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Chain gang

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, October 29th, 2008 - 76 comments
Categories: crime, national - Tags:

The Nats’ private prison scheme just gets worse. As No Right Turn points out prisons would be used to do contract work and prisoners would be forced to be used as cheap labour or lose their parole.

Aside from the fact this would constitute slave labour it would also allow prison companies to undercut other contractors and in doing so depress the labour market and ensure higher unemployment.

Of course one of the main drivers of crime is unemployment so one could argue National has developed the perfect self-sustaining system in which nobody loses.

Well, except for prisoners, workers, small firms and the community at large.

76 comments on “Chain gang”

  1. Janet 1

    Striped uniforms, shackles, bread and water, tents in the desert? There’s a sherriff in the US who has tried all these and is probably lined up to advise.

  2. Scribe 2

    Parole is not a right.

  3. IrishBill 3

    Scribe, are you saying parole should be contingent on providing your labour for the profit of private corporations?

  4. Pascal's bookie 5

    Scribe and Aaron

    Doubleplusgood duckspeak

  5. Dom 6

    Rehabilitation good, slave labour bad! (I figured we were doing a whole Orwellian homage thread here…)

  6. I think this is the most repugnant policy National have released yet. And that’s a high bar…

  7. Scribe 8

    IB,

    I’m saying that your contention that inmates lose their parole suggests that prisoners have an inherent right to parole.

    Parole should be something that is earned through a range of means — good behaviour, completing rehab courses/restorative justice, work etc.

  8. Akldnut 9

    Scribe, Aaron – would you see all criminals carry out their full terms or just the hard core crims: Murderers, Rapists, Child pornographers…………Fraudsters, Drink Drivers, Speedsters, Taggers, Jaywalkers, Litterers, Swearers, Liers.

    Where do you draw the line of distiction because under the law they are all punishable and a depending on location, a habitual repeat offender could find himself charged and before the courts.

  9. Akldnut 10

    You would have half the country locked up if national had it their way

  10. IrishBill 11

    Scribe, that’s absurd pedantry. But regardless let me rephrase: do you believe prisoners should lose the right to apply for parole if they refuse to supply their labour to a private company?

  11. Scribe 12

    Should parole be given unless there is reason not to?

    Or should it only be given if there is a reason to?

  12. vto 13

    my 2c says that conceptually it is a good idea. But easy to get it lost amongst all the exageration, diversion and spin e.g. ‘private companies profit’ etc.

    what is so arong with requiring prisoners to work? or, the softer option, allow them to choose whether to work, with a consequence linked to the choice they make. Sounds like all of us really.

    a cold front in a tea cup.

  13. vto 14

    excuse my spelling etc

  14. Scribe 15

    IB,

    Not sure how that’s pedantry. Parole is an issue on which parties disagree and it’s something people ought to consider when deciding who to vote for.

    do you believe prisoners should lose the right to apply for parole if they refuse to supply their labour to a private company?

    No, I don’t. But they should have to earn parole as a privilege by doing something productive.

  15. Bill 16

    What if you were on invalidity benefit before you went in? Forced to work in spite of your disability, or destined to never qualify for parole?

    I’m thinking potential of discrimination and a morass of contradictions. Unworkable.

  16. DeeDub 17

    Offering training and education is the key. If apprentcieships were available, for instance, I think that would be great. But general labouring for the profit of the prison ‘company’ is something I would not like to see in NZ. And linking the prisoners decision not to labour to his/her parole chances seems patently unfair to me. If we genuinely want to see less crime in NZ we need to address the causes not lock people away and make them break rocks . . .

  17. the sprout 18

    Perhaps National could call the scheme Arbeit Macht Frei?

  18. higherstandard 19

    If I can borrow from Rex’s excellent comment here.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/prisons-for-profit/#comment-98673

    ” I’m open to anything that might provide prisoners with reasonable conditions while also helping genuinely rehabilitate them and reduce reoffending – and which are effective in containing and ensuring the continued detention of the small percentage of people beyond rehabilitation.”

