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


Prisons more secure under Labour

2 July, 2006 Media Statement

Prisons more secure under Labour

Prison security has greatly improved since Labour formed a government in 1999, Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor says.

"The number of breakout escapes has dropped by two-thirds from 31 in 1997/98 to 11 this financial year, despite a significant increase in prison muster. The year 1996/97 was just as bad, with 27 prisoners able to break out," Mr O'Connor said.

“There is absolutely no room for complacency, and 11 is still too high, but it is pleasing that the Labour-led Government's large investment in Corrections is producing results. The number of breakout escapes has remained comparatively low and steady for the past seven years.

"It is also gratifying that our escape statistics are very low by international comparisons. There is no comparable jurisdiction that I am aware of that has a zero escape record."

Since 1999, the Government has invested an additional $1 billion to build new prisons and upgrade existing sites, Mr O'Connor said. At the same time, Corrections constantly reviews and improves security measures at prisons to minimise the risk of escapes, and reduce contraband coming in.

"Of the $1 billion, about eight per cent has been spent specifically on security.

"This includes the 17 kilometres of security fences that now surrounds our 19 prisons – paid for by $10.7 million since 2002, and new electronic security devices, including cameras, fence motion detectors, pulsed infra red detection devices, closed circuit TV, video motion detectors, microwave sensors and security management systems.

“Corrections’ primary concern is for the safety of the community and prison staff.

“These escape figures show the approach is working.”

See below for further safety improvements, and escapes by financial year.

Further safety improvements:

• Budget 2005 provided an additional $4.1 m over four years for security and crime prevention.
• 60% of all prisons have a central control room facility to enhance surveillance and improve prison operation and staff safety.
• The number of drug-dog teams has doubled since 2004. Corrections has 10 drug dog teams operating in its prisons.
• Regular searches of staff and visitors at entry point and random searches of prison buildings and land.
• Single point of entry at prisons.


Financial year Breakout escapes
1996/97 27
1997/98 31
1998/99 6
1999/2000 11
2000/01 7
2001/02 13
2002/03 10
2003/04 9
2004/05 11
2005/06 11

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election