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Party keen to debate solutions, not distractions

Maori Party keen to debate solutions, not distractions
Press statement by Dr Pita Sharples, 30 April 2008
Co-leader and Justice Spokesperson for the Maori Party

The Maori Party’s approach to dealing with offending and punishment is to champion programmes that work, not to argue over failed policies and extremist views, said Dr Pita Sharples.

Dr Sharples was responding to allegations by Garth McVicar that, by declining an invitation to appear on television, the Maori Party was refusing to debate the issues.

“The Maori Party’s views on the subject are perfectly clear. We released a press statement explaining why we believe tent prisons and chain gangs will not reduce criminal offending,” he said.

“It speaks volumes that the sheriff promoting them does not know whether tent prisons and chain gangs reduce reoffending. Clearly that cannot be the reason he advocates them. Perhaps Harper’s magazine is correct – they called the sheriff a megalomaniac and a bully?

“Frankly, I have better things to do with my time than discuss such preposterous ideas with Garth McVicar – for example, attending my weekend wänanga, which is why I personally was not available to appear on TV,” said Dr Sharples.

ENDS

Attached: Maori Party press statement dated 31 March 2008
[No place in NZ for chain gangs and tent prisons]

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