23 Mar 2012

Vanuatu still waiting for NZ to decide on prison

11:13 am on 23 March 2012

Vanuatu's justice minister says his government is still waiting for a decision from New Zealand as to whether it will provide funding for a new prison.

The comment follows the escape of 12 inmates from the capital's high-risk facility, the latest in a string of break-outs over the past year.

Charlot Salwai says New Zealand is prepared to fund the rehabilitation of Port Vila's Stade prison but that's not what the the Vanuatu government wants to do.

"The position of the government of Vanuatu is to move the correctional centres out to a location that has already been identified and has already been compensated to the landowners. Because where they are actually is still a risk to the people and residents of Port Vila."

Charlot Salwai says rehabilitating Stade prison would only be a temporary measure, as the centre needs somewhere with enough land for prisoners to grow their own food.