web analytics

Private prison a money-waster, despite Collins’ spin

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, July 13th, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: capitalism, privatisation, spin - Tags: ,

Judith Collins is lauding the supposed economic benefits of the private prison at Wiri in South Auckland (soon to be filled with people sentenced under all these new laws the Nats, the party of freedom, are passing with no impact on the crime rate). Apparently, the prison will generate $1.2 billion worth of economic activity over 30 years.

Wahhooo! To get rich all we need to do is build more prisons! Let’s do it, then we can all buy dune-buggies!

But wait, Collins says is the government is planning to spend $101 million on construction and $40m per year for 30 years on wages. That’s $1.3 billion over 30 years. And that only results in $1.2 billion of economic activity in New Zealand.

How’s that? Oh, yeah, the private foreign owner who will be taking hundreds of millions offshore.

And of course an expenditure of money, public or private, results in economic activity and the wages are re-spent through the economy (the multipler effect). So what? It doesn’t mean it’s a good or optimal use of that money.

We could pay $101 million for the construction of the Great Wiri Sand Pit and pay $40 million a year for workers to empty and re-fill it. That would be the same expenditure as the Nats are planning on their new prison and it would result in the same ‘economic benefits’ – illusionary ones. But at least we wouldn’t be spending the money on another 960-bed criminal training unit and sending hundreds of millions of dollars offshore for the pleasure.

The real questions are:

  • what are the benefits to the Government as a whole, even better New Zealand as a whole, from this project?
  • How do they compare to the costs?
  • How does the benefit/cost ratio compare to a fully public prison?
  • And what other projects won’t be built because we’re sinking $1.3 billion into an institution that will be another failure and a profit maker for foreigners?

Pity no-one asks them.

9 comments on “Private prison a money-waster, despite Collins’ spin ”

  1. joe90 1

    Donations for policy?.
    How The Recession Hurts Private Prisons

    GEO increased its revenue by $20.2 million in the last year by opening up prisons in Australia and the United Kingdom, while also eyeing contracts in South Africa and New Zealand.

  2. Arthur 2

    WOW!
    Let’s build a prison in every city.

  3. Clarke 3

    I love the idea that Crusher Collins is now talking up prisons as though they were an economic benefit to the locals … “Good news! There are 1900 jobs in your region from locking up your own whanau!”

    Forget the cycleway …. this is the kind of economic leadership I so admire the Nats for.

  4. Olwyn 4

    You see this talking up the economic benefits in Michael Moore’s film – I think the one on capitalism. When there is a war about land, the poor are designated cannon fodder. With the issue being money it seems that the poor are now prison fodder. When you have English talking up corrections as the growth area in govt departments, one can only assume that they have been encouraged by a plan that will make corrections so expensive that private prisons will be “necessary.”

  5. randal 5

    go with arthur.
    hohohohoho.
    cutting to the chase new prisons are just part of the justice industry.
    return on equity an’ all that.
    shares for tthe boys (and girls) and an active agency arguing for longer and stiffer sentences and boy you are in business.
    who said patronage died with the divine right of kings?

  6. Olwyn 6

    Following on your post Randal, this article has left me feeling very uneasy:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10657828

    A Dr Wojik, from Whangarei, has hypothesised that the Kahui twins died from Barlow’s disease (a form of infant scurvy) rather than abuse. He supports this by noting that there was no damage to their necks or spinal cords. His claim has been rejected, but he is experienced in this field and to me it does raise questions. Firstly, it is odd to think that someone would pick up and shake not one, but two twins – the idea seems counter intuitive. Secondly, these children were bottle fed, and it seems plausible that someone might economise on the formula without grasping that this would be to the their children’s detriment, rather as you might economise on the milo.

    While I acknowledge that Dr Wojcik may well be wrong, it has left me with the uneasy feeling that abuse may be a first port of call for explaining injury and illness in certain sorts of families, especially given that the subsequent tenants of the house complained about the media throwing empty beer cans over the fence prior to filming it to accompany news stories. In short, abuse may now be the status quo explanation for things going wrong for kids in poor families.

  7. BLiP 7

    What party other than National Ltdâ„¢ would take delight in the financial benefits of locking people up . . . oh yeah, ACT. So much for personal liberty and freedom from the state, eh lads?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago