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Gosche shamed into meeting Kawerau family

Gosche shamed into meeting Kawerau family

Corrections Minister Mark Gosche was finally been shamed into agreeing to meet the Kawerau victim's family last night, but only after pressure from media and National, says National Corrections Spokesman Tony Ryall.

Corrections had allowed the woman found guilty of the manslaughter of Phillip Hunt to live next door to his family.

"Last night Mr Gosche contacted the family in Kawerau indicating he would travel to Kawerau shortly to meet them. He finally did this after receiving the family's plea for help two months ago (to which he did not respond), and five days after he told the media he would personally contact the family.

"The Minister has only acted after the National Party and the media hounded him and his department on this matter. Their attempts at downplaying the situation and trying to fob off the Hunt family have not worked.

"The family remains upset that Corrections continues to claim Rooney was not living next door to their family member. The Hunt family member lives next door, whereas Rooney's parole officer lives an hour and a half away in Opotiki. Corrections remains obsessed with the rights of the offender and covering up the Department's incompetence instead of believing the victim's family.

"The Department should be considering applying to the Parole Board for extended and special parole conditions for the remainder of Rooney's sentence. Section 15 of the Parole Act provides for the Parole Board to set special conditions to provide for the concerns of victims as to where a parolee can go and reside.

"I know the Hunt family would like join with me in thanking the media for their assistance in getting Mr Gosche to contact them," Mr Ryall said.

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