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Private Prison Profile

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, June 29th, 2010 - 72 comments
Categories: australian politics, prisons, privatisation - Tags:

In yesterday’s news we heard that no charges were being brought after an Aboriginal man died in a Western Australian prison van, where he had a 4 hour ride without ventilation in 50degree plus temperatures that gave him 3rd degree burns. He had been provided with 600ml of water as they took him for the long ride to court to face a drink driving charge.

Whilst we may write it off as another example of Australia’s terrible treatment of Aborigines, it is interesting to see who was running the van: G4S.

When National get their ideological wish to get a prison privately run here, this large Australian/UK prison company will be the most likely candidate. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident in Australia. In 2005 G4S subsidiary GSL was fined $500,000 after staff refused detainees water and access to a toilet on a seven‐hour bus trip between the Maribyrnong and Baxter detention centres. The death of a man from an unattended asthma attack amongst other deaths and violations failed to stop them recently being awarded another contract in Melbourne. It did lead Australian MP Tony Burke to say:

This is the private company that has people coming in the doors with no mental health problems and going out as broken human beings. There is one answer and one answer alone, and that is there have been enough breaches of this contract for the government to take action to terminate the privatisation of our detention centres. It was a bad idea from the start. It should not have taken place. It should not be continued.

Information on other possible bidders here

Bunji

72 comments on “Private Prison Profile”

  1. Tigger 1

    Well at least the allow their prisoners to smoke…

  2. salsy 2

    A fabulous podcast here from BFM regarding smoking, privatisation and the general sorry state of the New Zealand prison system by Peter Williams QC.

    [audio src="http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/196145/3/PeterWilliamsSmokingPrisons.mp3" /]

  3. WOOF 3

    They must be barking mad to allow nasty little corporations to run our prisons when others like them treat their prisoners worse than dogs. It makes you wonder who the real criminals are.

    • Bill 3.1

      Got to remember that ‘they’ are corporatists and Randists. Yes, they’re barking mad…and they’re in control in case you missed it.

      It is we who must be barking mad to allow them to remain in control and rolling out their private good/public evil, ‘s’cuse me while I line my pockets and evacuate on you bastards down below’ agenda.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Of course, the public system has had its own problems so far as transporting prisoners is concerned.

    • kaplan 4.1

      No matter how you cut it. If an organisation stands to profit from jailing people there is ZERO incentive for that organisation to see crime rates drop.

      In fact from a purely business point of view (and how else would they look at it?) there is surely a big incentive for the private prison operator to make sure their customers become regular customers.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        This is faulty logic.

        IF the private system is not performing well it will most likely lose the contract. IF it is performing a lot better than the public system, THEN it will most likely get more of the crime business. Thus, the public system will lose out if it can’t perform as well. So there will definitely be profit motivation for the private operators to get recidivism down.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          when private providers don’t perform well, the govt has to bail them out and pick up the pieces.

    • BLiP 4.2

      What? It was a private contractor that was transporting Liam Ashley at the time of his murder. You twat.

      • tsmithfield 4.2.1

        Maybe so. But it was a decision made by the public system

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          All the evidence is that the private process would make worse decisions.

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.1.1

            No. The public system made the first poor decision by determining the mode of transport. Can’t get past that one.

            • Bright Red 4.2.1.1.1.1

              yeah, the poor decision was turning the role over to a private provider who just wants to make profits and cuts corners to do it

              • Alexandra

                I agree, private prisons will be motivated by profit and cost cutting will lead to more disasters like Liam Ashley.

              • tsmithfield

                Sorry BR. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Some questions: What decision making process did the public provider go through in selecting a private contractor? What parameters did the public provider set for the private operator? Was the public provider adequately monitoring the performance of the private provider?

                Think about it. If you contracted me to paint your roof, and I subcontracted the job to another painter, who would you hold responsible if the job turned to custard?

                • felix

                  Unless you’re advocating for the entire justice system to be privately run your argument holds no water.

                  • Tigger

                    Felix, don’t give them ideas…although I sincerely doubt they haven’t been considering it…

          • The Baron 4.2.1.1.2

            another unsupported declaration from chairman Draco. do you not understand how to link your batshittery to real evidence?

