Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Canterbury Emergency Response Unit Report Released


Release of the Inquiry Report into the Department of Correction's handling of the Canterbury Emergency Response Unit

The State Services Commissioner, Mark Prebble, today released the report of Ailsa Duffy QC's Inquiry into the Department of Corrections' handling of the Canterbury Emergency Response Unit (CERU).

Mark Prebble says the Inquiry investigates the Department of Corrections' response to allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the CERU and the actions it has taken since.

"Ms Duffy, in undertaking the Inquiry, interviewed more than 70 people. The resulting report is an extensive investigation into events that are now four to five years old," he said.

As taken from the report's summary, the main findings are:

* "There was little wrong with the management systems, policies and procedures during the CERU's life. The problem was that for most of its life, to some considerable extent, the CERU was able to operate outside those systems, policies and procedures." * "The absence of clear line management meant there was no clear line of accountability; in these circumstances the unit was able to develop an inappropriate militaristic culture" * "Every investigation the Department established to look into allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the CERU was poorly conceived, narrowly constrained and without the capacity to examine the full picture. In this way, the Department lost opportunities to learn from the CERU incidents"

"This matter has led to unhappy relationships between staff in the Canterbury region that have not been resolved despite two internal Corrections investigations and an investigation by the Prison Inspectorate.

"This State Service Commissioner's Inquiry has created additional work for the Department of Corrections, in terms of time and resources from staff and management, as well as the costs of the inquiry process.

"However, it was necessary in order to address the long standing and corrosive effect of the ongoing allegations on Canterbury region staff.

"The findings remind us that people do make mistakes. But it is management's job to identify these errors, investigate the circumstances and take prompt action, if required.

"Running a prison is a hard job. It is clear that this was a complex set of events that occurred in the middle of a large and complex organisation. However, if the department's own internal procedures had been followed during the first investigation in 2000 then this matter could have been resolved much earlier, thus avoiding the need for a State Service Commissioner's Inquiry.

"For New Zealanders to have trust in government, government employees and agencies must model the highest standards of behaviour. This Inquiry reinforces the importance of adhering to management systems at all times in order to maintain that trust," Mark Prebble said.

For further information: Karen Jones, State Services Commission, 04 495 6657 or 021 391 414

The full report (250 pages) is online at http://www.ssc.govt.nz. Limited copies of the report are also available from level 5, SSC, 100 Molesworth Street, Wellington.

Background Questions and Answers

How was the Inquiry conducted? Interviews were held in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch with interested parties. Hearings were not held in public, due to the requests for privacy from a number of persons who registered their interest in participating.

When was CERU set up? The Canterbury Emergency Response Unit (CERU) was established in July 1999. It was dis-established when the national framework for prison staffing was implemented (1 July 2000). Where did the Inquiry originate? The Minister of Corrections requested that an investigation be undertaken by the State Services Commissioner because of alleged mishandling of the department's inquiry into the CERU incident. The State Services Commissioner agreed to investigate under section 8 of the State Sector Act and appointed Ailsa Duffy QC under section 25 of that Act to conduct it.

What powers did the Inquiry have? Inquiries under the State Sector Act have the powers of a Commission of Inquiry.

Where are the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry? They can be found at http://www.ssc.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news