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Waikato prison process gets murkier

Dr Paul Hutchison
Port Waikato MP

24 March 2004

Waikato prison process gets murkier

The Government's guarantee that consultation money for the Meremere prison would be "used wisely" appears increasing shaky, says Port Waikato MP Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The Department of Corrections have been bringing in 'rent-a-crowds' for consultative hui, and despite the huge amount of money spent, many local Maori are extremely dissatisfied with the results."

In May 2002, former Minister of Corrections Matt Robson told Parliament "I can guarantee that the money will be used wisely."

"Instead it appears the consultative process with Iwi, which cost $1.3 million for Meremere alone, is fraught with flaws. Among the concerns is the fact that $131,753 of that money was paid to a convicted fraudster.

"The overall cost blowouts of $62 million has occurred while consultative costs by Jagcon Limited amount to $1,086,514 for the new prison.

"This entire prison process has a litany of flaws. Matt Robson's guarantee on behalf of the government is now looking seriously wrong," said Dr Hutchison.


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