Noodles meal a surprise

By Jack Barlow


News that people locked up in the Masterton Police Station are offered solely instant noodles to eat for lunch and dinner has come as a surprise to one of New Zealand's leading victims' rights advocates.

Garth McVicar, head of Sensible Sentencing Trust, said it was surprising the station would offer nothing other than noodles to people spending time in its cells.

"I'm certainly a believer in firm and hard justice, but I am a believer in justice, and part of that is that people get fed adequately," he said.

"I don't want there to be five course meals in prison, and I don't even necessarily think there should be three square meals a day, but there should be three adequate meals a day."

He added that he didn't know the specifics of the case, but that there should be food standards and they should be met.

Other police stations throughout the country, including stations at Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North, said they offered a range of meal options including Weetbix and coffee/tea for breakfast, and, along with the option of noodles, a hot meal with meat, vegetables and potatoes for lunch and dinner.

Grant Ogilvie, chief media adviser at New Zealand Police, said police stations must serve an "adequate meal", although what they served was more or less up to them.

He declined to comment as to whether only noodles counted as an adequate meal, and referred the question on to Wellington District Police.

Masterton Police offered Weetbix for breakfast and tea, coffee and Milo with meals, although only noodles for lunch and dinner.

"Police have a responsibility to spend taxpayer's money wisely and as such, we provide prisoners with food which provides value for money and meets the requirements under national police policy," Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Brent Register said.


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