  19. Sprout – “that’s not something we’d consider until a second term.”

  20. Do we need anymore proof that John Key’s government is going to be a big corporate sell out.

    Absolutely revolting people the top Nats. And no that does not include all the Nat voters. I’m sure a lot of Nat voters will be turned off by policies such as this.

    Your not going to believe this!

    Captcha: PAROLE life.

    Bugger my browser crashed and now it’s boring old: ities lives

  21. Lampie 22

    “Perhaps National could call the scheme Arbeit Macht Frei?”

    Watch it Sprout, have Lew go on about overuse of Na*** again

    But I agree, seems we forgot our history and before the War, we praised them (well Europe did anyway)

  22. coge 23

    How is play station, plasma tv’s & under floor heating
    going to rehabilitate anybody? Surely the introduction of a work ethic will have a better result for those being released. That is part of rehabilitation, not sitting around all day scheming. The devil makes work for idle hands, & this is the reason most of them are incarcerated anyhow. The existing system is corrupt, violent & doesn’t work. Private contractors are expected to deliver, or they will lose their contract. Unlike the public prisons. At present there is no accountability.

  23. Lew 24

    In principle, would you (the generic `you’ including anyone who wants to answer) approve of a scheme whereby prison workers were guaranteed most of the same work rights as free workers (excluding some obvious ones, like being able to quit, etc.)? A scheme where they were guaranteed to be paid minimum wage, a portion of which would go to tax, a portion to paying any outstanding fines or liabilities the inmate might have, a portion to their victim if appropriate, a portion to their families or dependents on the outside, and a portion into a holding account for their release.

    L

  24. Lew 25

    Incidentally, the tone of the hang ‘em and flog ‘em brigade’s comments on this topic is positively puritanical.

    L

  25. Lew 26

    Lampie: not so inclined to do so in this case, since the policy explicitly requires that to become frei one must arbeit machen.

    L

  26. Lampie 27

    “Do we need anymore proof that John Key’s government is going to be a big corporate sell out.”

    Yes, you too can be run by a company. Why have nanny state run your life when you can have complete freedom under XYZ Ltd? (minimum fee $50 per month, credit conditions applied). Plus get your first month free on the new 111 emergency plan, one free police visit per year bonus (standard additional fees apply for fire and ambulance).

    Plus don’t forget about our adopt a prisoner scheme. (all proceeds go to backpockets and bribes for National administrators and more Contact shares)

  27. milo 28

    Is nothing you can’t see through a anti-National prism? Work is an integral part of rehabilitation. Is it better to have prisoners lying on bunks shooting up for 18 months, and then set them free and say ‘you’re rehabilitated now, don’t do it again.’

    Here’s a challenge – what do you think is most important for rehabilitation?

  28. Lampie 29

    “Lampie: not so inclined to do so in this case, since the policy explicitly requires that to become frei one must arbeit machen. ”

    yeah right

    Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Brings Freedom) was the sign over the gates of Auschwitz. It was placed there by Major Rudolf Hoss, commandant of the camp

  29. Ianmac 30

    I think that most prisoners welcome the work already offered in prison if for no other reason that it eases the boredom.
    Private Prisons cherry pick the easier crims or the remand prison as they did before. Wonder if a private prison would take on those locked up for Life Means Life?
    Off topic:
    Gerry Brownlee Shares etc:
    In the Listener Nov1-7, page 19 Clifton reports that John said in relation to his Tranzrail shares: “Did it Matter? Well you either have a conflict of interest or you don’t; it doesn’t matter whether you hold one share or a million. ………perception that I tried to hide something….became a reality….”
    Does this mean that he would say that Gerry’s “few shares are important??

  30. Fred111 31

    Fxxk Parole… The crims should get the sentence laid out in the law instead of the pussying around that lawyers and judges go through working toward a lesser sentence. Have YOU been a victim of serious crime and seen the results of the court system?

    Crims WANT to go to jail because of the cruisy lifestyle, they KNOW they won’t get the maximum sentence and parole will likely cut the sentence in half.

