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Ransom not way to get Pania back

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

Chris Tremain
MP for Napier

28 October 2005

Ransom not way to get Pania back

A suggestion supported by former Napier MP Russell Fairbrother that a ransom be paid for the retrieval of the statue of Pania of the Reef is the wrong way to go, say two National MPs.

Law & Order spokesman Simon Power and Napier MP Chris Tremain say paying a ransom sends exactly the wrong message because it encourages others.

Mr Tremain says he is outraged that the iconic Hawke's Bay statue has been stolen.

"There is a fair chance that this is a copycat of an incident at Kapiti where a ransom was paid for a stolen sculpture," says Mr Tremain.

"People think they can make easy money from this sort of thing, but the police absolutely oppose the paying of ransoms because it encourages copycats.

"Pania has a special place in Napier's heart but a ransom is not the way to go about getting it back at this time," he says.

Mr Power says the police are doing everything they can to find the statue and the last thing they want is interference from well-meaning but misguided people.

"Paying a ransom amounts to nothing more than paying people to commit crime, and Mr Fairbrother should let the police get on and do their job."

ENDS

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