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          Then let’s follow ts’s logic and privatise the Police and Judiciary.

          And Parliament, come to think of it.

          After all, they’re ultimately responsible for the decision.

          (p.s. ts likely doesn’t believe any of what he’s saying anyway he’s been quite clear about that)

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.2.1

            Na. I’ve never said I don’t believe anything I say. I’ve said I don’t always believe what I say. However, whether I believe it or not is quite irrelevant to the debate.

            Let me ask you several questions, felix.

            If you were convinced of the merits of privatising a government organisation, would you agree with that course of action? Or would you oppose it anyway because it doesn’t suit your ideology?

            • felix 4.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s why I said “likely” Tony. Lern to reed moar.

              And you’re quite right, it’s not relevant to this particular debate whether you believe it or not.

              What’s relevant to me, however, is that you have a habit of reversing your positions from one debate to the next when it suits you and claiming that it doesn’t really matter as you don’t need to believe what you write in order to argue a position.

              So while it may not technically be relevant to this particular debate, it is certainly relevant to the amount of energy I’m prepared to put into discussing anything with you.

              So I haven’t read your questions and I can’t think of any reason to do so.

              • tsmithfield

                Na, you’re still misrepresenting me, felix. “Likely” implies a strong likelihood that I don’t believe what I am writing. That is not the case at all. Sometimes I don’t believe what I write. This might be because I might want to take a devils advocate position because I feel the debate is going one way and the other side of the case should get an airing. Sometimes I exaggerate my point of view to elicit a response. Not wise to try and second guess whether I, or anyone else actually believes what they are writing.

                Sounds like a pretty lame reason to back out of answering a couple of simple questions, felix. Is that because you don’t want to answer me, or because you don’t want to answer those particular questions? I think I know which one.

                • Bored

                  “Not wise to try and second guess whether I, or anyone else actually believes what they are writing.” So true when you are writing it, what chance we would believe you? Zero minus I suggest.

                  • tsmithfield

                    So you only ever write things you absolutely believe? I can understand why you’re “bored” then.

                    • Bored

                      Sadly I try to believe in what I write. But thats not why I am Bored, that comes from reading stupendously tedious opinions from dullards (who might or might not believe what they say, who am I to tell)?

                    • tsmithfield

                      Thats right. You can’t tell whether someone actually believes what they’re writing or not. So, for the point of debating, belief is meaningless. It is the strength or otherwise of the argument that matters. Felix can’t seem to get over the fact that people can actually argue from a position just because they can, not necessarily because they believe it.

                      Generally speaking though, I do tend to signal if I am arguing something I don’t believe, by saying I am taking the position of Devils Advocate or something similar.

                      Sometimes someone has to take the other side in a debate otherwise it is all just one way traffic. After all, its the difference in opinion that makes debate interesting. Thats why I spend a lot more time here than I do at Kiwiblog.

                    • felix

                      “Felix can’t seem to get over the fact that people can actually argue from a position just because they can, not necessarily because they believe it.”

                      Hey retard, I explained it very clearly above.

                      It’s not difficult to “get over” it’s that there’s no point once you’re there. You have no intention of discussing anything in good faith and you’ve stated that you enjoy the freedom of being able to change your position and argue the other side when it suits you.

                      The only time I’ve ever seen you claim devil’s advocate is after you’ve been caught in a lie or exposed as a fool.

                      You have your own reasons for being here. That doesn’t mean anyone else is obliged to play along with them so don’t patronise me and demand that I answer your meaningless rhetoric or discuss things in the way that you’d prefer.

                      The way you present yourself is your own responsibility so don’t come crying to me because no-one trusts you.

                      If people are tiring of your phoney style you can always use one of your other handles anyway.

                • Puddleglum

                  I’m happy to answer the questions. If I was convinced then ‘yes’ – by definition.

                  But I’m curious as to what you think counts as being a ‘merit’. I presume you have in mind some ‘measures’ like – in the case of prisons – recidivism rates, humane treatment, cost per prisoner, etc.? What about some other value such as the need to have direct collective responsibility for and ‘ownership’ of imprisonment of other people in society? I guess you don’t include that because you would see that as ‘ideological’ rather than …???

