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Parties must get behind new prisons’

18 July 2002

Matt Robson, Deputy Leader

‘Parties must get behind new prisons’


“All parties calling for tough sentences must stop their campaigns against the new prisons immediately,” says Progressive Coalition Deputy leader Matt Robson.

He was talking to a Sensible Sentencing Trust meeting in Lower Hutt tonight.

“You can’t be anti-crime and anti-prison.

“I need four new prisons to cater for the increase in prison numbers, but political campaign against the prisons are in danger of slowing us down.”

The new Sentencing and Parole legislation will increase the prison muster by about 300 on any given day, because violent offenders will serve longer sentences.

“Parties represented here tonight - Act, the Greens, and National - have protested against my new prisons.

“New Zealand needs these prisons. I call on each of these parties to immediately cancel their anti-prison campaigns.

“I also want the politicians to stop bickering over crime. New Zealanders are sick of it.

“We have more areas of agreement than disagreement, so lets sit down and reach a consensus on how to deal with crime. We can leave the politics at the door.”

Yesterday Matt Robson sent a letter to each party asking them to participate in a multi-party forum on crime.

He hasn’t had any replies yet.

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