A barbecue for high needs inmates at Auckland Prison has been called off as organisers did not receive the official go-ahead for the event.
A Corrections spokesperson confirmed the event, for residents of the Paremoremo facility’s special unit, had been planned for next weekend.
“It has now been cancelled, as no authorisation had been given by the prison director,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
The special needs unit houses inmates with psychological and behavioural needs.
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Serial rapist Nicholas Reekie – dubbed New Zealand’s most difficult prisoner – is among them.
He was sentenced in 2003 to preventive detention with a minimum prison term of 25 years after being convicted for a string of violent sexual offences.
Among them was the 1992 abduction and rape of an 11-year-old girl, for which David Dougherty was previously wrongly convicted.
Reekie’s minimum prison term was later reduced to 20 years on appeal.
In December last year Reekie was awarded more than $6000 for breaches of his rights while in prison.
The Corrections spokesperson said the prison occasionally hosted barbecues – dishing up sausages and bread – “to mark group achievements such as a programme graduation”.
“They occur infrequently, and are often paid for by prisoners.”