Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Prison Powers Reform Bill Progresses

Prison Powers Reform Bill Progresses

A Corrections Act amendment bill giving prison officers wider powers has been sent to select committee after New Zealand First said it would support the ``common sense’’ move.

After the dinner break MPs continued the first reading debate of the Corrections Amendment Bill.

The Bill makes changes to procedures relating to drug testing and strip searching and reforms prison health service organisation.

It allows the Corrections Department chief executive to delegate powers and functions to prison contractors and their staff, notably in the areas of approval of temporary releases and removals from prison as well as the power to assign security classifications to be given to prison managers.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel said some of the changes were reasonable, but had concerns about others.

Extended powers of search and other such things would need to be carefully balanced, he said.

Labour was also totally against the powers and duties of the head of the Corrections Department being able to delegate that authority to private prison management as they were not accountable in the same way.

Chauvel said as a result of those concerns Labour would be opposing the Bill.

National MPs said there were safeguards in places to allay Labour’s concerns.

Green MPs said they shared similar concerns to Labour and that prisons under National were dealing with a ``get tough on crime approach’’ which would do nothing to reduce crime or recidivism.

NZ First said it would support the bill because it finally gave prison staff the discretion to use their powers more widely with one MP saying the Government was having a rare case of showing commonsense.

The bill was sent to the Law and Order Committee for consideration by 69 votes to 51 with National, ACT, United Future and New Zealand First supporting.

MPs began the second reading debate of theBuilding Amendment Bill (No 3).

** is a breaking news source for New Zealand parliamentary business featuring broadcast daily news reports.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: In A New York Groove

Right now, there’s a thing about downtown Manhattan in the 1970s and ‘80s, a lot of talk about an era that still resonates powerfully. Plenty of people in this city, still walking around and breathing in and out, were very involved in the world below 14th Street. More>>


Keith Ng On Public Address: Why The Police And The PM Are Wrong About Rawshark

On 2 October 2014, the Police raided Nicky Hager’s home... During the search, they found a piece of paper... “We considered [the document] was of interest to the investigation because of information we had already obtained”. That piece of paper was seized and designated NH025... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Being Accountable, And Holding The Powerful To Account

Don’t know how you feel about it, but the selective unavailability of Ministers and senior public servants to media scrutiny seems to be a growing concern... Yet often and tellingly, they’re not so beyond-radio-contact that they can’t find time to authorise and email a statement unilaterally stating their position. Which indicates that it is the questioning of the party line that they’re choosing to avoid. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Islam And The Paris Attacks

Presidential contender Ben Carson for instance, wants it to be made illegal for a Muslim to be elected as President of the USA. For the Republican Party at least, freedom of religion in America extends only to tolerating many ways of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. In reality of course, treating Islamic State as the essence of Islam makes about as much sense as treating the Ku Klux Klan as the essence of Christianity... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news