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Statement From The Waikeria Uprising Whānau

Attributed to the whānau members of the Waikeria Uprising protesters.

We are so happy to know that our loved ones and whānau members protesting in Waikeria prison were able to surrender safely today. We would like to reiterate the concerns our whānau have raised about conditions in Waikeria prison and in prisons generally. We know their actions were taken to protect past, present, and future generations.

Despite statements by Corrections bureaucrats and Minister Davis, we have tried many times to make complaints to Waikeria prison and the Department itself, and we were dismissed every time. Evidence that whānau members complained to Corrections about prison conditions such as long terms in solitary confinement and deprivation of property has been provided to the media. Our loved ones inside also tried many times to make complaints, but were denied access to PC01 complaint forms. The Ombudsman’s investigations also found that for years, Waikeria has denied prisoners these forms.

As Corrections itself has admitted, the top jail at Waikeria was unfit for humans to live in. Despite knowing for years that the jail was unhygienic and conditions inside were disgusting, Corrections still forced our loved ones to endure this treatment. With no other options at their disposal, our loved ones chose to take action, and we support their decision. We want to thank People Against Prisons Aotearoa, Rawiri and Kiri Waititi, Te Aorewa Rolleston, Billy MacFarlane, and everyone who has supported the struggle.

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