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


Prison death reflects Govt failure: Labour

2000 web siteThe death of a schizophrenic man, Marc Maurice, in Auckland's Mt Eden Prison will not be the last of such incidents unless the Government moves quickly to improve facilities for treating mental patients in state institutions, says Labour justice spokesperson Phil Goff.

In the morning on the day of his death an assessment indicated Mr Maurice was seriously unwell mentally and that he should be sent to hospital. He was not sent because of a lack of beds at Auckland's Mason Clinic.

"The Clinic has faced a huge increase in its case load from prisons in the last five years, and the Government must take responsibility for not resourcing it to properly deal with that increased pressure" Mr Goff said.

"The clinic has only 60 beds for a population of over a million people in Auckland. Pressure from the prisons has risen hugely but at the same time there has been no substantial extra resources provided to deal with such referrals.

"Ten years ago the clinic was getting between one and five referrals from prisons. This year it is expecting between 80 and 90 referrals.

"The Mason Clinic is trying to cater for an 18-fold increase in prison referrals without a proportionate increase in resources. The prison muster itself is growing yet the Government has repeatedly ignored the fact that this puts more and more pressure on the Mason Clinic.

"Keeping mentally ill people in prison not only risks the inmate but risks the well-being of prison staff as well. Prisons can't cope, they are not resourced and staff aren't trained to deal with demands of the mentally ill.

"The proper place for these people is not prison, but a clinic such as the Mason Clinic.

"However the clinic has a continual waiting list for four or five people, it has an occupancy rate of 110 per cent. It is always over full. Every unit in the country is full.

"The Government has ignored the pleas of the Mason Clinic for the assistance it needs to adequately cope with demand for its service. That means the death of Mark Maurice is likely to be the tip of the iceberg," Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff raised the issue in Parliament today asking the Government to take responsibility for ignoring the warnings that the Mason Clinic is chronically under-funded and unable to cope with inmates who need to be admitted.

© 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