Manukau Courier : November 19th 2010
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Friday, November 19, 2010 Push back' for govt's prison plan By KAREN MANGNALL SUPERCITY councillors from across Auckland are lining up behind opponents of a pri- vately built and run 1500-bed men's prison planned for Wiri. They've signalled they'll use a fast-track board of inquiry to advocate on behalf of the south Auckland com- munity against the prison. A board of inquiry will allow us as a council to appear in front of the inquiry and say: We don't want it','' Rodney councillor Penny Webster told the council's first business meeting on Wednesday. A board of inquiry is the best way to push back'' against the government's bid to fast-track the prison into south Auckland, she says. Environment Minister Nick Smith had asked the council for its opinion on a board of inquiry as the way to fast-track the redesignation of land at the Wiri women's prison to build the men's jail there too. Dr Smith told Corrections yesterday he will go ahead with a board of inquiry. That is expected to be publicly notified tomorrow, with 20 working days for people to get submissions in. Councillors voted for a board of inquiry despite arguments from some for the proposal to be heard by inde- pendent commissioners. Mayor Len Brown says it's probably the best way'' now open to the Manurewa com- munity to have its voice heard. He has told Dr Smith that the community deserves a process that ensures all of the options, not just Manu- rewa, are considered''. It is evident that the gov- ernment fancies Wiri but I would really like to have a process where it showed due deference to the fact that there are options beyond Manurewa.'' Manurewa simply doesn't want'' the prison, ward coun- cillor Sir John Walker says. This was done behind closed doors without consul- tation and we found out about it afterwards,'' Sir John says. Fellow Manurewa-Papa- kura councillor Calum Penrose also wants the gov- ernment to put up a better case'' for Wiri as the site for the prison. It needs to be dealt with professionally and with some thought towards the residents of Manurewa,'' he says. A big concern is that Clendon's state housing will be used for dumping'' all the problems associated with families of inmates relocating there to be closer to their relatives, Mr Penrose says. That's also one of the real concerns'' for North Shore councillor George Wood. Mr Wood was a police officer near Wanganui when the government built a huge prison'' and the town's gang problems are a legacy of the influx of inmates' families to that area. A men's prison in south Auckland on top of a youth prison, a women's prison and Spring Hill correctional facility sends a very bad message'' to an area already struggling to lift its social well-being, he says. PUBLIC INPUT The Corrections Depart- ment says a board of in- quiry will give the public ''significant input on whether land at the Auck- land Region Women's Correction Facility can be used for a men's prison''. Corrections applied to the Environmental Pro- tection Authority for a board of inquiry because the prison is of national significance. Now the government has decided on a board of inquiry the authority will run hearings in or near Wiri by the five-member board which must deliver its decision within nine months. In the groove: Papatoetoe New World store manager Roland Olago shows his creative talent on stage with the band. Fresh talent is a hit on the national stage Four supermarket workers have gone from the shop floor to the national stage. The Manukau-based New World employees have swapped their day jobs for starring roles in an orches- tra that plays instruments made of fruits and vege- tables. Papatoetoe employees Roland Olago, David Aku- kuso and Pa Rongo and Turanga Maeva from New World Southmall are appearing in New World's latest television advertising campaign. They were discovered during a nationwide au- dition tour and selected by Dave Dobbyn. The ad sees them playing Slice of Heaven on ingen- iously invented musical instruments made from everyday objects. Papatoetoe New World owner-operator Clark Abel says he knew his team was talented but didn't realise they were such great mu- sicians. When I watched them audition for the ad I was in awe of how musically gifted they are. The whole team is ex- cited to see them on TV. They are the type of guys who are always smiling and since the ad launched last week there has been a happy buzz throughout the store.''
November 18th 2010
November 23rd 2010