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


Labour can’t be trusted to run prisons

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

22 September 2008

Labour can’t be trusted to run prisons

It’s clearer than ever that Labour can’t be trusted to manage the prisons system, now that Phil Goff has admitted Labour will need to build 'more prisons' after years of denials, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“As far back as 2005, Corrections was warning that the prisons would be full by 2010, but Damien O'Connor said there were no plans to build more.

“Instead, in 2006 Labour launched its Effective Interventions package to try to reduce the rising prison population, with Helen Clark arguing that ‘The criminal justice system cannot go on as it is’

“At one stage, Labour’s solution was to let 30% of prisoners out on community-based sentences.

“During last year's Estimates examination, Damien O'Connor gave the select committee a categorical 'No' to the question of whether more prisons would be needed.

“Then, in this year's Budget papers, the Department of Corrections said ‘There are no plans to construct further prisons apart from the replacement of Mt Eden Prison.’

“So, a few months ago they were saying there were no plans for more prisons, but now, just weeks from the election, Labour’s sixth Corrections Minister in nine years has backtracked on all that.

“This belated admission is a desperate bid by Phil Goff to look tough. Why? Because it’s election year and he has been going around the country trying to talk tough by saying that in spite of Helen Clark's policy to reduce prison numbers he ‘makes no apology’ for the increase that occurred under his watch.

“What he needs to explain is how many prisons Labour will build – and how it will build them.

“Will they repeat their Collaborative Working Arrangements system? The method which resulted in $500 million of cost overruns on the three newest prisons, $471 million of taxpayers’ money spent on the regional prisons project before they had any idea of target costs, and which resulted in a cost per bed of $650,000 at Otago Prison?

“That disaster is another reason why Labour cannot be trusted to make the right call on our prison system – because when it comes to law and order policy they can't decide whether they're Arthur or Martha.”

Attachments: Audit Office report, Estimates papers, O'Connor's comments



© 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>>




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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


(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>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election