30 Jul 2015

Māori Party supports Corrections Minister

3:30 pm on 30 July 2015

The Māori Party is supporting the Minister of Corrections because it says he is prepared to consider rehabilitation programmes for Māori prisoners.

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Sam Lotu-Iiga Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The Department of Corrections has formally taken over the management of Mount Eden prison from the private company Serco while the allegations of fight clubs and drug-taking are being investigated.

Labour's Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis has accused the Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga of being incompetent for failing to intervene after he admitted he knew about the allegations.

But, Māori Party co-leader Mārama Fox said that Mr Lotu-Iiga had indicated that he was open to rehabilitating Māori prisoners.

"Kei te pai ki ā au kia tū tonu taua Minita nō te mea kei te whakarongo ia," hei tāna.

"I runga i te whakarongo kua tīni te āhuatanga. I whakaaengia te Minita i tērā wiki kia hui ngātahi ki te taha i ā mātou me te iwi Māori ki te whāi huarahi kia puta pai te tangata, kia āta tiaki ngā Māori i ngā whare herehere."

Translation

"It is alright by the me that the Minister still keeps his job because he is prepared to listen," Ms Fox said.

"By him listening the situation is changing. Mr Lotu-Iiga agreed to meet with the Māori Party and iwi representatives last week to find a pathway for Māori prisoners to be rehabilitated."

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