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Maori Party Avoids Debate On Maori In Prison

MEDIA RELEASE:
26th April 2008


Maori Party Avoids Debate On Maori In Prison

Policy makers are destroying Maori and the Maori Party are underwriting the failure by refusing to front a Television debate on this important issue – says the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar was commenting after Maori Party co-leader, Dr. Pita Sharples declined an invitation to appear on a TVNZ Marae program looking at whether the New Zealand Justice system would benefit by adopting the Arizona Tent City prisons and chain gangs.

Mr. McVicar said by avoiding the debate the Maori Party were failing to debate an extremely serious issue, “Maori are currently overrepresented in our Courts and Prisons, if any one race has been failed by the current system it is the Maori people.”

The Marae program included a live interview with Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has been labeled the toughest Sheriff in America after implementing Tent Prisons and chain gangs. Ron Mark from NZ First, Garth McVicar from Sensible Sentencing Trust and Dr. Pita Sharples had been invited to participate in a debate following on from the interview with the Sheriff.

Dr. Sharples declined and was replaced on the program by the Director of Prison Fellowship, Kim Workman who immediately accused the Sheriff of misrepresenting the re-offending rates and proceeded to call the Sheriff a liar.

Mr. McVicar said for someone who professes to be a Christian to blatantly call a Law enforcement officer of Sheriff Joes standing a liar was astounding.

“We may all have varying opinions, but to call someone a lair in my opinion brings into question the credibility of the Director of Prison Fellowship and whether it is appropriate for Kim Workman to be in charge of the newly established Rethinking Crime and Punishment organization.”

The Sensible Sentencing Trust are promoting a return to compulsory Military training combined with the Tent City prisons and chain-gangs as a means of combating a rising violent crime rate and escalating prison population.

The Marae program will feature on TV One at 11:00am tomorrow.
ends

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