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What’s going on inside the Ngawha Hilton?

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

2 November 2005

What’s going on inside the Ngawha Hilton?

National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor must urgently sort out the mess in his department.

He is commenting on a report that prisoners at New Zealand’s newest prison, at Ngawha in Northland, have been getting out of their cells at night and wandering freely around parts of the prison, including getting into the staffroom and making themselves cups of coffee.

“For the second time in a week the question has to be asked: what is going on in our prisons, and what is the Minister doing about it?

“This is outrageous.

“Last month there were seven escapes, two guards assaulted, and prisoners held in vans on public streets and showering in a rugby club because of overcrowding.

“Now it seems some prisoners have been having a free run of this state-of-the-art prison in the middle of the night, supposedly without detection. It begs the question: what else are they getting up to in there?

“Perhaps they should rename it the Ngawha Hilton.

“It is clear that the Minister is a little slow in coming to grips with his new portfolio, but he had better change that before we have a real problem on our hands.

“Can he immediately assure the public that they are being protected from the sort of people in our prisons?”

ENDS

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