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Published: 2003-01-22 00:00:00

Two Environment Waikato councillors have volunteered to stand down from a resource consent hearing on the proposed men’s prison in the north Waikato.

Concerns had been raised by opponents of the proposed prison in the north Waikato about a possible conflict of interest, since Environment Waikato staff had made a submission on the designation of the prison site.

Environment Waikato Policy Group Manager Jeanette Black said the staff submission was a technical, pro forma submission stating established Council policy.

“However, because of the concern raised, Councillors Jenni Vernon and Jim Howland have volunteered to stand down from the hearing committee and an independent commissioner will be appointed.”