Manukau Courier : November 25th 2010
3 MANUKAU COURIER, NOVEMBER 25, 2010 NEWS 21 LADY RUBY DRIVE EAST TAMAKI WEDNESDAY 1st December 9AM - 4PM THURSDAY 2nd December 9AM - 4PM FRIDAY 3rd December 9AM - 4PM SATURDAY 4th December 9AM - 2PM *Security Required Normal Lending Criteria Apply To nd out the options available to you call us today. SAVE TIME! GET YOUR MONEY FASTER! Contact our experienced and friendly team! See us for: PERSONAL LOANS MORTGAGES INSURANCES 0800889888/2638518 VISIT US AT 22 Cavendish Drive, Manukau City OR ONLINE AT www.SPLNZ.co.nz NEED MONEY NOW? SEE SOUTH PACIFIC LOANS FIRST 3036028AA Time is against residents No go: Rallying community opposition to the men's prison proposed for Wiri are members of the Prison Lobby Group, from right: Rev Mark Beale of St Elizabeth's Anglican Church, Manurewa Principals Association representative Sonia Johnston of Roscommon School, Manurewa local board members Toa Greening and Colleen Brown, and Anne Hurley of the Sisters of Mercy Wiri. Photo: SHANE WENZLICK By KAREN MANGNALL OPPONENTS of a 1500-bed men's prison at Wiri are racing against the clock to make sure the com- munity gets a proper say at a fast- track board of inquiry into the pro- posal. The board of inquiry was set up by Environment Minister Nick Smith last Friday to rule on a Corrections Department bid to redesignate land at the women's regional prison to build a men's jail there too. Public submissions must be in by December 17 -- the only chance to take part in hearings likely to take place in March before the board makes its final decision within nine months. Prison Lobby Group convener Colleen Brown says it's a cruel'' timetable for affected residents who're unfamiliar with the inquiry rules and heading into Christmas. It is a frantic time for families and to say that this is a fair process' at this time of the year is quite dis- dainful of our community.'' Her group's asking around 40 community organisations to make submissions and is calling on all residents and businesses to do the same. They've also got 5000 protest postcards printed by the Sisters of Mercy Wiri that can be sent to either Prime Minister John Key or Corrections Minister Judith Collins. The group also intends to set up booths around town where residents can get help to write effective submissions. Manurewa Local Board member Toa Greening says a major concern is the lack of strategy behind the men's prison development. Wiri is just convenient and expedient for the government and little if any thought's gone into the impact on the community, he says. Building this prison in Manu- rewa is not nationally significant. It is a national disgrace as there are several suitable remote sites.'' It's also economically stupid'' to duplicate services by building next door to a women's prison instead of expanding an existing men's jail. The prison's impact on local chil- dren and families is what worries the 22 schools in the Manurewa Principals Association. Roscommon School principal Sonia Johnston says it will hurt academic performance by adding to the negative stereotypes'' that already burden children. There's also been little mention of how state agencies will deal with the influx of families moving to be closer to male relatives at the prison. Supporting agencies to help struggling families are already stretched to the maximum.'' Local Anglican minister Reverend Mark Beale says there's been no research into the likely social conse- quences of having a youth facility, a women's prison and now a men's jail on the same block''. It's just a social experiment being conducted on a very fragile community.'' Mrs Brown agrees with Manu- rewa Local Board chairman Daniel Newman that the prison proposal should have gone through Auckland Council hearings and didn't need to be fast-tracked. They're calling on the council and mayor Len Brown to take the lead in advocating for the community'' against the prison and to provide expert help for writing submissions. The council's chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakely says staff are reviewing the prison proposal and will meet as soon as possible with the local board to find out how best to provide support. GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK ON CONTROVERSIAL PLAN Sixteen working days are left to have a say on whether a 1500-bed men's prison should be built at Wiri. The government is fast-tracking the Corrections Department application to redesignate land at the women's regional prison on Hautu Drive to build a four-storey men's jail beside it. The application seeks approval for a 1500-bed men's prison, to remove conditions over land set aside for rehabilitation of women inmates, to build a perimeter wall or fence up to six metres high and a revised heritage areas plan. Because of the controversy caused by the prison in south Auckland, Environment Minister Nick Smith says he has made sure the board of inquiry hearing the proposal has ''strong community knowledge of the area''. Local board members are ex- Manukau City Council chief executive Leigh Auton and former Auckland regional councillor Bill Burrill. The others are deputy chief Maori Land Court judge Caren Fox of Ngati Porou, resource management consultant David Hill, and Environment Court judge Melanie Harland who will chair the board. A public meeting to explain the board of inquiry is being held tonight by the Environmental Protection Authority, from 7pm at the Rainbow's End conference room, Wiri Station Rd. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on December 17. Go to www.epa.govt.nz/ applications to download the proposal or see it at the Auckland Council's Manukau service centre or at the Clendon, Mangere, Manurewa and Papatoetoe libraries. Contact the authority on 0800-382-527 or mpwp@epa. govt.nz for more information.
November 23rd 2010
November 26th 2010