                  But it is no more or less ideological than the assumption that the only things that matter are those other measures (recidivism rates, etc.) and that the question of whether something is privately owned and operated for a profit or ‘publicly/cooperatively’ ‘owned’ and run to carry out a collective responsibility is neither here nor there (dismissing that criterion is itself ‘ideological’, if you like).

                  For me the latter (the question of whether to have important social functions collectively ‘owned’ and operated) matters – for a host of broader reasons about how the overall kind of society we operate affects the wellbeing of its members – and so should be counted as one of the ‘merits’ upon which I would judge whether or not I’m convinced about privately run prisons.

                  Obviously, private companies operating for a profit would find it impossible to gain that ‘merit’. Hence, I’m not likely to be convinced despite being no more ideological than, possibly, you are. (Unless valuing something/anything is, in your terms, ‘ideological’?)

                  Note that my extra ‘measure’ of merit is just that – in addition to all the ‘merits’ you may wish to include as measures of ‘success’ in running an organisation.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.3

      And it’s the mishandled public investigation of G4S which has allowed them to escape prosecution for the horrendous death of Mr Ward:

      The State’s top prosecutor said there were “regrettable aspects” about the quality of the police investigation into the death of an Aboriginal man who died of heatstroke in the back of a prison van…

      Mr McGrath said police investigators had failed to separate the two security guards after the death and before they were interviewed by police. State Coroner Alastair Hope raised concerns in his findings of an inquest into Mr Ward’s death that the guards, Nina Stokoe and Graham Powell, were not kept separated before being interviewed.

      So it was yet more bumbling by WA’s Keystone Kops – a public entity – which brought about the appalling situation which triggered Bunji’s article.

      Which brings me back to the point I keep making whenever the issues of prvate prisons is raised: they don’t have to be bad. Acacia Prison (run by Serco, one of the possible operators of any NZ prison) is praised by the WA Inspector of Custodial Services and has prisoners queueing to be transferred to it, out of the crumbling and overcrowded state system.

      Unlike Barry Matthews, the operator of a private prison can be made accountable for any number of KPIs: prisoner education levels; recidivism rates; quality of the food… anything you like to name. It’s a matter of having the contract negotiated by someone who understands correctional management and gives a damn about prisoners and prison officers. And of excluding from consideration the likes of G4S, who have an appalling record not just of neglect but of cruelty.

      The danger in private prisons lies not in the operator who may be chosen to run them, but on the other side of the table: a Minister and a CEO who aren’t the slightest bit interested in the potential positives which could come out of such a move and indeed would, I suspect, actively oppose any such suggestions.

      • BLiP 4.3.1

        Private prisons are intrinsically “bad”. They are a manifestation of the state’s desire to profit from the suffering of others. Private prisons are an overt admission of defeat in that they represent the position: crime will always be with us so lets make it pay.

        • Rex Widerstrom 4.3.1.1

          That state doesn’t profit from the private prison BLiP (at least I’d hope they don’t demand a dividend) the private operator does. I personally don’t have a problem with that provided they’re meeting well enforced minimum standards of care, rehabilitation etc.

          For me it’s only about two objectives: recidivism reduction (to protect society) and prison conditions (to protect prisoners). While we’re still imprisoning people, if those two obejectives can be improved by a private operator I’ll leave my philosophical concerns at the door.

          I hope that crime will not always be with us. But it is now, and even if we have governments who were serious about reducing it (and the only politician I’ve seen understand it at all was Muldoon) then we need something in the meantime.

          Considering we’re never likely to have such a government then I’m reluctantly forced to agree that that pessimistic outlook is probably right… not for the reasons you’re implicitly ascribing to the policy makers, but because of the policy makers.

          So then I return to my primary objectives…

          • BLiP 4.3.1.1.1

            Correct insomuch as its not the State itself which profits, its the lobbyists and financial backers who profit directly, but the State is still sanctioning that misery = profit motive formula which stems from the concept that a country-is-just- a-big-business philosophy. They forget that business is subordinate to society as a whole.

            As to recidivism, you seem to be implying that private prison shareholders are the only players in the entire private-sector economy who are genuinely interested in reducing the number of customers? C’mon.

