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Prison protesters prepare for court
11 June 2002
Opponents of the $100 million prison planned for Ngawha, near Kaikohe, are preparing for a High Court appeal against the granting of resource consent for the jail.
The appeal will be heard before Justice John Wild in the Wellington High Court on Thursday and Friday.
In April, the Environment Court ruled that the Northland Regional Council (NRC) was wrong to decline resource consent for the Northland prison on Maori cultural and spiritual grounds.
Corrections Minister Matt Robson had appealed the NRC decision to the Environment Court.
However, prison opponents, including Ron Wihongi, his daughter Riana, Ginn's Ngawha Spa director Shayron Beadle and Friends of Ngawha, appealed that Environment Court decision.
The appellants also requested an injunction to halt all work at the site until the appeal was heard. That request was declined by the Environment Court last week.
The appellants' lawyer, Prue Kapua, said her clients believed they had good grounds for appeal.
"I think there are some very important issues and concerns that are being dealt with," Ms Kapua said.
She acknowledged that funding the appeal was an issue that had to be addressed if the case was unsuccessful and the appellants wanted to pursue their case in the Court of Appeal.
Because of the degree of concern from both parties, the hearing date had been fast-tracked, she said.
Report from Northern Advocate (Whangarei)
(c) Northern Advocate