Prison bosses have rejected requests from two inmates barricaded in a prison tower to bring in prisoners' advocate Peter Williams, QC.
The two men, one of whom is thought to be serial prison escaper Aaron Forden, spent their second night camped out in the disused tower inside maximum security Paremoremo Prison last night. They communicated with media outside the prison yesterday by writing on a window with toothpaste: "Peaceful protest against department" and "Contact Peter Williams QC".
Williams said he had not acted for either of the men but he would be happy to act as a mediator should he be given the go-ahead by the Department of Corrections.He said he had acted as a mediator in the prison in the past when prisoners had rioted.
"I'm pretty well-known in that prison as a friend of the prisoners."
Corrections' general manager of prison services Jeanette Burns declined the offer, however, saying the men "will be given the ability to call a lawyer once they come down from the tower. Outside assistance is not required at this point".
Burns said there was no possibility of the men escaping so the department was just going to wait them out.
Large spotlights were trained on the pair last night and Corrections has said they would not feed the men while they remained up the tower.
Burns said trained negotiators were on site engaging with the prisoners directly.
"Prison staff have the situation under control. The prisoners cannot escape and there is no risk to the public.
- © Fairfax NZ News