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Corrections charges $10,000 for OIA Request

[08:00am 16/02/2017] - For Immediate Use

Corrections charges $10,000 for Official Information Act Request

The Department of Corrections is attempting to charge nearly $10,000 for response to an Official Information Act request. The request, from a member of the organisation No Pride in Prisons, is for reports into human rights abuse in New Zealand prisons.

“The Department of Corrections is attempting to hide information which could make it look bad. This absurd charge is an attempt to put truth behind a paywall. Corrections is trying to intimidate those who seek openness, transparency, and justice,” says Emilie Rākete, No Pride in Prisons spokesperson.

“These reports document years of investigation into violence, inhumane treatment, and torture in New Zealand’s prisons. Corrections has a legal obligation to release them.”

The reports were conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman under its authority from the Crimes of Torture Act and are commonly known as the “Torture Reports”. Four “Torture Reports” were made public last year, detailing extreme levels of violence and abuse in New Zealand prisons.

“The Department of Corrections is doing everything it can to stop the truth from getting out.”

The response to the Official Information Act request came just two days after No Pride in Prisons held its “10,000 Too Many” march against the prison overcrowding crisis. It was also recently announced that Corrections will not be able to march in this year’s LGBTIQ Pride parade in Auckland, after pressure from No Pride in Prisons.

“No Pride in Prisons has exposed some of the worst abuses in New Zealand prisons. It is clear that the Department of Corrections is just trying to get some payback.”

The organisation is calling for the immediate release of all “Torture Reports” by the Department of Corrections.

You can see the OIA request and response here.


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