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Serco, Lotu-Iiga and the death of Nick Evans

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, July 23rd, 2015 - 69 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, national, national/act government, Politics, privatisation, Public Private Partnerships, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

National’s ideological blindspot is that it believes that private enterprise is better than the state, every time.  Recent news about Serco suggests very strongly that this is not so.

The privatisation of Auckland’s remand prison system was based on the premise that private enterprise can do just as well as the Corrections Department but more cheaply and with improved results.  National has talked up Serco for quite a while.

Before her unfortunate fall from grace then Minister of Corrections Judith Collins said this about Serco’s appointment to run Auckland’s remand prison:

The appointment of Serco as the contract manager for Mt Eden/ACRP will bring in new ideas and international best practice which will benefit the entire corrections sector.

Serco has a strong track record in managing prisons. I’m confident that the company will bring the high standards of professionalism, safety, rehabilitation and security expected by the Government to Mt Eden/ACRP.

Judith may wish to review her confidence.  The treatment of Nick Evans suggests that the prison is neither safe nor secure.

Kelvin Davis has done sterling work on the issue and yesterday had a National Minister as compromised on an issue as I have ever seen.  Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga was literally on the ropes.  He was clearly dodging when he answered the question about when he first knew about Nick Evans’ dropping by answering a completely different question about when he learned about Evans’s death and looked really awkward.  Chris Hipkins was rightfully upset at Carter’s protection of the Minister.

But the Government’s denials are looking desperate.  In yet another case of see no evil the Government’s standard response is that the various allegations of fights, drug and alcohol taking and possession of cellphones all backed up by physical evidence are “unproven”.  From Stuff:

Under fire Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga insisted on Wednesday the claims were unproven but admitted he had heard “rumours and allegations” about the death.

He was unable to say when he first heard those rumours but confirmed no action had been taken to refer the matter to police.

“[There was] Kelvin Davis’s allegation about this during the week but I’ve heard all sorts of rumours about this death and I’ve said to my officials ‘get to the bottom of it, let’s have an inquiry, an investigation’.”

Lotu-Iiga said any decision on a police investigation may be dependent on the outcome of a coroner’s inquiry and investigation by the chief prisons inspector.

Serco and the minister have both denied any knowledge of a practice called “dropping” – and say the first they heard about it was this week.

But it has now emerged that Lotu-Iiga was grilled about the practice by Davis at a parliamentary select committee hearing weeks ago.

A transcript of proceedings show Lotu-Iiga was told by Davis: “There’s this guy that passed away recently…apparently he had a ruptured lung. I’ve asked ‘how do you get a ruptured lung? It’s often from a high impact collision and there’s accusations that prisoners have been thrown off balconies and then they’re getting transferred out of Mt Eden correctional facility.”

Asked on Wednesday about that transcript, Lotu-Iiga appeared to have no recollection of the exchange.

And an allegation has been made that news of a riot has been hushed up.  Again from Stuff:

There are also allegations of a riot that was hushed up – which Lotu-Iiga also denied on Wednesday.

But he confirmed there had been an “incident” which required the Corrections “advance response team” to enter Mt Eden and take control.

“They [the prisoners] were barricading themselves in with hoses….ultimately the prisoners gave up and it was dealt with.”

He rejected suggestions Serco had failed to report it as a riot because that would have incurred financial penalties.

The basic problem is that Serco’s business model is to save costs by having lower staff levels than state run prisons.  In state prisons there is a requirement of having one guard for every 15 prisoners.  In Serco the standard requirement is one for every 23 prisoners but if a guard is ill there is not necessarily any cover.  This Radio New Zealand post from November last year indicates that Corrections Association president Bevan Hanlon has witnessed prison wings with one staff member supervising 90 prisoners.

The article also suggests that Lotu Iiga’s claims that ACRP’s performance was good is not correct.

Figures obtained by Radio New Zealand show that in the 12 months to June there were 139 fights between prisoners and 26 assaults on guards.

There were 141 prisoner assaults in 2013 and 149 in 2012. There were also 39 assaults on guards in the 12 months to June 2013, and 22 attacks in 2012.

