Parliament

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

 

Minister disinterested in women’s prisons

Katherine Rich
National Party MP

15 November 2006

Corrections Minister disinterested in women’s prison system

Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor shows a disappointing disinterest in the women’s prison system by his failure to answer simple questions about his portfolio, says National MP Katherine Rich.

“When I asked him the simple question of how many prisoners gave birth in 2005, the Minister refused to answer and said he does ‘not consider this an appropriate use of my Department’s resources’ to find out.

“His failure to answer looks bad, particularly when a previous Corrections Minister, Matt Robson, had no problem answering a similar parliamentary written question showing the following birth figures for women in prison:

Category 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 (YTD)
Total Number of Births 2 10 6 5 8 10 4

“Since Labour took over the reins it seems that the Corrections Department has entered the Dark Ages for basic information.

“Their failure to keep basic information is an important oversight. When submissions are soon to be heard on the Mother and Babies Bill it is important that MPs are given accurate information on its likely impact.

“It is not acceptable for the Government to say it can’t be bothered collecting the information.

“Damien O’Connor says all medical files will need to be checked, but this is nonsense. The number of pregnant women is small, probably 3 or 4 in each prison, so it can’t be an onerous task for prisons to count the number of births in 2005. A quick call to each women’s prison would get an answer.

“The senior wardens of each prison would probably know from memory the number of women who’ve given birth in the past year.

“The Minister seems to be unaware that heavily pregnant women about to give birth are more than noticeable and not hard to count.”

ENDS

Attachment: Answers to parliamentary questions 15810, 15811


15811 (2006) Katherine Rich to the Minister of Corrections (25 October): Of the number of children, if any, born to inmates in 2005, how many stayed with their mothers in prison for at least the first 3 months of their lives?

Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor replied: In 2005, two babies resided in a self care unit to at least 3 months of age, a further two resided with their mother until at least 6 months of age and a further four resided until they were at least 9 months of age. In addition, four prisoners were received into prison with babies under 6 months of age and were resident in self care units with their baby.

The number of prisoners who gave birth in 2005 is not nationally recorded and would require a review of all women prisoners’ health files. I do not consider this an appropriate use of my Department’s resources.


15810 (2006) Katherine Rich to the Minister of Corrections (25 October): How many, if any, inmates gave birth during 2005; how many children were born to those inmates?

Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor replied: I refer the Member to my answer to PQ 15811 (2006).

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Worksafe’s Whakaari/White Island Prosecutions Are Good News

Somewhere in Heaven, Helen Kelly must be smiling about Worksafe’s criminal prosecution of 10 firms and three individuals for their roles in the lead up to the Whakaari /White Island tragedy. In tandem with the subsequent coronial inquest, these court proceedings will hopefully culminate in the creation ( finally!) of a central agency to regulate the adventure tourism sector and improve public safety on matters like risk assessment, safety guidelines, inspection, enforcement and injury reporting... More>>

 

Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>

ALSO:

Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>

ALSO:

WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>

ALSO:


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>

ALSO:

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels