Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


'Time to lift veil of secrecy over prisons,'

'Time to lift veil of secrecy over prisons,' says Minister

"We had the courage to lift the veil of secrecy that covered our mental institutions of the past. Now we must let New Zealanders see inside our prisons," Minister of Corrections Matt Robson said today.

He was speaking to the Regional Heads of Prisons Meeting today at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison. The RHPM is a five-day meeting of prison managers from around the Pacific. Representatives from 13 countries are attending. The key themes are professional staff training and development and the management of indigenous inmates.

Matt Robson wants to see more open days in prisons and more information to the public about what goes on behind bars.

He also signalled that further funding would be available for programmes in the prisons that target Maori offending.

"I am convinced that the best solutions to the problem of Maori offending will come from Maori. My job as Minister of Corrections is to hustle as hard as I can for the resources to fund Maori run programmes in our prisons.

"I know that the best way to make Maori offenders face up to the consequences of their actions is to make them realise, perhaps for the first time, that their crime is against their own lore, not just the law of the land."

Matt Robson also hinted at new initiatives geared towards victim's needs, both emotional and financial.

"It's important to keep reminding ourselves why we are doing this work. We do it because of one simple word: victims. When a crime is committed there are many victims: the direct victim, families of victims, the families of offenders and the community.

"That is why I am pushing hard in budget discussions now to increase funding for victims rights in the Courts and for further Restorative Justice projects where the victim is placed in the centre of the justice process."

He also referred to the importance of getting the best staff for the job.

"One bad apple can let down the whole workforce. It is vital that we build morale and commitment in our prison and probation workforce.

"We must make sure we have the training and the resources to support our staff. Most importantly we must involve staff and their Unions in the process of transforming prison culture and the prison workplace where a rot has set in.

"I intend to work more closely in the future with prison staff and their Unions. Our Corrections staff in New Zealand must not see themselves simply as the guardian of keys: they are on the front line of working towards community safety," said Matt Robson.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news