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Escalating prison costs salt in the wound

Escalating prison costs salt in the wound for Waikato taxpayers

The so-called Auckland regional prison at Meremere has left a legacy of wounds on the people of Waikato, says Port Waikato MP Dr Paul Hutchison.

"Department of Corrections policy strongly recommends the prison should have been placed in South Auckland, close to where the prisoners come from.

"Not only has the Labour Government moved it away from safe Labour seats, but the costs have grown out of all proportion.

"The Government claimed the land was cheaper, but that was due to bad information. 1.3 million cubic metres of soil have to be moved before construction can even begin.

"Add to that $1.3 million for iwi consultation, let alone the cost blowout of $62 million for the prison itself, and then it is obvious how badly the whole process has been managed.

"I suspect there are many more examples of mismanagement and cost over-runs to be revealed," said Dr Hutchison.

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