    Get them out to do some work – hell, it already happens with Periodic Detention for one day a week, and noone’s moaning about that! There’s PLENTY of work to go around – what’s the job loss difference between working… or working while in jail?

    GO John GO!

  31. Lew 32

    Lampie: Thanks, I’m not in any state of ignorance about the origin of the phrase. But I laid out my justification – when they say `you won’t get parole unless you work’ they are explicitly (not implicitly) saying `work will make you free’.

    And if you’re going to resort to cutnpaste from the internets, don’t you think you should provide some attribution?

    L

  32. Milo,

    Forcing people never did any good.
    Abusing and forcing already disenfranchised people to do menial jobs that will earn the owners of the system profit is a recipe for disaster.
    How about this for a thought; Nobody should be able to benefit from crime. This is a much accepted idea. So why would you forbid criminals from making profits of their crimes but instead allow big Corporate privatised prisons to make profit of keeping prisoners and by treating them so bad that they will get out even more liable to repeat offend. The US has the biggest percentage of prisoners in the world.

    Wackenhut has absolutely no incentive to help rehabilitate their inmates why would they their source of wealth would disappear. Not smart business.

    People are not cattle to be kept in cages for someone to make money out of.
    End of story.

    And once again it shows the Nats top for the callous money grabbing scumbags that they are.

  33. coge 34

    Something needs to be said/moderated about those
    who try to equate National to Nazis. This is deeply offensive to many people, & says much about the deeply ingrained predjudices & ignorance of those making such assertions. It does nothing for the reputation of this blog.

    [Tane: Coge, I doubt you're genuine in your concern for this blog's reputation. In any case, the comments section seems to be pretty self-moderating on this issue. If it gets out of hand I'll be sure to jump in.]

    [lprent: Besides there are built-in inhibitors. Words like that tend to be on my auto-moderate list because trolls love them]

  34. You would have half the country locked up if national had it their way

    Yup, all the usual suspects plus those who would vote for an LPGM government. They’d have a polling booth inside the prison, but on E-day the private operators would stage a “E-day suprise”, enforcing a lock-down and denying franchise. The NACT + Dunne govt would wash their hands of it.

  35. Lampie 36

    “And if you’re going to resort to cutnpaste from the internets, don’t you think you should provide some attribution?”

    Awww you use google too. and NO as I’m not pretrending to be walking dictionary like you.

    I agree with Sprout as parole not a given right also work for freedom is a no no. (you’ll might agree with that, no fence sitting!!). Work for freedom? Aghh where is the punishment in that??? Work for parole??? aghhhhh Foresnic psychology,anyone done that? Think you would like my wife’s book Lew and would reference that (wikipedia gets an F if reference at tertiary level ah Lew?)

  36. randal 37

    ev you are trying to reason with people who cant reason.
    the only thing they can do is count and that is a substitute for thinking and feeling as well
    they are the same types that externally reference themselves. i.e. I have a big car therefore i have a big dick
    you know what I mean
    they want to destroy the world just to make sure that they did it
    all in all they are a manifestation of the psychopathology of industrial capitalism and they expect everyone else to fall into line while they chew up the world and its resources to make thmeselves feel something

  37. r0b 38

    Something needs to be said/moderated about those who try to equate National to Nazis.

    Just wondering coge, have you ever made a similar comment at Kiwiblog about those that equate Labour to Nazis? If not, are you planning to?

  38. Pixie 39

    Privatise prisons…

    …and then Crime really DOES pay.

  39. Lampie 40

    “Just wondering coge, have you ever made a similar comment at Kiwiblog about those that equate Labour to Nazis? If not, are you planning to?”

    and communist filthy bastards too, don’t forget that

  40. Coge,

    Forcing people who have no choice and who are in a vulnerable position (Whether of their own making or because they just happened to like smoking a joint instead of getting drunk or God forbid some young kid caught in the art of creating street art as has been suggested) to do forced labour is exactly what happened to people in concentration camps.

