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Prison floor heating excuse beggars belief

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

29 June 2006

Prison floor heating excuse beggars belief

The Government’s explanation that it has under-floor heating in its four new prisons because it has to keep the temperature at 16 degrees Celsius beggars belief, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

The Associate Corrections Minister told Parliament today that under-floor heating was installed because ‘the current Building Code required an adequate interior temperature of no less than 16 degrees’.

“The Government is happy to defend installing this luxury item in prisons, when the simple act of giving prisoners another blanket for their beds or making them wear a jersey would do the same job,” says Mr Power.

“This would be especially true of prisoners in Ngawha Prison in Northland, which has, according to NIWA, a mean daily temperature of 16 degrees.

“The Minister’s response is laughable. He even has the gall to liken the necessity of heating prisoners’ cells to that of heating Auckland Hospital’s mental health unit, and retirement and child care facilities.

“According to the Building Research Association, 96% of homes don’t have under-floor heating, so why should prisoners get this luxury at taxpayers’ expense?

“Under this Government, prisoners will be warmer in their cells than their victims will be in their own homes.”


Northland mean daily temperature

Month Northland mean daily temperature (Celsius)
Jul-05 12.6
Aug-05 12.0
Sep-05 13.9
Oct-05 15.1
Nov-05 16.3
Dec-05 19.8
Jan-06 20.4
Feb-06 20.0
Mar-06 18.6
Apr-06 17.8
May-06 14.4
Jun-06 10.9
Mean 16.0

Source: NIWA


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