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A foolish promise

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, June 23rd, 2008 - 11 comments
Categories: crime, national, same old national - Tags:

Simon Power promises a new prison in a National government’s first term. What a glib and foolish statement. Had he paused to reflect before his opening his mouth, Power would have realised this cannot be done. Gaining cabinet approval, identifying a site, completing the resource consent process, running a tender process, and building the prison – all within three years? Yeah, right. The prison project at Ngawha in Northland has obviously vanished from Power’s memory. So yet another cynical promise from a party that simply wants to exploit public anxiety over crime. National does not have the personnel to form a half-decent government, something that is being masked by the vacuous ‘time for a change’ twaddle.

11 comments on “A foolish promise ”

  1. Felix 1

    Unless they govern alone. In which case they could gut the RMA and build it wherever they like.

  2. bill brown 2

    Actually, it may be a flaw in my recall, I was only listening with half an ear, but the prison building promise may have been the only statement he started without “John has said”.

    This isn’t another escaped policy is it?

  3. Vanilla Eis 3

    To be honest, Power is one of the few Nats I have any time for. I’ve heard him speak and he seems to be a decent sort. It’s a pity he’s going to be overridden by English and Brownlee on policy of social value. I just hope he doesn’t end up departing like Katherine Rich – he seems to hold very similar values, and losing her was probably one of the biggest blows we had in hoping for a socially moderate National.

    But a new prison? Ugh. Rehabilitation people, not punishment.

  4. Monty 4

    Power is a really good guy – (like most of the National Caucas. Ok the pprison will not be delivered in the first term, but the decision to progress can be made and in fact it may be that Corrections have already done a lot of preliminary work of general location. When I worked on the prison projects in 2001 / 2002, it was recognised then that additional facilities would be built in Nelson, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

    They have the expertise (I say that loosely) but at least they should know how to get a prison built faster and cheaper than what they have achieved in the other projects – like for instance not spending $1.5m on iwi consultation which was am embarressment to the Labour Government at the time. (Iwi / Kiwi anyone???)

  5. Liam 5

    Hi there, I dont like to disagree but my meetings with Simon Power seem to be very different from yours.

    i find that he is a yes man, with no substance. He doesnt seem to have his own thoughts (if he does then JK has told him to keep them to himself). I have heard him 3 times now and all i hear is ‘our great leader John Key said … When pushed on policy it is the same, John Key says… the rangitekei electorate is getting sick of the wait and see game. he is turning votes off. I heard the Labour candidate Jills Angus Burney speak and it was nice to hear some talk about an actual vision, someone who has ideas to back up what they say. It feels like Jills has got plans for the future. Whereas, Simon is sticking to the strict Nats policy of delaying policy announcements until the last minute to give the public as little time as possible.

    I seem to remember that worked well for Labour in 1984 and looked what happened there. Maybe we are just overlooking the fact that maybe National just have no policies at all.

  6. Vanilla Eis 6

    Liam: I don’t necessarily disagree. In public, Power sticks to the party line which is, more or less, don’t give away anything.

    But I don’t doubt that he’s one of the more moderate voices in caucus – as said I simply fear that conservatives such as Brownlee and English will override anything socially constructive that he comes up with, but that does not make Power himself a poor choice. I’d much rather an overridden moderate in the Nats caucus than none at all.

    Of course, if the good people of Rangitekei wish to elect a Labour candidate… all the better!

  7. Tacky! The consensus here seems to be: nice guy, no spine. Guess that explains why an otherwise intelligent person would advocate building more prisons in a country with one of the highest levels of incarceration in the developed world.

    Wouldn’t have thought that they could outdo Goff in this area anyway.

  8. Vanilla Eis 8

    jafapete: I never said no spine, just implied that under current National caucus structure he probably gets very little say in the areas I admire him for. Hell, he voted for the S59 amendment before there was any cross-party consensus, and I’ve listened to him explain why. When given the choice I believe he’ll vote well on social issues. I don’t agree with his fiscal views – but thats why he’s in National I guess.

    The issues of more prisons… well, I guess that’s somewhere I disagree with him again. Of course, he’s Nationals spokesman on justice, so we’re probably seeing the party line trotted out again.

  9. Think of it this way: It’s a clear commitment to spend money on education.

    Whether or not this country needs yet another Crime University and Gang Recruitment and Retention Facility is another matter.

    I say that as one who has worked in our prisons.

  10. djp 10

    Maybe he could spin it his way..

    “We have been breaking our backs building a new prison but the (Labour Law?) RMA is getting in our way stopping us from protecting you the citizens… etc etc..”

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    Well there’s the kind of positive, forward thinking outlook we look for in a would-be government.

    “We’ve already given up on improving society so as to reduce offending – let alone run out of ideas on how to deal with the real hard core recidivists – so we’re planning on building another big concrete box to keep even more of the population in”.

    Way to go, Simon. Here’s an idea. Get a quote on building a bloody great wall, complete with barbed wire, around the coastline. Problem solved – instead of searching for new things to make illegal (like holding an opinion contrary to that of the prevailing government) you and the rest of our superiors in Parliament can deem us all guilty of something get on with figuring out how you’re going to spend your travel allowances.

    Just don’t forget to put a chain fence and some barbed wire down State Highway 1 from Auckland airport down to Rotorua, and another one from Christchurch to Queenstown, then forcibly move the locals out. Wouldn’t want to affect the tourism industry.

    As jafapete says, we already have one of the highest incarceration rates in the developed world, so that whole “lock ’em up and throw away the key” thing is clearly working well.

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