Parliament

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

 

Prisoners run drugs under Labour's nose

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

3 September 2008

Prisoners run drugs under Labour's nose

If Labour had taken the issue of prison contraband seriously and introduced cellphone blocking technology and telephone monitoring when it said it would, prisoners would not be trafficking drugs, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"Raids yesterday at Auckland Prison and Spring Hill, which resulted in eight prisoners being charged with serious drug-related offences, are further testimony to the fact that Labour moved much too slowly to crack down on crime being run from inside prisons.

"Police should be congratulated that these raids will significantly disrupt the manufacture of methamphetamine in the North Island.

"But it should not have come to that if Labour had moved when it said it would.

"They did nothing for years. It wasn't till a court was told that $1 million of 'P' was smuggled into New Zealand from Thailand by a Rimutaka prisoner using a smuggled cellphone that this Government finally acted.

"The then-Minister, Damien O'Connor, said Corrections had been working on cellphone blocking technology for four years, but what took them so long?

"And, despite saying in the middle of last year that all prisons should have the technology within a year, the problem is still not fixed.

"Phil Goff admitted today that only four prisons have it, and Auckland and Spring Hill are not among them.

"It also took them till this year to start monitoring all telephone calls made by prisoners, when they had it legislated as long ago as 1999.

"In fact, a Corrections Department document from 2004 expresses concern that 'the fact that legislation is in place and no monitoring is occurring is a continued risk for the Department's credibility,' and notes that it 'has not been operationalised to date due to a lack of funding'.

"This is typical of this department. Monitoring would have cost just $567,000 over four years but because they had a culture of denial that there was a serious contraband problem, they didn't bother finding the money.

"This and the fact that they have not collated contraband finds since 2005 does make you wonder about their commitment to stamping out this problem."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election