    There is only a difference in the degree of abuse but not the basic system which is forcing people to work for someone else’s profit while captivated.

    Bush’s grand daddy made lots of money of the forced labour in Auschwitz.

    In fact Auschwitz was build were it was, to supply the steelworks over there with huge amounts of slave labour and I’m sure the Bush family has shares in the privatised US system thinking there is nothing inherently wrong with making money out of other people’s misery.

    The prison camps were not build for the extermination of the Jews alone initially but to supply the German Industry with slave labour. If you were gay you became a slave, if you were a gypsy you became a slave, if you performed a minor infraction you became a slave, if you were a Jew you became a slave. It wasn’t until later in the war that the Germans started to build gas chambers and began to mass murder the Jewish slave labourers in order to “solve the Jewish problem” once and for all. Hideous but true.

    It was an insidious callous predatory system for profit. Just as privatising the prison system and forcing inmates to perform forced labour for the profit of a third party is.

    As a human being it is repugnant to me (precisely because I have lived through the aftermath of WWII and seen what it does to people to be dehumanised) to even begin to see a prison system as a source of profit.

    If as a nation we have to isolate individuals because their actions are detrimental to our society than that should be done with the greatest of wisdom, not with dollar signs in someone’s eyes.

    It is a recipe for abuse and dehumanising our fellow human beings. I may not like what some of them have done but I refuse to allow anybody to be transformed into an imprisoned cash cow.

    And if because I do so by pointing out that only difference with the German slave labour system is the degree of dehumanisation I insult some people who think that it’s a great idea, well,so be it.

    To even propose such a system is incredibly insulting to me as what is called in Europe; a second generation war victim. (having to deal with traumatised parents who grew up in hunger winters and got bombed of the road by Germans, had to watch parents grieving after Jewish friends committed suicide because they could not cope with their slave labour memories, and who had a friend who had to pull the plug out of the kitchen sink because his mother couldn’t. Apparently that is the sound a decapitated body makes as it dies. you get my drift?)

    Once you start seeing powerless people, even criminals, as cash cows you are on a very slippery slope.

  41. Randal,

    Yeah I know.

  42. Lampie 43

    Thank you travellerev, I totally agree with that (now do you see Lew)

  43. milo 44

    Ok, so if you don’t want to rehabilitate people, because it demeans them. You want to lock them up just to protect society. Doesn’t that imply MUCH longer sentences?

    The logic on this thread seems … truncated.

    And my conclusion on the National:Nazi thing is this – many of The Standard authors want exactly that comparison, and dogwhistle it up whenever they can. The moderation policy then supports it. It’s difficult to come to any other conclusion based on the facts. And the people who do it are really keen to dictate government policy! Eewck. I hope they never closer to parliament than the Backbencher.

    And yes, I do criticize people on Kiwiblog for egregious behaviour.

    [Tane: Milo, don't be silly. I don't want my fellow lefties going down dead-ends like accusing National of being Nazis, not when there are so many other valid reasons to attack them and it can so easily backfire. You'll notice I don't ban people for calling us communists either, unless it gets too repetitive or abusive.

    Having said that, you can't help people being slightly amused at the unfortunate irony of National's policy literally being 'Arbeit Macht Frei', even if the comparison is somewhat distasteful.]

  44. Matthew Pilott 45

    Lampie, Lew was agreeing with you. I gather you missed that.

    The comments on the right are so fractured and disjointed that it seems they need to be fed lines.

    On the one hand, prisons are these wonderful cruisy places that crims actually want to go to, yet they don’t mind committing crime because there’s parole and they’ll get a short sentence. Hang on, doesn’t that mean we should increase parole, because they don’t want to be kicked out of prison? Shit, can’t do that, because then they’ll commit more crime to get sent back, even if only for a short period.

    So shouldn’t we tie them up and flog ‘em and make them break rocks because they are evil and must be crushed? Well that won’t work, because we have to let them out, eventually, and they won’t be happy if that happens…even though in between the tying up and forced labour there is playstation and warm floor, so they will want to go back anyway. Hmm, there are a few flaws in the Conservative Collective.

