Associate Corrections Minister Dr Pita Sharples says a recent incident involving prisoners diving for food in a marine reserve is most unfortunate.
"As I understand it, this reintegration programme teaches prisoners a way to help support themselves and their families, and how to sustain the natural environment,” said Dr Sharples. “These are valuable social and cultural skills which prisoners can contribute to their community after they are released.
"The programme providers have said that diving in the wrong place was an honest mistake, and Corrections is investigating.
"However this incident has certainly highlighted the importance of knowing all the laws affecting customary and recreational fisheries, including the boundaries of local marine reserves," he said.
Kua mea ake te Minita tautoko mo te Tari Ara Poutama, a Takuta Pita Sharples: “Kua papouri au i enei rongo korero.”
“E ai ki nga korero, he kaupapa tenei hei whakaako oranga whanau, oranga taiao. He painga tenei matauranga mo te hapori, a te wa e hoki mai ai nga mauhere ki o ratou whanau.
“E mea ana nga kaiwhakahaere, na te hapa ratou i ruku kai i tetahi wahi i rahuitia. Kei te whakawakia e te Tari Ara Poutama.
“Heoi ano, na konei kua marama rawa atu, me mohio te tangata ki nga ture katoa e pa ana ki nga mahinga kaimoana, tae atu ki nga aukati o nga moana rahui.”