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Farmers Concerned at Minister's Prison Tactics

Federated Farmers Concerned at Minister's Prison Tactics

North Waikato Federated Farmers is urging the Minister of Corrections and his representatives to turn their minds to addressing the adverse effects that the proposed South Auckland prison will have on the local community, rather than trying to bulldoze their proposal through

"The whole process has been overshadowed by the attempted intimidation of some of those with legitimate concerns about the proposed prison, said Federated Farmers North Waikato Chairman Peter Buckley.

"Rather than address the genuine issues raised about the adverse effects of the prison by putting proposals forward to mitigate those adverse effects, some of the Minister's tactics have amounted to bullying.

"I am astounded that the Minister is considering wasting the Environment Court's time by applying to the Environment Court for an order giving security for costs against the appellants in the South Auckland Prison appeals.

"There is no chance of the Environment Court giving security for costs against any of the appellants.

"The precedent set in the Northland Prison case means that the Court can not award costs against the appellants in this case. There the Minister waived costs, and once the Crown waives costs in one case it has to waive costs in any similar case.

"If the Minister isn't going to get costs, then he certainly isn't going to get security for costs.

"Moreover the Resource Management Amendment Act 2003 specifically bans the Environment Court from ordering any party to give security for costs".

Peter Buckley said this latest move by the Minister was another example of the bullying attitude that some of the Minister's representatives had adopted throughout the prison consent processes.

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