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


Prison Staff Honoured for East Timor Work

Prison Staff Honoured for East Timor Work

New Zealand prison staff who worked in East Timor as part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces were today presented with medals to honour their work.

Forty-three Department of Corrections staff went to East Timor in the last two years to rebuild that country’s prison system, including the 15 staff who received their medals from Corrections Minister Mark Gosche today.

Mr Gosche said the New Zealanders helped the United Nations transitional administration in East Timor run three prison facilities. In total, four contingents of Corrections staff were sent to East Timor, most serving six month tours of duty.

“The challenges they faced included, on arrival, a total lack of adequate facilities in which to house the inmates. Buildings were gutted inside and overgrown with vegetation outside.

“Despite being new to the country, its culture, its climate, its languages, not to mention its prison facilities – or lack thereof - just twelve days after arrival the New Zealand staff had a working prison facility.

“Reports from international bodies such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International were fulsome in their praise of the New Zealand contribution. The Red Cross representatives said they had rarely witnessed the responsiveness and understanding of the UN mandate reflected in the New Zealand Corrections contribution.

“These Corrections staff have been a vital part of New Zealand’s peacekeeping efforts in East Timor. Those efforts have helped win New Zealand respect, not just in East Timor but around the world.”

Today’s ceremony for Auckland and Waikato/Central region staff was the first of three presentation ceremonies. Other Corrections staff who served in East Timor will receive medals in ceremonies in Christchurch on December 9 and in Wanganui on December 16.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages