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Prison officials wilt over flower ban

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/12/2016

Mount Eden prison's management has backed down on a controversial decision to ban Quakers from delivering flowers to the Auckland jail.

Posies have been delivered at Christmas every year since World War I, but it was revealed over the weekend the practice had been axed this year over fears contraband could be smuggled in as well.

But Corrections national commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot asked the prison to reconsider and, after a meeting with the Quakers on Monday, the prison's director agreed to overturn the ban.

"The prison director has agreed to accept the flowers and prison authorities and the Quakers are working on a process that will enable this to happen for the benefit of both parties while also maintaining the security of the prison.," a Corrections spokesperson said.

The Quakers, a religious group which promotes tolerance, began delivering flowers to Mt Eden during World War I after members saw what conditions were like when they were incarcerated for refusing to bear arms, Fairfax reports.

"Corrections recognises the importance the Quakers put on this gesture at this time of year and their desire to provide the flowers to prisoners," Mr Lightfoot said.

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