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Prisoners Involvement in Rebuild Has Merit

Asenati Lole-Taylor

New Zealand First Spokesperson for

July 25, 2014

Prisoners Involvement in Rebuild Has Merit

New Zealand First says the opportunity for prisoners to be involved in rebuilding earthquake damaged Christchurch houses is a small step in the right direction – but it has taken too long to get started.

“I would like to congratulate the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand staff for their work in getting the project under way,” says Spokesperson for Corrections Asenati Lole-Taylor. “Unfortunately, it is well over three years since the big earthquake in Christchurch.”

The project will focus on Red-Zoned houses being repaired by prisoners and community offenders at the Rolleston Prison Constructions Yard over the next five years.

“New Zealand First has been calling for a greater focus on rehabilitation for years. By working on Housing New Zealand damaged homes prisoners have a chance to learn valuable skills which will help them transition back into the community, and through the work they are putting something back into the community.

“New Zealand First believes this approach should be extended to other prisons, such as the Spring Hill Corrections Facility and Northland Region Corrections Facility.

“However, there should be caution when funding projects like this in privately run prisons.

“Having prisoners help out with community projects is a win-win situation for everyone concerned – the Corrections Department, Housing New Zealand, the prisoners, community organisations and the wider public,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.


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