            • Rex Widerstrom 4.3.1.1.1.1

              There’s a whole heap of NGOs; some of them funded solely or primarily by government and thus, alas, too beholden to the powers that be to be much use and some highly effective. There’s lobby groups like the Howard League… but nothing I can think of that meets your description of ” players in the entire private-sector economy”.

              And because they’re on the sidelines (as, essentially, am I) their impact is minimal whereas a private prison operator can, if properly incentivised, make a huge difference (and often that involves paying some of those groups to come in and work with prisoners).

              No one with a profit motive, other than private prison operators whose performance measures include reduced recidivism, wants to see crime stopped. Some, like security companies, makers of steel doors and shutters (de riguer on almost every Australian home it seems) and their ilk I’m sure positively cheer every time there’s another crime.

              Who did you have in mind?

              • BLiP

                Retailers, banks, transport operators, education providers – any business who wants their customer base to grow and require a safer community for it to do so. But, yeah, some businesses are happy to see more and more crime which is the reason the profit motive should be removed from the running of prisons.

                I’m interested in the contractual requirements in regard to recidivism. Do you have any examples where a private prison has been sanctioned for failing in that regard? And what would those sanctions involve – a financial penalty perhaps?

                • Rex Widerstrom

                  Whew… a legitimate and intersting question but one that requires a detailed answer I don’t have the time to prepare (as ironically I’m working on a legal challenge to the smoking ban in prisons here).

                  For anyone interested in what I think is pretty much a model contract for operating a private prison, most of the contract between Serco and the WA government is available online.

                  The Schedules (the almost 1Mb pdf document) list the KPIs and the financial incentives (or penalties, depending on how you want to look at it). Amongst the performance measures are things like:

                  – number of serious assualts each year
                  – number of prisoner complaints (can you see anyone in Corrections giving a damn about that in a state run prison?)
                  – percentage of prisoners who get the rehabilitation / training they are assessed as needing

                  …and so on. For most targets, anything less than 100% results in no payment at all.

                  Sorry BLiP, best I can do right now.

                  • Bored

                    Rex, interesting exchange above but I cant bring this whole issue down to managerial mechanisms, efficiencies and outcomes. None of these is exclusive to the state or private sector. Like BLiP I find there is something deeply unsettling in wedding profit to state retribution, it throws my moral compass 180 degrees out without me being able to finger the reason. Perhaps some things that seem wrong are just plain wrong.

                    • Puddleglum

                      Let me see if I can put my finger on it.

                      The State’s monopoly on force is (or should be) a morally onerous power. T.S. Eliot’s famous quotation “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason” applies here. The profit motive is, ultimately, the wrong reason (the ‘last’ temptation). The ‘right deed’ is meeting whatever KPIs might be used.

                      To instrumentalists, the thinking behind Eliot’s comment appears ‘nonsensical’ (‘what could be wrong – treasonous – with doing the right deed?’). What they miss is that the ‘right deed’ is not actually separable from the motive (the ‘right reason’) in the real world (as opposed to the fantasy world of Enlightenment Rationalists)

                      What Eliot is pointing out is that, ultimately, the actual reasons for doing something will reveal themselves in a way that betrays the original intent (and, ultimately, undermines the ‘right deed’). He’s concerned with the sustainability of our moral action over the long term.

                      In practical terms, meeting KPIs can be done in many ways – some of which may actually betray the original intent. Trying to produce a profit as well as meet KPIs sets up an unnecessary trade-off (and barrier) to doing the right thing. That need for a trade-off provides a little nudge away from a focus on what matters.

                      With something like imprisoning people there should be no way that society distances itself from the awesome moral responsibility entailed (e.g., ‘we’ve fired the contractor’, ‘rewritten the KPIs’, ‘it’s the company’s job to meet their KPIs and I (the Minister) shouldn’t step in to interfere’, etc.). If recidivism rates are too high, if prisoners are being ill-treated, then we have to change that directly, and accept responsibility – directly – for those changes.

                      [Eliot’s quote was the basis for the book (and film) ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’.]

                  • BLiP

                    No worries, mate. Always good to read your comments here. Thanks.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Considering the withdrawal effects I’d say that banning smoking in prisons would probably come under the term of “cruel and unusual” punishment of which there happens to be an international law, which we’ve signed and ratified, against.

    NACT, breaking the law – again.

