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


Swain Amendments Suspicious

Swain Amendments Suspicious

Tuesday 18 May 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice and Corrections Spokesman Stephen Franks today opposed Corrections Minister Paul Swain's last-minute insertion in the Corrections Bill of a provision imposing UN rules across our prisons.

"Dumping 44 pages of complex amendments, without any exposure or chance for submissions, when the Bill has been sitting since last year raises suspicion of embarrassment about deals demanded by the Greens to get it through since United Future withdrew support - suspicion which is borne out by provisions hidden in the fine print," Mr Franks said.

"The new provision referring to UN rules essentially ends any prospect of the Withers Petition reforms coming through. Ninety two percent voted for hard labour. UN rules prohibit it - they go further, and say that a prison can't be made any more unpleasant than is strictly necessary to maintain discipline.

"In other words, NZ is locking itself into the theory that prison is the punishment, however soft and comfy, whereas most of us want prisoners to go to prison for punishment.

"Other changes lurking in the SOP include defining the prisoner's family to include persons to whom the prisoner `has a significant psychological attachment'. It's unclear whether this stops at gang mates. Remember that there were prisoners who felt a significant psychological attachment to President Reagan, John Lennon and Jody Foster.

"The last minute amendments are littered with new complications and obstacles to prisoner searches and discipline. For example, a rubdown search requires consent of a manager, and any physical force used in dealing with a prisoner must be followed by a doctor's examination.

"The Bill, supposed to update 40 year-old law, now overlays even older UN rules. It complicates, rather than simplifies, prison management - despite tangling prisons in red tape, it reduces the protection of independent review by visiting Justices.

"A so-called Justice can now be anyone the prison service appoints - provided they hold a law degree. This insult to the dignity of the office of Judge is a cynical move to replace independent oversight with tame friends of management. Most hostile attention has been to the doctrinaire cancellation of the only private prison management contract. There are far stronger reason to oppose this Bill," Mr Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news