    Go ask kiwiblog what you should say here. In the mean time, here’s some reality: people don’t want to go to prison. It’s not actually that nice. The playstations are probably for the white collar crims who only screw over entire communities, instead of individual families.

    Forced labour (because contrary to the bollocks about nice prisons, people still want parole) won’t help – if you change parole requirements to fulfilling a contract demand for humiliating virtual slave labour, as opposed to making it based upon good behaviour, you’re going to have some rather pissed off people getting out of prisons. The kind of work that would make someone appreciate the value of work isn’t the stuff we’re talking about here, clearly.

  45. Matthew Pilott 46

    Milo, your logic is flawed because you equate rehabilitation with forced labour. Probably a poor starting point.

  46. Lew 47

    milo: See here for the latest in a long line of my calling people out for using terms like this without regard for proper historical context.

    The case in this thread is somewhat different since that’s actually the policy, though I still don’t think it’s an especially good comparison to make, or think that anyone in their right mind would actually consider the Nats the same as the Nazis.

    L

  47. the sprout 48

    Cheers Tane.
    I am not one to invoke Godwins but as you say, considering the phrase fit’s National’s policy exactly, you can’t really ignore the comparison.
    I would be much happier if National didn’t keep devising policies that made for such obvious and stark parallels.

  48. Lew 49

    Lampie: As the grandson of Dutch emigrants who fled Europe after the war because of the same ghosts Ev describes (on one side), I entirely agree with her sentiments regarding forced labour. I’m not sure how you figure that everything I say is necessarily opposed to everything you (or Ev) says.

    L

  49. I find “Arbeit Macht Frei” massively distasteful, in fact i find the whole policy repulsive, written in German or English.

  50. higherstandard 51

    KITNO

    Have you actually read the policy – in fact has anyone here actually read the policy ?

    I’ve scanned it and there seems to be a lot of worthwhile ideas, but there seems to be that you have taken offence to “Amend the Parole Act to ensure that prisoners who are able to work but refuse to work are not eligible for parole. ”

    And linked it to some kind of slave labour which is a quite bizarre link to make as that would imply our police and judicial system were complicit in some kind of totalitarian state – as Rex said before and I agree with wholeheartedly

    ‘ I’m open to anything that might provide prisoners with reasonable conditions while also helping genuinely rehabilitate them and reduce reoffending – and which are effective in containing and ensuring the continued detention of the small percentage of people beyond rehabilitation.’

    As such I have no real issue with this policy much as I have no issues with increasing inmates learning based skills and giving inmates the chance to gain trades qualifications and improve their literacy and numeracy. I also strongly support more assistance for alcohol and drug education and treatment for inmates and for those with mental health problems.

  51. higherstandard 52

    As a complete change of tack from a commenter on Chris Trotters blog…

    “I happen to believe that no party has all the answers and no party has none of the answers to any issue.
    My hope for MMP had been that the major groupings would manage the country with regard to the economy, infrastructure etc and the whole parliament would have it’s voice listened to with regard to social engineering, with a conscience vote on all issues that affected the personal freedoms of the individual and family.
    In essence what seems to have happened is that FFP still applies, because once a block of parties is set up the largest party in the group acts like they’ve got the mandate over the whole country and the minor parties are expected to toe the line.
    I would have loved to see some good ‘crossing the floor’ on a lot of the bills passed this last Parliamentary session.
    The adversarial system still seems well and truly entrenched, where to acknowledge another party has a good idea,[and heaven forbid actually support it] is seen as being a ‘traitor’ to the ’cause’.”

    Very nice !

  52. Lew 53

    HS: This tendency will erode as MMP (as exercised both by electors and elected) matures. But yes, the system is still a Westminster ayes/noes dualism, and that won’t change just because of a new electoral system.

