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Nandor predicts blowout for Ngawha budget

Nandor predicts blowout for Ngawha budget

Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today predicted the proposed new prison at Ngawha will face a huge budget blowout before it is completed.

New Corrections Minister Mark Gosche has reviewed the controversial prison and met with objectors. Today he confirmed the prison will be built on the current site.

"The decisions that led to the selection of the Ngawha site and the processes behind these decisions were poor decisions. The site was totally unsuitable on a number of grounds and as a result the projected costs of this prison have ballooned," said Nandor.

On 14 September 1999 then Corrections Minister Clem Simich said the construction of the prison would cost around $40 million. By October 1999 that sum had doubled to between $60 and $80 million. By mid March 2001 the cost had reached nearly $92 million.

"Opponents of this prison claim that the projected cost of building a major new prison on a geologically active site is now around $100 million. Following the Minister's commitment to this prison today, I am predicting the total end cost will be even more than that," said Nandor.

"The Corrections Department under Matt Robson had already seen a blowout of over 100 per cent.

"Add to this the cost of building in the face of implacable local opposition and the extra cost of maintaining a building in the presence of hydrogen sulphide gas and you have to wonder why the Minister is throwing more money after bad."

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