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Gosche left to clean up Ngawha mess - Nandor


19 September 2002

Ngawha prison deserves to be revisited - Greens

Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today welcomed the decision by new Corrections Minister Mark Gosche to review the controversial proposed new prison at Ngawha, saying that Mr Gosche had a difficult task to clean up the mess left by the previous Minister.

"The whole thing was handled badly by the Department and by (ex-Minister) Matt Robson. It makes total sense to revisit the decision," said Nandor.

Nandor said comments from Matt Robson that taking another look showed 'lack of decisiveness' and had put the community through unnecessary stress were ridiculous.

"Under his leadership the department used the threat of the Public Works Act to bully landowners, and tried to bankrupt the opposition to the prison. If Mr Robson hadn't been so belligerent we wouldn't be in this mess.

"There have been dodgy decisions made all through the process, and it is only right to have another look at them. The only shame is that due to Matt Robson's intransigence it has gone so far and will now be more difficult to turn back."

But Nandor said it was not too late to shelve the Ngawha prison and for the Corrections Department to work with the Northland community to find a more suitable site.


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