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Iwi consultation on new prison is money well spent

Iwi consultation on new prison is money well spent

The thorough consultation with Tainui to prepare the way for the new prison at Spring Hill near Mere Mere was worth every pennyspent over the last four years says former Corrections Minister and Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"Consultation meant that instead of uninformed criticism of the prison and Corrections’ regional prisons programme, Tainui has become a constructive partner in the process. Genuine consultation costs.

"Of course it would have been possible to have followed Act's advice and to have completely ignored the views of Maori. Past practice could also have been followed and forced Maori to have borne all costs while pretending to consult. But fairness dictates that the Crown should pay for adequate information and allowing iwi to participate in the project from design of the prison to delivery of services.

"Mr Hide is following his usual practice of ignoring facts and crying ‘scandal’. I am sure that the Department of Corrections can arrange for genuine consultation with the ACT party so that its members could be informed before they proffer an opinion," said Matt Robson.

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