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 NZ’s Complicity In Western Sahara

If David Parker really wants to hone his crisis-managing chops on an international trade dispute that New Zealand has been making worse for years, he maybe should be turning his attention to the Western Sahara.

Some background: two NZ companies called Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients appear to be the only independent firms in the world still willing to import phosphate from the disputed territory of the Western Sahara... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral with Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting to launch into matters of genuine substance. More>>


Withdrawls After Police Uniform Ban: Auckland Pride Remains Committed

The Auckland Pride Board remains committed to creating a space for our rainbow communities to feel safe celebrating their gender and sexual identity, despite some institutions pulling out from the Parade in recent days. More>>


South Korea: State Visit By Korean President Moon Jae-In

The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in will visit New Zealand from 2 to 4 December... “I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Moon to New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern. More>>

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>


IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>


Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>


Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>





InfoPages News Channels