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Prison Arguments Hypocritical, Lefty Tosh

Prison Arguments Hypocritical, Lefty Tosh

The Employers & Manufacturers Association is dead right - Attorney General Margaret Wilson has absolutely no valid arguments for ending the management contract of New Zealand's only privately-managed prison, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"It is her usual lefty tosh, falsely dignified as legal principle," Mr Franks said.

"Ms Wilson says that only people directly employed by the Government should be able to exercise coercive state powers, and that private organisations should not profit from using such coercive powers. What is the difference between the Government's contract with the remand prison's managers - requiring them to perform within the rules - and the Government's employment contracts with prison officers, requiring them to perform within mostly the same rules?

"Where was Ms Wilson when her Government pushed through the absurd new `co-regulation' model of security sharemarket regulation? The law now gives the NZSE delegated statutory power to make rules. Courts can penalise companies up to $300,000 for breaking these disclosure rules - which were made by a private company using the Labour Government's authority. Listed companies were given no choice. They have to do what they are told.

"Shortly, the NZSE will be listed itself - so anyone with the money to invest can profit from the NZSE's use of coercive state power. Where were your so-called principles last year, Ms Wilson?

"Previous Corrections Minister Matt Robson made the nationalisation of Auckland Prisons Labour Government policy as part of coalition negotiations. It was driven by simple Alliance hatred of private enterprise.

"Persisting with this policy - without any justifications that stand up to even a moment's scrutiny - shows that Ms Wilson is either as doctrinaire as Mr Robson, or simply fulfilling a tawdry deal to keep the voting support of Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton and Mr Robson," Mr Franks said.

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