    • swimmer 5.1

      Absolutely it’s hard enough for people on the outside to quit. For some it takes several attempts.

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        So, prisons should keep supplying heroin to heroin addicts for the same reason then?

        • swimmer 5.1.1.1

          Maybe methodone

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.2

          Methadone programs are run in prisons, TS, so, yes, we do supply drugs to heroin addicts. Just as we do on the outside.

          • tsmithfield 5.1.1.2.1

            OK. So we supply a substitute for the real thing with respect to heroin. So, by that argument we should supply nicotine patches to prisoners rather than smokes. Agreed?

            • felix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              We don’t supply smokes to prisoners at all. So no, your logic doesn’t follow at all.

              • tsmithfield

                We don’t supply heroin either. But as VOR points out, methadone programs are run in prisons. So the analogy does follow. You need to think a bit more felix. If you want to be pedantic, you can replace “rather than smokes” with “to assist in the withdrawal from smokes”. There, happy now?

                • felix

                  No it doesn’t. Heroin is illegal. If you and your nat buddies decide to outlaw cigarettes then you might be getting closer to a valid comparison.

                  You’re still miles off though.

                  You’re really not very good at this. Go back to your first comment (5.1.1) and see if you can see where you left logic behind.

                  • tsmithfield

                    1. Draco Bastard: “I’d say that banning smoking in prisons would probably come under the term of “cruel and unusual’ punishment of which there happens to be an international law, which we’ve signed and ratified, against.”
                    2. On that basis, if prisons withhold an addictive substance (legal or illegal) they should provide a legal substitute to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
                    3. Nicotine patches are a legal substitute for cigarettes that will reduce withdrawal symptoms when cigarettes have been effectively made illegal for prisoners.
                    4. Therefore, withholding cigarettes cannot be seen as “cruel and unusual” punishment because there is a legal substitute for cigarettes that are to be banned.

                    • BLiP

                      2. On that basis, if prisons withhold an addictive substance (legal or illegal) they should provide a legal substitute to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

                      Yes! Very good, that is where you left logic behind. You are attempting to equate a legal substance with an illegal substance. Informally that’s called comparing apples with oranges, an entry-level logic fallacy.

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.2

      Actually Draco, ratifying an international treaty means nothing unless it’s provisions are individually and specifially codified in statute by the signatory. So say our learned judges.

      I know this, incidentally, because I’m representing a prisoner who is challenging the WA Corrections Department’s “Smoking Reduction Policy” before the State Administrative Tribunal and am spending this week researching the law on such things.

      We can’t even take the action on human rights grounds (unless we do so under Commonwealth law) because there is no state legislation protecting human rights*. The fact that Australia has signed international covenants on human rights generally and the rights of prisoners specifically means, therefore, nothing.

      Because WA does have an Equal Opportunity Act we’re forced to restrict our ambit to the fact that male and female prisoners are treated differently – no doubt because of the fear that the males would be more likely to riot, the restrictions under which they smoke are far more lax.

      Which doesn’t make NACT’s lack of respect for treaties signed in good faith any the less appalling, I might add.

      * At this stage Federal action isn’t being contemplated due to financial constraints. I’m working pro bono and the prisoner concerned has already received dire warnings from the judge about the burden of costs should she lose at state level.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        That depends upon the country although I think you may be right about NZ in that respect.

  6. marsman 6

    Private prisons and Three Strikes are just a few examples of the neoliberal scams being visited on NZ by the Nact glove-puppets.

    • Bored 6.1

      I vote that the glove puppets, accompanied by TS and Santi be “sent down” to do field research into this issue. Up close and personal with the others in the cell, for a suitable duration aswell.

    • logie97 6.2

      correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Lucky Strike a brand of smokes?

  7. The state system in the UK sometimes ‘retoxifies’ heroin addicts prior to release because too many risk overdosing and death when freed. And NZ inmates can and do receive methadone while incarcerated. So they will be granted their heroin substitute but not tobacco. That’s consistency for you.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    It’s just occured to me that Collins’ quoted reason about possible legal action on passive smoking is not about the current situation in prison, it’s about double bunking.

    Obviously, such a court case would have more chance of succeeding if the complainant was forced to spend their days locked in a metal box with a smoker, rather than the current situation where there is more physical seperation between prisoners and less direct or indirect exposure to smoke.

