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Local Board seeks lock down of proposed Men’s Prison at Wiri

Manurewa Local Board seeks lock down of proposed Men’s Prison at Wiri

17 December 2010

The Manurewa Local Board and Auckland Council have finalised their submissions “strongly opposing” the Department of Corrections’ proposal to establish a men’s prison at Wiri which would host around 1,000 inmates.

The Board has reflected on the feedback received by the community, and consequentially has expressed reservation about the proposal put forward by the Environmental Protection Authority to alter the Manukau District Plan to permit the prison to be developed at Wiri.

“The Board is not persuaded that the Department of Corrections (“Corrections”) has made the case for a prison at Wiri. When assessing the effects of the proposed prison on the adjacent environment, the application does not stack up. More to the point Corrections has not addressed the social, environmental and traffic infrastructure necessary to mitigate the adverse impact proposal on the Wiri community. These are key issues for consideration and the Board will seek to lodge additional evidence with the Board of Inquiry in 2011,” Manurewa Local Board Chair, Daniel Newman said.

The council's submission expresses the view that "prisons are not the answer" to social problems and that the government should instead look at ways of reducing demand for prisons.

The Board does not intend to pursue the argument about the merits of prisons in society, which falls outside the scope of evidence that it intends to lodge.

“People who commit crimes deserved to be punished, and loss of liberty is fundamental to punishment. The question that is central to this issue is whether the proposed prison is appropriate for the Wiri community. To date the case has not been made to justify the location of the proposed prison on that particular community,” Daniel Newman said.

ENDS

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