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Ed Sheeran

Prison choice a test for Government

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An impending decision on building a new prison is being described as a foreshore and seabed moment.

Julia Whaipooti from justice reform group Just Speak says to go ahead with the $1 billion upgrade of Waikaria Prisons to house up to 3000 more inmates would be a huge mistake and contrary to what Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Justice Minister Andrew Little are saying about the need for reform.

Cabinet is expected to consider the plan within the next month.

Ms Whaipooti says whanau Maori need to speak up.

"It’s urgent that we stop them from building it because it they build it that's the vision for Maori. If they choose to build this prison they choose to give up on us and that is never going to be OK. From a Just Speak perspective, we know prisons don't work. The Government knows prisons don’t work," she says.

Ms Whaipooti says the Government knows prisons are a moral and fiscal failure.

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