    Still, the great thing about this proposal is that guards will be able to supplement their earnings by selling fags to the prisoners, as they will still be able to bring their own ciggies in with them when they start a shift. Gee, I love the free market.

  9. SHG 9

    There is nothing in New Zealand – NOTHING – like the all-pervasive racism that exists in Australia, particularly the treatment of Aboriginal people. New Zealand is a touchy-feely non-racist utopia by comparison. In NZ it’s racism when someone uses the word “darkie”, but in Australia no-one blinks an eye when some drunken rednecks run an Aboriginal down and kill him for kicks. It’s not even regarded as a serious crime. And when an Aboriginal dies while in police custody? Shit, that’s just what Abos do isn’t it?

    If you leave a dog in a car with the windows closed you can be prosecuted, but if you cook an Aboriginal man to death that’s just like, whatever, no crime committed.

  10. Rharn 10

    There is something inherently wrong when a private company can make profits out of other peoples misfortunes.

    • Paul 10.1

      You mean like my mechanic charging me if my car engine blows up, or my surgeon charging me to fix my knee…

      • BLiP 10.1.1

        Did the government force you to buy a car . . . did the government make you break your knee? Your logic isn’t.

        • Paul 10.1.1.1

          Did the government force you to break the law? Whose logic is flawed?

          • BLiP 10.1.1.1.1

            By failing to provide equal opportunity and real path ways out of poverty then, yes, the government forces people to break the law. Once imprisoned, does the prisoner have a choice of which prison to go to or whether or not he’s going to bother with prison at all? Your logic fails on the presumption that prisoners have the same choices you do.

    • Rex Widerstrom 10.2

      Yikes, I’m going to start sounding like big bruv… 🙂

      Committing a criminal act of sufficient gravity to land you in jail isn’t a “misfortune” (though your life circunstances which caused your criminality may well be).

      Yes there are lots of people in jail who oughtn’t to be there, and ought to be repaying society in society, but their crimes weren’t “misfortunes” either.

      “Oops, that bloke ran into my fist… 27 times”. “Look, that money just fell out of her bank account into mine, I never touched it”. “I was walking past this car when the door sprang open and I tripped and fell in”. No, these are acts of criminality which impact directly or indirectly upon a raft of victims including the offender’s family.

      So the private prison operator stands to receive money for imprisoning someone only when that person commits an offence against someone else. But that’s when we as a society can make a choice. Do we pay the private operator (or demand our state corrections agency) make that person’s life as unpleasant as possible?

      Or do we say instead that we want to see them well treated and genuinely rehabilitated; equipped with the skills they need to enjoy a life without crimninality once released? And pay according to the operator’s ability to deliver those results?

      If we do it that way, the private prison operator isn’t “making profits from misery”, they’r making profits from turning someone’s life around, which benefits not only them but their family and the wider community.

      • logie97 10.2.1

        Now let’s see – Judith Collins is concerned about the health of what sector of society?
        Say again?
        If her reasons are genuine then this must be one of the richest examples and actions of “Nanny State” and it’s being imposed by what party in politics?

        Or it is another example of a “look we’re getting tough on the crims…”
        Yeah, sounds much more like it and in keeping.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        Well, in theory, we should make the decision that provides the best outcome for the least price and that is, invariably, not through private companies out to make a profit. The profit itself is an added cost above and beyond what it cost to provide that service (otherwise known as a deadweight loss).

      • swimmer 10.2.3

        .

      • mcflock 10.2.4

        “If we do it that way, the private prison operator isn’t “making profits from misery’, they’r making profits from turning someone’s life around, which benefits not only them but their family and the wider community.”

        assuming 100% of contracts meant that 100% of prisoners found prison enjoyable and rewarding, then the corporation would still be profiting from denying somebody else their innate right to freedom. Yes, society out of self protection chooses to limit the prisoners’ rights, but there is still a major threshhold crossed when somebody else profits from it. Paying people to limit the rights of others is regrettable but unavoidable – we need police and prison officers, as well as soldiers etc. Paying corporations to do so (especially bearing in mind the track history of the marketplace) is both regrettable and avoidale.

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    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    4 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    6 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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