National Ltd™’s Sam Lotu-Iiga tries to pull the wool over our eyes

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, December 4th, 2015 - 12 comments
Categories: accountability, Kelvin Davis, political education, prisons - Tags: , ,

MP for SERCO, Sam Lotu-Iiga, chats with John Key after graduating from the Simon Lusk School of Politics.

MP for SERCO, Sam Lotu-Iiga, chats about his future with John Key

Protege of the Simon Lusk School Of Politics, National Ltd™’s Sam Lotu-Iiga, was back in the House this week. Explaining. Again.

As Corrections Minister,  Lotu-Iiga was  facing questions about SERCO dropping from first to last place on the most recent Prison Performance Table. Was SERCO’s first place position the result of Lotu-Iiga and Corrections having had the wool pulled over their eyes? Needless to say, Lotu-Iiga’s answer was “no” and, what’s more, his previous effusive praise of SERCO was based only on the information he had available “at that time”.

Hmmmm . . . for a Minister of the Crown to not carry out even cursory due diligence (just type “SERCO” into Google) seems a tad casual. Had Lotu-Iiga done so, he would have discovered that the information available about SERCO – “at that time” –  included such things as . . .

  • it was referred to the Serious Fraud Office in the UK for overcharging on electronic tagging and had to payback £69 million
  • it was banned from providing sterilisation services at a new hospital in Australia after surgical equipment was found to be contaminated – in at least one case with bone fragments still attached
  • its Thameside prison in the UK was listed as the worst-performing jail in Ministry of Justice ratings.
  • it mistreated and underpaid its workers
  • it was suspended by the UK government from winning fresh public sector work in the UK for manipulating figures on a prison van escorting contract, and
  • it falsified figures at an out-of-hours GP service it ran in the UK

The list goes on. And on.

Lotu-Iiga’s squriming around trying to say he did not have sufficient information about SERCO prior to his effusive praise is his attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of New Zealanders, and avoid accountability.

And SERCO is the company being lined up as a potential leading “private sector partner” in National Ltd™’s dodgy-as “social investment” racket.

sam lotu iinga with a dog called serco

12 comments on “National Ltd™’s Sam Lotu-Iiga tries to pull the wool over our eyes”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Gone. By. Lunchtime.

    SERCO will try again with the next government they can buy like this one. There has to be a way to ensure that they lose every single cent they invest.

  2. NZJester 2

    Don’t forget all those claims of mistreatment by people at the Australian detention center at the center of the recent riot and Shonkeys clams of Murderers and Rapists. The SERCO name seams to be very prominent in that case to.
    A look at the Wiki page on Australian immigration and detention centers show SERCO is one of the biggest contractors for the Australian government.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_immigration_detention_facilities

  3. Detrie 3

    It always gets back to National Ltd ideology. Less govt in services and more outsourcing, in the belief it is ‘more efficient’. But it’s achieved by paying operations staff less, push training costs down and running things with less people/supervision. The “free market” rules now, so we shouldn’t be surprised how and why this occurred.

    • BLiP 3.1

      Well, not quite. The same amount of money is paid its just that the operators factor in sharehoider returns which results in less training, less pay for staff, and poor service for “customers”, and disastrous results for society as a whole.

      (Two free internets to you for using National Ltd. If you want to add the ™ just hold down the alt-key, type the numbers 0153, let go the alt-key and – hey presto. I’ve set up an auto-complete macro thingy which does that for me when I type t0ry 😉 )

      • Grindlebottom 3.1.1

        National Ltd™. Thanks for that BLip. You have to use the numeric keypad for the numbers.

    • miravox 3.2

      I’m coming to believe the ‘more efficient’ justification is not even believed by National anymore. The main benefit of outsourcing is reduced accountability for bad stuff that they are happy about happening.

  4. Keith 4

    I don’t know about ideology so much however given the opaqueness of these relationships and the generally dodgy nature of this National government, one has to wonder who had a shareholding in Serco or related organisations! It makes a lot more sense.

  5. adam 5

    Sam Lotu-Iiga has his electoral office in Onehunga Mall.

    Small little place next to a pet cleaning business, and a business going, or maybe when you have read this gone out of business.

    National, lap dogs for big business, doing nothing for small.

  6. Grindlebottom 6

    Last night I saw him on a TV One in a news item about teenagers being locked up for 23 hours a day at Mt Eden

    Here’s the stuff article about it.

    Young prisoners at the privately-run Mt Eden prison have been kept in their cells for as long as 23 hours a day, leading to fears that someone could die if changes aren’t made.

    Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga says he is concerned about keeping young people locked up for unacceptable periods of time, but said prisons were meant to be “hard places”.

    The Mt Eden Corrections Facility, run by private prison operator Serco, has also been singled out for its lack of dedicated youth facilities in the Ombudsman’s annual report for 2014/15.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74678959/prison-inspections-reveal-teens-locked-up-for-23-hours-a-day-in-mt-eden

    Asked whether he agreed with the (Ombudsman’s recommendation for) setting up of a separate youth facility at Mt Eden he just said “No, there’s no demand for it.”

    This guy beggars belief as a Minister. He trots out whatever lines are given to him by Corrections. He’s not in charge of his porfolio. They are.

    • North 6.1

      Sam’s where he is only on account of his being Key’s handbag in Key’s fantasy sweep through South Auckland at the last election. A mere fiapalagi cypher, thick and loyal.

  7. Macro 7

    SERCO should be placed on the same “list” as child and sex offenders and never allowed anywhere near people again.

  8. Tautuhi 8

    So hopefully basic human rights are being upheld by SERCO in these institutions they are managing here in NZ.

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