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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.

    Prisons for profit

    ” 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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    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
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    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
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    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
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    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
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    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    5 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
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    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    1 week ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    1 week ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    1 week ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
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    2 weeks ago