    L

  53. Ianmac 54

    HS: What a pity the problem of the day can’t be identified,put up for debate, explored, consult then decide in non-partisan ways- a conscience vote if you like. But otherwise the plan gets buried with the Opposition hell-bent on blocking good ideas for political gain. What would have happened if the Protection of Children Act repeal S59, had been so treated? Would have passed with only the “We like to hit our kids Lovingly” left behind.

  54. higherstandard 55

    Perhaps Lew – but I can’t see it happening with the current parliamentarians.

    From your perspective have you found it to be a very quiet election – there seems to be less in the mailbox on the TV and up around town than there has been previously – thought it might just be me but several of my colleagues have made the same observation as well.

  55. higherstandard 56

    Ianmac

    Agreed. It’s a major problem with our parliament in its present form where not only does the opposition of the day block ideas for political gain the governments of the day tend to both drive things through for political gain and ignore ideas from opposition parties.

    People and political parties are so locked into their ideologies and busy taking an oppositional view to the other side that things often move very slowly or not at all.

  56. Pat 57

    HS – I think the “quiet election” you speak of can be directly attributed to the effects of the EFA. Where are the flyers in the mailbox from the minor parties (for example). I have had only 2 flyers so far – both National.

  57. Lew 58

    HS: Hell no, it’s completely on. It’s just happening at a much more subtle level.

    The 2005 Labour v National campaign was like a WWE exhibition match, all glitz and glamour with bikini chicks and chairs getting thrown and everything. This campaign is being fought in deadly earnest, like a gloves-off no-holds-barred cage-fighting match. Just because the combatants spend most of their time locked together immobile on the mat or circling, waiting for an opening doesn’t mean it isn’t intense.

    And then there’s the minor party battle, which holds just as much goodness.

    L

  58. randal 59

    well natoinal have floated this one knowing that it will never pass in parliament so they are getting a free hit.

  59. Lampie 60

    “Lampie, Lew was agreeing with you. I gather you missed that”

    Nah, I’m not disputing that at all MP, I’m sure he feels it is a crap policy like I do (I just love winding him up). I just can’t believe we (meaning all of us, well Nats mainly) actually even think of these stupid ideas that have been used in the past (to really really bad effect) as great new ideas (well not that new). Thought us Kiwis were intelligent buggers.

    Randal got it right, it’s a mad mad world.

  60. Quoth the Raven 61

    Lew – I am also the grandson of Dutch emigrants who fled after the war and I say use of the phrase is apt. There’s a lot of people with shared heritage here.

  61. randal 62

    so is it all right to ask if garth mcvictim has shares in wackanhurt?

  62. Lew 63

    QtR: Which phrase? Arbeit macht frei? If you read above again you’ll see me defending its use.

    L

  63. Aaron Kirk 64

    Akldnut: In response to your question: “Would you see all criminals carry out their full terms or just the hard core crims: Murderers, Rapists, Child pornographers Fraudsters, Drink Drivers, Speedsters, Taggers, Jaywalkers, Litterers, Swearers, Liers”.

    Both of the two major and the majority of minor parties have pursued policies involving longer sentences for the worst crimes. This is something I support. I’m not talking about those people who swear, lie or litter, although petty, people still recognise them as being wrong. It is nature to know what is right and what is wrong. Labour’s sentencing laws have doubled minimum non-parole periods for the most serious crimes.

    New Zealand has had a huge increase in violent domestic crime as reported by the police. In comparison to 1990’s, one domestic violent incident in five was reported and now we’re doing better than that and of course domestic violence is no worse than stranger violence. It is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Those worst repeat violent offenders, shouldn’t get parole.

    Look ultimately the desire is to get those worst offenders off the streets. If you’re in a prison cell, you’re less likely to continue to commit these crimes. Building more prisons is beneficial, whoever becomes the next government will have to build new prisons I assure you which in progression will mean tougher laws.

    I think this policy aims to get involved before the offending hits the streets. Also note that it recognises that not enough is being done to work with prisoners with regard to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

    I think this policy is straight forward enough to define the classifications of “worst repeat violent offenders” according to the types of crime that have previously been committed. For example if you’ve carried a crime/sentence of 5 years or more and do the same thing again, you fall into the category of no parole.

