Res­i­dents check prison plans

Waikato News - - News - Dean Tay­lor

More than 50 mem­bers of the pub­lic took ad­van­tage of the De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions’ two pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion events in Waipa at the end of Novem­ber to find out more about the pro­posal to ex­pand Waik­e­ria Prison.

The de­part­ment has also di­rectly con­sulted with oc­cu­pants of 25 neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

On hand from the de­part­ment were Waik­e­ria Prison di­rec­tor Kevin Smith, prison ca­pac­ity pro­gramme di­rec­tor An­drew Robert­son, RMA and stake­holder lead Craig Ersk­ine, plus sup­port staff.

Feed­back gen­er­ally in­di­cates the pub­lic is pos­i­tive about the pro­posal, with some lo­calised is­sues raised.

These in­cluded the pos­si­ble ef­fects of in­creased traf­fic, the night-time light­ing of the site, ef­fects on the land­scape and waste­water treat­ment.

Mr Robert­son says the de­part­ment will now take that com­mu­nity feed­back into the ex­am­i­na­tion of those and other is­sues as­so­ci­ated with the pro­posed devel­op­ment, in or­der to fully un­der­stand and ad­dress them.

Al­ready they plan to up­grade the in­ter­sec­tion of Waik­e­ria Rd and SH3, will use new tech­nolo­gies to mit­i­gate light pollution and to spec­ify non­re­flec­tive ma­te­ri­als and nat­u­ral colours for build­ings.

Mr Robert­son says the con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings aren’t the last chance for pub­lic in­put.

Be­tween now and Fe­bru­ary next year Cor­rec­tions will go back to a num­ber of res­i­dents with up­dated in­for­ma­tion.

By March the new in­for­ma­tion will be used to for­mu­late and lodge a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion, which will be open for pub­lic sub­mis­sions.

Waik­e­ria Prison CEO Kevin Smith dis­cusses the prison ex­pan­sion pro­ject with mem­bers of the pub­lic at last Wed­nes­day’s con­sul­ta­tion evening in Te Awa­mutu.

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