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

 


Jailing Is Job For State, Not Private Enterprise

Jailing People Is Job For State, Not Private Enterprise

Locking people up in jails is a job for the state, not for private businesses whose prime motivation will inevitably be to make money out of a PPP venture, says Labour Law and Order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

Commenting on today’s announcement by Infrastructure Minister Bill English of a PPP to design, build and operate a new prison at Wiri, Clayton Cosgrove said: “Labour paved the way for the successful implementation of PPPs, but while such ventures might have real merit in terms of building new roads, for example, the private sector cannot be allowed a role in operating prisons in this country.

“Labour doesn’t care who builds or designs a prison, but the state should run them. Punishment and rehabilitation are a core function of government. By transferring such a core function, even with so-called safeguards, to the private sector, the Government is shirking its responsibility for the safety of staff and the community if things go wrong.”

Clayton Cosgrove said Mr English’s claim that a PPP would offer better value for money could not be substantiated in terms of past history with a privately-run prison in New Zealand. “This is a blatant example of ideology. National is rejecting the advice of its own advisers. The last time National tried a privately-run prison it was actually more expensive to run than it was when it was in the hands of the state.

“There is no evidence to suggest privately-operated prisons are better, safer or cheaper to run. Public prisons are fiscally accountable to the state and taxpayers. Privately-run prisons are accountable firstly to shareholders, and this poses a real risk to staff safety, quality and work conditions, as well as rehabilitation services,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“Overseas experience has shown disastrous problems in privately-run prisons, ranging from bribery, corruption, increased violence and drug abuse, through to suicides.

“The Government’s aim, for the community’s sake, should be to reduce crime, improve rehabilitation of prisoners, and reduce the number of prisoners,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“National is certainly failing on the first count. The crime rate is going up, and a privately-run prison, which will make more money the more prisoners there are, and the less it spends on trying to turn the lives of prisoners around, hardly suggests that either recidivism or the prisoner muster will reduce.

“Labour strongly believes that we need prisons to lock people up who are a threat to the community, but you need a fence at the top of the cliff as well as an ambulance at the bottom. National has no commitment to services designed to keep people from re-offending or out of prison in the first place. The closure of the Te Hurihanga youth justice facility in Hamilton earlier this year proved that convincingly.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news