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

 


Call For Independent Inquiry Into Chch Prisons

10 June 2001


Mark Calls For Independent Inquiry Into Christchurch Prisons

New Zealand First spokesman for Corrections, Ron Mark MP, today called on the Minister of Corrections, the Hon Matt Robson, to launch a full and independent inquiry into the management of Canterbury prisons to investigate wide ranging allegations of poor to corrupt management practices.

“Over the past few months I have had representations from a very diverse group of New Zealanders who have told me unbelievable stories about questionable activities inside of Canterbury’s prisons. Some of which go back to the hostage taking situation in 1998 where former officers say management covered up the real truth of their failure to prevent it ever happening despite ample warning been given.

“I am led to believe that some serving officers knew the truth and covered for management who subsequently became beholding to those officers. Some say this is the reason that certain people in the infamous Emergency Response Team have remained untouchable despite strong recommendations that they be dismissed,” said Mr Mark.

“I am told that inmates who know too much are pampered to and given special treatment for fear that they might talk and how some senior management personnel sought to take advantage of proposals to privatise prison services by giving highly confidential information to persons who were going to tender.

“I have also heard stories of how a former senior manager of a Canterbury prison set out to destroy a number of officer’s careers by targeting them and maintaining secret files on them for personal reasons. I have heard of how on the other hand, an officer convicted of sexual impropriety with inmates was subsequently reinstated in his job. I have also heard and read bizarre reports on the activities of the Emergency Response Team which deployed to Dunedin on various occasions in “para military” fashion to carry out close quarter protection and surveillance tasks that should have been a reserve of the New Zealand Police Force. Not Corrections.

“I am aware that there are a large number of prison staff who, after taking up issues with management, have been ignored and then feel powerless because to speak out openly would be to breach the Corrections Department Code of Silence which would result in their dismissal. For those who might have mortgages, hire purchases and children to clothe and feed, they are effectively gagged.

“I know some investigations have been conducted, but are curious as to why information gathered in those investigations is now not available to me for my scrutiny,” said Mr Mark.

“I am probably one of the strongest voices for harsher and longer sentences of those who are sent to our prisons for their crimes against society. But I equally loath and despise corruption and do not want to see good officers leave, or the international integrity or credibility of our justice systems undermined by a few corrupt individuals/practices.

“Such practices must therefore either be exposed and dealt with.

“I call upon the Minister of Corrections to launch an immediate inquiry into the management of Canterbury's Corrections Department over the past four to five years with a view to rooting out any corruption that might exist in whatever form,” said Ron Mark.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news