    We simply have to keep the community safe, the fact of the matter is, is that the prison population is the end product of a more violent society.

  64. Ianmac 65

    AAron: On the face of it the general policy is good. The catch is how much of it is just what is already happening within the constraints of manpower? And Infrastructure?

  65. randal 66

    I have just been reading general anthropology edited by franz boas and others.
    it seems that criminality is statistically predictable in any population.
    therefore it is a question that has no answer.
    some people are guilty of using the subject to keep the population agitated and in a state of fear and confusion instead of propsing rational solutions
    so we have declined into the politcis of hate and revenge
    how very civilised

  66. Akldnut 67

    Aaron I have no problems with what you say but isn’t “putting the worst repeat violent offenders inside” closing the gate after the horse has bolted, the crime/injury has already happened. If our correction service is swelling now, all we we be doing is make it explode.

    Rehablilitation is a lot cheaper than incarceration.

    Also due to increased manpower and infrastructure costs by having more overflowing prisons, it would only push the case for National as a government to privatise the correction sevice. (Another secret agenda perhaps?)

  67. Aaron Kirk 68

    I like your reasoning. Opinions are respected, which is what I like. You and I will have to agree to disagree.

  68. Lew 69

    randal: “I have just been reading general anthropology edited by franz boas and others.
    it seems that criminality is statistically predictable in any population.”

    Yes. This phenomenon is the manifestation of an effect like the one Durkheim described when talking of the perfect cloister:

    “Imagine a society of saints, a perfect cloister of exemplary individuals. Crimes or deviance, properly so-called, will there be unknown; but faults, which appear venial to the layman, will there create the same scandal that the ordinary offense does in ordinary consciousnesses. If then, this society has the power to judge and punish, it will define these acts as criminal (or deviant) and will treat them as such.”

    But this rather ignores the question at hand, which is not `what to do with the minor transgressions’ but `what to do with the serious crimes that demonstrate that this is not a perfect cloister?’

    L

  69. Quoth the Raven 70

    Lew – Yeah I know, I was agreeing with you.

    Knowing my grandparents who lived through nazi occupation and their relavtives who lived through it too and seeing the commenters like you and Eve here its interesting to note that none of them would ever vote National and I’m making no comparisons there just an observation.

  70. Lew 71

    QtR: Heh. Definitely not. My Oma votes Winston First, to keep the immigrants out. You know, the ones who arrive with very little and can’t speak English :)

    L

  71. Aaron Kirk 72

    Ianman in response to your question: “The catch is how much of it is just what is already happening within the constraints of manpower? And Infrastructure?”

    Talking about the constraints of manpower. National will no doubt address this in their first term as government and have reputedly stated their plans to increase police recruit numbers. This will demonstrate force within communities on the front line which will benefit those who want to feel safe. It is again, only natural to want to feel safe within the community you’re staying in. National will be recruiting around 1,200 new police officers – two hundred more than Labour has committed. So manpower shouldn’t be a problem. That equates to a total of one police officer for every 500 people, and this can be reached by 2011 – with a cost of around $18 million a year.

    Violent murderers and criminals who assault children is what National’s law and order policy seem to be targeting more so than any other. Penalties, should incur for those who abuse, neglect and kill children. Again, no parole should be granted for those whose acts are at the extreme end of the scale.

    On rehabilitation, National’s prison reform policy addresses what, those who’re condemned to a period of prison life, can be done to reach parole. No work, no parole. Prisons can tender for work for the inmates and will have to do it on a commercial basis factoring in the minimum wage and some of the money will benefit victims. So it is not as if they’re disregarding all inmates’ right to parole, unless disabled or to dangerous.

    On infrastructure: National will no doubt plan to borrow for it and why, because in a recent radio item I recall Mr Key saying that New Zealand has inter-generational assets. Or assets that pay solely out of cash and in turn, build very limited amounts of infrastructure.

