Media Release: The moral and fiscal failure of prison expansion in the spotlight in Wellington next week 
Date: 22 November 2016

Chlöe Swarbrick, Dr Paul Wood, Morgan Godfrey, Marianne Elliott and comedians Raybon Kan and Ray O'Leary join JustSpeak for an evening of lively discussion, entertainment and debate on prison expansion in NZ from 6pm on 30 November at Wellington Girls' College Hall.

The audience will also hear from MPs, including Labour's Kelvin Davis and the Greens' David Clendon, who will respond to the panel discussion, and a statement from Minister Bill English will be read out. Spoken word poets Te Kahu Rolleston and Mary Rainsford will also make an appearance.

This event comes a month after the Government's $2.5 billion prison expansion announcement only 5 years after prisons were branded a moral and fiscal failure by Minister Bill English.

"Prison expansion is something that we should have a more open discussion about" says JustSpeak Director Dr Katie Bruce. "Building another prison has been presented as something that we must do, with no question about whether we need to do this or if we should do this".

JustSpeak's event next week will be an opportunity to have this discussion and to challenge the Government to consider the billion better things that this money could be spent on.

"At a time when the Government are rethinking their fiscal priorities in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake, and given the current housing crisis, the question I have is why are we building prisons not communities?" says Katie Bruce.

For those not in Wellington the event will be livestreamed through JustSpeakNZ's Facebook page and live tweeted at #abillionbetterthings.