National MP and Rangitīkei candidate Ian McKelvie has visited most prisons in New Zealand during his time in Parliament as a member of the law and order select committee.
In this Local Focus video McKelvie says both he and Opposition leader Judith Collins were aware of problems in the justice process. But by the end of their term New Zealand had one of the highest prison populations in the developed world.
"I think the key to tidying up our prison system is to make sure that we send people out of the prisons with a much better level of education," McKelvie said. "Many of them struggle to read and write, and that's probably why they get to prison to some extent."
The Labour government has reduced prison numbers over the past three years. Rangitīkei candidate Soraya Peke-Mason said the Labour Party was committed to reducing the prison population over the next 15 years by 30 per cent.
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"We've already started to do that, but there is a lot more that we need to do."
Meanwhile Green candidate Ali Hale Tilley has daily contact with the justice system. Her yoga studio is next door to the Marton police station and the courthouse, so she sees first hand who goes in and out.
"Young Māori are being over-represented in the prisons and we need to stop that conduit of harm. We need to re-enfranchise people," she said.
Also standing in the Rangitīkei electorate:
• Reuben Leung Wai for the New Conservatives
• Ricky Cribb for Advance NZ
• Neil Wilson for Act
• Antony Woollams for NZ First
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