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Farmers' Concerns not 'Nimby' Concerns

30 April 2001

Farmers' Concerns about South Auckland Prison Facility not 'Nimby' Concerns

"Farmers' concerns about the two sites short-listed for a proposed prison south of Auckland are not 'Nimby'* concerns, "Auckland Federated Farmers Provincial President Colin Bull said today.

"Corrections Minister Matt Robson is wrong on several counts in his recent media release", said Mr Bull.

"Firstly, the two short-listed sites are not even in South Auckland - they are both in the North Waikato.

"Secondly, by the Department of Corrections' own standards and strategy, prisons should be close to the populations they serve. Both of the short-listed sites are a long way away from the South Auckland population the proposed prison facility is designed to accommodate.

"Thirdly, the concerns expressed by the local rural community about the two short-listed sites are genuine concerns. There are security concerns from the risk of escapees. Isolated rural communities do not have the rapid access to protection that urban areas have.

There is the additional impact on infrastructure such as roads. Crown owned prisons do not pay rates. The local roading network is funded out of rates which local farmers pay but the prison and the South Auckland community do not, and will not, contribute to these roads.

Mr Bull said the people in the Meremere / Te Kauwhata area had every right to feel 'dumped on', with proposals for a large rubbish facility as well as the prison facility in the immediate area.

. "Most of the prison population comes from urban areas, so it should follow that prisons themselves should be sited in urban areas. There are no compelling reasons as to why prisons should be located in rural areas," concluded Mr Bull.

ENDS

For further information: Colin Bull (Provincial President) (09) 292-8758 Richard Gardner (Policy Analyst) (09) 379-0057

*NIMBY - not in my backyard


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