Two hundred and fifty new jobs will be created from the decision to make a site five kilometres south of Meremere the
preferred site for a new South Auckland corrections facility for men.
Corrections Minister Matt Robson announced the preferred site today, saying that hundreds more jobs would be involved in
building the 650-bed facility. But he says the suitability of the preferred site is even more important than the number
of long-term jobs it will bring to the area.
The secure facility will be off Hampton Downs Road, after the Minister rejected a site accessed through Hall Road in
response to community concern. It will enclose thirty hectares of the 214 hectare site. Another site in Gregory Road was
assessed in technical reports as less suitable than Hampton Downs Road.
The public will have a further opportunity to make submissions on the preferred site after the Minister begins the
Resource Management Act process.
The site lies in the rohe of Tainui, and Matt Robson said he had invited Tainui to develop a partnership agreement in
regard to the facility, which will include a Maori focus unit. The agreement will cover not just the new prison, but
corrections services throughout Tainui.
"This site is secure, providing substantial buffer zones from surrounding farmland. As a regional prison, it will allow
more successful re-integration of offenders. It is unsafe for the public if offenders are not successfully
re-integrated, because they will re-offend if we fail."
Matt Robson dismissed 'Nimby' concerns as 'anti-jobs and pro-crime.'
"I'm pro-job and anti-crime. Wherever in New Zealand new corrections facilities are suggested, there is someone who
wants it somewhere else. But if we want more prisons then those prisons have to go somewhere.
"I want to put corrections facilities where employment opportunities will be maximised and where the public will be
safest. Safety includes the successful re-integration of offenders into the community when they eventually get
released," Matt Robson said.