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


Marc My Words: How Safe, And Fair, Is Con Air?

Marc My Words.
From Marc Alexander MP 15th August. 2003
United Future NZ-Christchurch Supplement

How safe, and fair, is con air?

Violent prison inmates are being transported around the country sitting near unsuspecting passengers on regular commercial flights. While the prisoners must be escorted by guards they are not handcuffed nor restrained in any way. The public is not given any warning of the times of flying or destinations or the nature of their possible risk in the presence of these offenders.

More than 500 such inmates have been flown in the past two years; two of these whom had prior convictions for escaping from custody while others had convictions for violent crime such as aggravated robbery, assault and possession of firearms and explosives.

Take the case of Ritchie Stuart Clutterbuck who while was being transferred from Mount Eden Prison in Auckland to Christchurch on a regular Air New Zealand flight was alleged to have said that he wanted to "F*** up the flight". He then 'exploded into violent resistance', punching, kicking and kneeing a constable in the head. A ten minute struggle ensued with other passengers being moved away. Flight attendant Lillian Shadbolt had to pick up a fire extinguisher and threaten to hit Clutterbuck.

While it is forbidden to restrain inmates on flights as it 'may' pose a risk for them should any emergency occur, it is beyond belief that passengers should be placed at risk without their knowing!

It does not take a great imagination to recognise the potential risks an unrestrained violent offender poses on an aircraft. Just such concerns were made by Brian Davies, national organiser of the Corrections Association who commented that the Corrections Department had a history of providing insufficient resources to ensure the safety and security of the public, flight staff and prison escorts.

The ultimate irony of course, is that while convicted offenders fly around the country enjoying the view at tax-payer expense, their victims and families have to scrimp and save to afford to attend parole hearings often a great distance from where they reside.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election