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Time for Corrections to work with whole community

Time for Corrections to work with the whole community

The new Corrections Department chief executive Barry Matthews will be able to prove his commitment to working with the community now that he has a whole new prison to work with, Green Party Justice Spokesman Nandor Tanczos says.

Northland’s new Ngawha prison opens tomorrow, and while its development had split the community, now that it has been built, it’s time to ensure the department lives up to its obligations, Nandor says.

The Northland Regions Corrections facility is to be opened by Corrections Minister Paul Swain tomorrow on land just east of Kaikohe. It will eventually house 350 inmates within a medium-to-high-security classification.

Nandor said the department has a statutory obligation to work with community, and more specifically tangata whenua.

“This does not mean just getting a kapa haka group in every now and then. Tangata whenua need to be involved developing and implementing specific policies and programmes in prison.”

“The Green Party, along with many local people, was highly critical of how this site was chosen and obtained. But let’s hope, now that the prison is opening, that the department displays a higher commitment to working with the whole community.”

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