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Opposition to Ngawha Prison Grows

Opposition to Ngawha Prison Grows

ACT New Zealand Northland-based MP Dr Muriel Newman today welcomed the National Party's belated support for her opposition to the Ngawha Prison project.

"At long last, the National party has joined ACT New Zealand in opposing the appalling mismanagement that has resulted in the Ngawha project trebling its original budget.

"National MP Tony Ryall plans to write to the Audit Office requesting an investigation into the Correction Department's handling of the Ngawha Prison project.

"I hope that now Mr Ryall has joined me, we will be able to persuade the Auditor-General to reopen the investigation I asked for, into the entire Ngawha process.

"In August 2001 I wrote to the Auditor-General, David MacDonald, requesting a thorough investigation. I told him of six areas of concern, including the site selection process, and increased spending - at that time the estimated cost had risen from $40 million to over $100 million.

"Nine months later, in May 2002, the Auditor General wrote to me rejecting the need for a full inquiry, because "such inquiries are generally quite expensive".

"I hope that with Mr Ryall's support, we may now be able to convince the office of the Controller and Auditor-General to re-examine that decision," Dr Newman said.

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