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When will Ngawha prison cost too much?
5 November 2002
Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today questioned when the Corrections Minister would pull the plug on the controversial new prison at Ngawha, in light of news of yet another budget blowout.
"In 1999 then Corrections Minister Clem Simich said constructing the prison would cost around $40 million. By October 1999 that sum had doubled to between $60 and $80 million. By March 2001 the cost had reached $92 million and today we learn that the estimated cost is now $105 million," said Nandor.
"The cost of this prison, which the local community continue to actively oppose, has more than doubled in cost. They are still doing the ground work for this prison and the budget blowout won't end here."
Nandor asked Corrections Minister Mark Gosche at what point the prison would become too expensive to continue with.
"I understand that the Government is concerned at how much they have already spent on this, but why throw more money after bad?
"The Ngawha site is geologically active and was never suitable for major construction. Once the buildings are up they will cost a fortune to maintain because of the corrosive gases and the local community will continue to be aggrieved.
"When is the Government going to say enough is enough and ditch this lose-lose project?"