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We the youth of Nga Puhi demand

Statement from Nga Taitamariki ki o Nga Puhi
Currently occupying the Head Office, Dept of Corrections,
Mayfair House, 44 - 52 The Terrace, Wellington.

We the youth of Nga Puhi demand:

- the immediate resignation of the Minister of Corrections, Matt Robson, on the grounds of personal racism and the desecration of the sacred grounds at Ngawha;

- that the Department of Corrections and their contractors must stop construction immediately and withdraw from the Ngawha site. All government representatives will be treated as trespassers and dealt with accordingly by Nga Taitamariki ki o Nga Puhi.

We the youth of Nga Puhi abhor the continued lack of consideration and understanding, and the re-interpretation of our cultural values, by the NZ government, their departments and legal system.

We see the Ngawha prison development as an act of terrorism against Tangata Whenua and an act of terrorism against the sacred whenua.

Statement from Nga Taitamariki ki o Nga Puhi, 12 June 2002. For more information telephone 021 178 8274 or 021 154 9933 or email tiakipapa@hotmail.com

11 June 2002

Opponents of the $100 million prison planned for Ngawha, near Kaikohe, are preparing for a High Court appeal against the granting of resource consent for the jail.

The appeal will be heard before Justice John Wild in the Wellington High Court on Thursday and Friday.

In April, the Environment Court ruled that the Northland Regional Council (NRC) was wrong to decline resource consent for the Northland prison on Maori cultural and spiritual grounds.

Corrections Minister Matt Robson had appealed the NRC decision to the Environment Court.

However, prison opponents, including Ron Wihongi, his daughter Riana, Ginn's Ngawha Spa director Shayron Beadle and Friends of Ngawha, appealed that Environment Court decision.

The appellants also requested an injunction to halt all work at the site until the appeal was heard. That request was declined by the Environment Court last week.

The appellants' lawyer, Prue Kapua, said her clients believed they had good grounds for appeal.

"I think there are some very important issues and concerns that are being dealt with," Ms Kapua said.

She acknowledged that funding the appeal was an issue that had to be addressed if the case was unsuccessful and the appellants wanted to pursue their case in the Court of Appeal.

Because of the degree of concern from both parties, the hearing date had been fast-tracked, she said.

- Northern Advocate (Whangarei)

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