Saturday, April 08, 2006

Up to a quarter million paid to Ngai Tahu

The Otago Daily Times is pursuing information about money paid to Ngai Tahu for advice and other help to Corrections in setting up a new 335 bed prison in Milburn, near Balclutha.

The department is obligated under the Resource Management Act to work with iwi in the construction of prisons. It pays iwi $45 an hour and up to $350 a day for this collaboration, which it said was consistent with rates paid in the public sector for the kind of work.

In a statement, new facilities development project manager Catherine Hall said it was vitally important the department involved Maori in the service provision, development and operation of the prison because Maori were overrepresented in the criminal justice system making up about half of all prisoners.

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