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NZDF Personnel To Staff Prisons

The Minister of Defence Mark Burton tonight informed Parliament that he has invoked his powers under the Defence Act, in response to a request from the Minister of Corrections.

"On advice that continuing industrial action by the Corrections Association of New Zealand has eroded the functionality within prisons, the government considers that it has little choice but to authorise, from tonight, the use of New Zealand Defence Force personnel to provide custodial support to the Department of Corrections," Mark Burton said.

"I have invoked my powers under Section 9 (2) of the Defence Act 1990, to issue authorities to the New Zealand Defence Force for the deployment of elements to the following prisons: Auckland Prison, Mount Eden Prison, Waikeria Prison, Ohura Prison, Tongariro Prison, Rangipo Prison, New Plymouth Prison, Wanganui Prison, Hawkes Bay Prison, Manawatu Prison, Arohata Prison, Rimutaka Prison, Wellington Prison, Rolleston Prison, Christchurch Prison, Dunedin Prison, and Invercargill Prison.

"The Corrections Department has been in active discussions with the New Zealand Defence Force about their capacity to provide assistance if required," Mark Burton said.

"I am advised that up to 1400 NZDF personnel will be provided, under the Command and Control of the Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand.

"NZDF personnel are highly professional and well trained, and will assist the prison managers and remaining staff to ensure that normal regimes are followed and that staff and inmate safety is preserved.

"The authorities I have issued tonight will lapse in 14 days, unless extended either by the House of Representatives, or if the House is not sitting, by the Governor-General by proclamation approved in the Executive Council," Mark Burton said.

Ends


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