Labour: Free Vicki Letele 'today'

Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis

Labour MP Kelvin Davis has called on Corrections to free dying prisoner Vicki Letele immediately.

Vicki Letele, 35, is eight months into a three-year sentence for a $500,000 mortgage fraud, but seeking early release after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Hundreds of people turned out to protest against her continued imprisonment at Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility at Wiri on Saturday.

"Vicki should be let out of prison straight away and be allowed to go back to her family and see her kids before she passes away," Mr Davis told Newshub on Saturday.

"This is an outrage. Prison has become a death sentence."

Corrections chief executive Ray Smith has ordered a review of Letele's case. She will be eligible for parole in April, but is unlikely to live that long.

"Why do they need reviews?" says Mr Davis. "We know she's sick. We know she's going to die."

Labour: Free Vicki Letele 'today'

Protesters at Wiri today (Dianna Vezich)

Letele's mother Tui told Newshub the family has been banned from visting Vicki "until further notice".

"I hear a lot of rubbish. They tell me a lot of stuff they're going to do for my daughter, that they can look after her. Yesterday I found out she'd been calling for her nurse, for pain relief - nothing. They were both asleep, the guard and the nurse… no one came. How can I trust them?"

She says she's "broken", but won't back down.

"They can't do this to my daughter, to anyone. A dog gets better treatment than my daughter."

Mr Davis says Letele's crimes weren't violent, so there's no need for her to be behind bars, away from the help she needs.

"Just let her out. New Zealand isn't going to be a worse place by letting her out. In fact, we'll be a better place."