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


Smoking: behind bars OK, but in bars, no way

Smoking: behind bars OK, but in bars, no way

On April Fools Day 1997, less than a month after opening, Queensland's Woodford Correctional Centre, a multi million dollar state of art prison, was extensively damaged when inmates rioted.

Authorities attributed a combination of poor food quality, inadequate inmate employment opportunities and the smoking ban as the catalyst for the riot.

The Corrections Department immediately lifted the total smoking ban and subsequently, Woodford has been relatively trouble free.

Woodford, eight years after the riot, and neither food quality nor inmate employment opportunity has improved, clearly demonstrating the smoking ban alone, was reason for the riot.

Labour's Smokefree Environments Amendment Act prohibits hotel patrons from smoking in bars but at the same time allows inmates to smoke within prison cells.

Bars are indoor workplaces and the ban on smoking is to protect employees from the alleged health risks caused by exposure to second hand smoke.

Correctional officers enter prison cells as a part of their regular duties, effectively making all prison cells part of indoor workplaces and theoretically, not exempt from the existing smokefree legislation.

Government exempted prison cells from the smoking ban, citing cells were effectively, inmates homes, and inmates could not be denied the right to smoke in their own 'homes'.

"I doubt if 'denial of rights' was the true reasoning behind the ban exemption for prison cells", says WIN Party spokesperson Dave Clarke, "but if it was, then it's yet another example of a marshmallow government kow towing to the whims and wishes of criminals".

"I suggest the real motive behind the ban exemption was concern New Zealand prisons would experience Woodford's problems if the ban was introduced, again exposing a soft government unwilling to assert control over criminals, allowing instead, the tail to wag the dog".

"Inmates are convicted criminals, sentenced to imprisonment as punishment for offences, and that punishment is the loss of liberty and certain rights".

"Why then are they afforded the right of being permitted to smoke in an indoor workplace, when your law abiding, hard working, tax paying Kiwi is denied the same right?"

"Hotel patrons are forced to smoke outside in the cold but our prison population can puff away in the warmth and relative comfort of their cells".

"The ban is slowly but surely sending numerous hoteliers broke, law abiding small business owners complying with draconian smokefree legislation".

"They may try and save failing businesses by breaking the ban and allowing patrons to smoke but if caught, they face prosecution to the nth degree by a government showing more concerned over not hurting a criminals feelings than for the health and wellbeing of small business".

"Injustice is alive and well and living in New Zealand, having been granted permanent residency by a soft, socialist, politicly correct government".

"The time is right to elect a government prepared to strip injustice of its residency".


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>


Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>


DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>


JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>


Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>


IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>





InfoPages News Channels