sentences, we need more prisons.

“The good news is, a green light for Northland puts me a step closer to closing Mt Eden. The days of the old slop bucket prisons are gone.

Ends

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