Published: 5:35AM Wednesday June 08, 2011 Source: ONE News / Newstalk ZB
Prisoners on the roof of Hawke's Bay Prison. - Source: ONE News
ONE News understands the rooftop protest at Hawke's Bay Prison has ended and that all inmates who were on the roof have now come down.
The group of 12 escaped to the top of the roof at the prison near Hastings, as part of a protest which started yesterday late afternoon.
ONE News was told that the protest was instigated when an inmate's cigarettes were confiscated.
Prisoners who were released this morning from Hawke's Bay Regional Prison near Hastings said the protesters were Mongrel Mob members and were in the high to medium security unit.
They said the gang members barricaded the unit last night when one of them had their cigarettes taken off them. They then lit a fire in the roof and climbed through.
But the Corrections Minister says that account is wrong.
"I've spoken with the Chief Executive today and he's confirmed to me that the protest was in relation to a extra security rating for one of the mongrel mob members," Judith Collins told ONE News.
Some of the inmates came down from the roof earlier this afternoon.
The men could be seen by a ONE News reporter and cameraman in a helicopter, and waved and raised their arms.
* Catherine Wedd has been at the prison all day and reports on the latest on ONE News at 6pm.
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