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Impending eviction a miscarriage of justice

Impending eviction a miscarriage of justice

Green MP Nandor Tanczos criticised the Minister of Corrections Paul Swain, saying his one-eyed belligerence in the House today personified the manner in which his Corrections Department treats people who stand in its way.

"The proposed Ngawha Prison has been a travesty from the start," said Nandor, the Green Justice spokesperson.

"The site was selected through a questionable and politicised process. Breaking their written agreement with the occupiers is par for the course

"The land was acquired using bully-boy tactics, legitimate opposition has been routinely treated with contempt and the Corrections Department has been criticised by the Law and Order Committee for being economical with the truth about the costs of construction.

"Paul Swain's statement today that site traffic had been impeded and barricades have been installed are old news and indicate that he has not visited the site recently. Those issues were resolved between the occupiers and the Department some time ago.

Nandor, the Green Justice spokesperson, called on Minister Paul Swain in Parliament to ensure his department honour its signed agreement with kaumatua not to evict anyone as long as the occupation remained peaceful, did not interfere with the construction or present a threat to public safety.

Prison project manager John Hamilton looks set to break the agreement and remove them from the site in response to a fire last week.

"If they now proceed to evict the occupiers on the basis that one unnamed individual burnt a disused car on an adjacent field, that would be an extremely transparent and flimsy excuse.

"It would show exceedingly bad faith for John Hamilton and Paul Swain to follow through with their intentions to clear the site on those grounds.

"This eviction, should it go ahead, is a farce. The occupiers have been trying without success to get mediation between themselves, police and Corrections. The Department has not made any attempt to find out who took the action, why they took the action, and whether or not this had any connection whatsoever with the Noho Rangimarie," said Nandor.

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