  72. Quoth the Raven 73

    Lew – Damn that Winston’s charisma. It’s still not National though.

  73. Rex Widerstrom 74

    HS… thanks for quoting my contribution non the other thread (to which I’ve since added a follow-up comment).

    I don’t give a big hairy rat’s arse who runs our prisons provided that:
    – conditions in them are acceptable (though I accept that’s a highly subjective term), and
    – they are effective in reducing recidivism (which is an easily measurable benchmark).

    The majority of prisons around the world are state run. I can’t recall hearing of any such a prison which fully meets those criteria. A minority of prisons are privately run. Most of them also do not meet the criteria – but a handful do.

    Can I suggest again that those whose knees have jerked in response to the idea of private prisons look into the results achieved by Serco, who run private prisons in the UK, WA and Germany.

    They are paid partly on their effectiveness at reducing recidivism and properly rehabilitating and reintergrating prisoners. They do exceptionally well at this (compared to state run prisons) and part of the reason is the Path2Work programme which is structured so as to avoid or at least minimise the concerns IrishBill raises. The concerns are valid, yes, but they can be legislated around.

    Amongst the training Serco offer (as well as trade related work) is IT skills and multimedia. Has anyone ever been in a state run prison in NZ? The best you can hope for is a couple of tired old outdated PCs (running Windows 95), a CO who has no idea or interest in how to use them, and a couple of programs designed to teach primary school kids to read. When I offered to teach computing – or even English – I was looked at with blank stares and told to take my university education and go back to folding underpants in the laundry.

    I would have thought most readers of the Standard would want to achieve the best possible outcomes in something as vital to so many lives as justice,prisons, and rehabilitation. But it seems if a worklable solution isn’t within the prescribed ideological framework, the left can be as blinkered as the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

  74. Rex Widerstrom 75

    Meanwhile Fred111 suggests:

    Crims WANT to go to jail because of the cruisy lifestyle

    Yeah, I found the spell in “Critical Care” (aka wear a canvas jacket, have the light on 24/7 so you can’t sleep, a mattress on the floor, and watched on a camera even when using the toilet,supposedly because “you’re suicidal” but actually because “we don’t like you”) almost as much fun as the solitary confinement (locked down with no TV, radio or human contact for 23 hours a day) I got when I transferred prisons. Not for doing anything wrong – I couldn’t have done, I’d only just arrived! – but just as their way of saying “welcome to our prison – we’ve been told we also shouldn’t like you”.

    The unprovoked attack by someone I’d never laid eyes on was really something to write home about, as was seeing a guy stabbed repeatedly in the face with a fork while I was trying to eat the slop that constantly made me vomit so that I lost around 20kg in the space of a couple of months. The constant verbal bullying and threats (from everyone to everyone, not just me) was like music to my ears, specially when it continued all through the night.

    Not being properly inducted into either prison so I had no idea when I was breaking some obscure rule and could thus be punished (examples of my “offences”: writing home to ask for money for a toothbrush (‘bring the prison into disrepute’) and asking for prisoners to be allowed to attend the library if we didn’t want to line up at the canteen (‘inciting a riot’ – I kid you not)) just added to the holiday camp atmosphere.

    Tell you what, how about I pop round and tell you exactly what I think of narrow minded ignorant hate-filled troglodytes, then you can take a free shot. I’ll press charges and you can find out the reality for yourself for a few months? No? Then I suggest you shut up on subjects about which you clearly know nothing.

  75. Fred111 76

    Hey Rex…

    Is this the “not me, i’m innocent, and a perfect citizen to boot” dribble that the court system loves to lap up??? Boo farkin hoo

    So you gonna be a naughty boy and go back????? Sounds like you haven’t learnt a bloody thing! Keep ya toothbrush handy as you’ll be needing it again soon!

    What I mean is: Do the crime, do the time. If you had a bad experience in prison then hopefully it’s done it’s job, for you. Your “attacker” would no doubt think he had a fun day.

    IrishBill says: Fred. You’re banned.

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    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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