Nandor welcomes change on Ngawha opposition

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2002 04:15 PM
Nandor welcomes change of heart on Ngawha opposition
Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today welcomed a Government change of heart in withdrawing action to seek costs of up to $500,000 from opponents of the proposed Ngawha prison.
In response to an oral question from Nandor in parliament this afternoon new Corrections Minister Mark Gosche said the Government had reversed the original decision to pursue costs of up to half a million dollars against four groups.
The groups were seeking to uphold the decision of the Northland Regional Council to refuse a resource consent for a prison at Ngawha near Kaikohe, which included local community groups, families and the regional council.
The Department of Corrections won an appeal against that decision, and the four groups were denied leave to appeal to the High Court.
"This is an important move by the new Minister. The decision to build a prison at Ngawha was a bad one. The whole process was badly mishandled by the previous minister Matt Robson. The decision to chase costs was an attempt to punish opponents and warn off other communities that might challenge the department."
Nandor said if the Crown had successfully secured a costs judgement it would have bankrupted some of the groups who were challenging the decision to build at Ngawha and the poor processes that led to the decision.
"I am disgusted that the Department was seeking costs against an impoverished community whose crime was to try to stop the desecration of their waahi tapu, and against the Regional Council for doing its job. It is not a good look.
"For Project Manager John Hamilton to say the Department had no choice but to pursue costs is just rubbish. The Department is deliberately trying to punish opponents of the prison as a warning to other communities. This is real bully-boy stuff.
"Mark Gosche has made a good start. Of course the big question is the prison itself. "

Next in New Zealand politics

Government Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
By: New Zealand Government
Crown Accounts Reflect Strong Economy Amid Pandemic
By: New Zealand Government
Christopher Luxon Elected National Party Leader
By: New Zealand National Party
Waitangi Week
By: Waitangi National Trust
Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Freedom Camping Changes - MBIE
By: Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
By: Auckland University of Technology
Financial Statements Of The Government For The 4 Months Ended 31 October 2021
By: The Treasury
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media