Mt Eden has the capacity to house 966 prisoners. By comparison, Christchurch Prison has 926 inmates and reported 83 assaults last year.

The Corrections Association and the Public Service Association, which both represent prison officers working at Mt Eden prison, said the figures proved what they had long been saying: that there were simply not enough staff to keep themselves and inmates safe.

The stench of a coverup is strong and Serco’s continued involvement in our Corrections System has to be questioned.  Despite a young man dying of an injury consistent with trauma police have not as yet been asked to investigate the death.  Lotu-Iiga is all at sea trying to explain why he has made the most basic of inquiries.  And why someone was transferred out of Serco’s custody clearly while suffering from life threatening injuries needs full and proper investigation.

69 comments on “Serco, Lotu-Iiga and the death of Nick Evans ”

  1. Good post – Serco must go!!! The minister must go!!! and I feel a bit queasy saying it – good on you Kelvin.

  2. maui 2

    Video link not working.

    [Should be fine now – MS]

  3. Huginn 3

    The ride from Mt Eden Prison to Ngawha takes nearly 4 hours – half a day. That’s how long it took private sector contractor Serco, greedy for profit – to literally transfer its risk back into the public sector.

    This is awful. My thoughts are with Nick Evans’ family and loved ones.

    • Atiawa 3.1

      It’s the same old story of privatizing the profits and nationalizing the losses.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Which, of course, is why Judith Collins won’t be reviewing her confidence. Privatisation guarantees private profits and so National will keep on doing it no matter how bad things get.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Crimes Act 1961, Section 195A. Failure to protect child or vulnerable adult.

      Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years who, being a person described in subsection (2), has frequent contact with a child or vulnerable adult (the victim) and—
      (a) knows that the victim is at risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault as the result of—
      (i) an unlawful act by another person; or
      (ii) an omission by another person to discharge or perform a legal duty if, in the circumstances, that omission is a major departure from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person to whom that legal duty applies; and
      (b) fails to take reasonable steps to protect the victim from that risk.
      (2) The persons are—
      (a) a member of the same household as the victim; or
      (b) a person who is a staff member of any hospital, institution, or residence where the victim resides…

      Not calling an ambulance, for example.

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    Corrections Minister keeps giving stupid excuses and is still trying to pass the buck, showing his shocking incompetence.

    Henry-Davis
    http://www.3news.co.nz/TVShows/PaulHenry
    —————–
    Henry-Sam
    http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/corrections-minister-to-ask-serco-serious-questions-2015072307#axzz3ges1QjCQ

    [Thanks Clemgeopin looks like the interview with Kelvin is at http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/kelvin-davis-prison-dropping-tip-of-the-iceberg-2015072209#axzz3gfBQNTW3 – MS]

    • Bob 4.1

      You know Sam Lotu-Iiga is in serious trouble when he has now been completely owned in interviews with Sean Plunkett, Mike Hosking and Paul Henry!
      He will be gone by tomorrow unless he actually manages to hold Serco to account today.

      My thoughts are with the family of Nick Evans.

    • Clemgeopin 4.2

      Yes, thanks. Previously, my link was taking to where you are pointing.

    • Malconz 4.3

      The government’s constant line is that Labour is “just playing politics,” and “where’s the evidence?” Excuse me Minister, it’s YOUR effing job to produce the evidence after you’ve been alerted to an appalling situation! Jeez, they’re a pathetic bunch.

      • Bob 4.3.1

        That’s a bit simplistic Malconz, the Minister has been alerted to 2 situations where prisoners have been ‘dropped’, one resulting in injuries that have presumably (still awaiting coroners report, but either way the act is reprehensible) lead to a death, the other lead to two broken legs.
        Kelvin Davis has claimed ‘dropping’ is wide spread and commonplace, Serco has told the minister there have only been 2 accounts of this happening and if it was widespread they would have a number of lower limb injuries coming to their attention, which they have not. If these are the only two acts that have occurred there is no further evidence to find, so it is on Kelvin Davis to back up his unsubstantiated claims!

        Don’t get me wrong here, Sam Lotu-Iiga should be sacked as Corrections Minister over his mishandling of the whole situation around prisoners in Serco run prisons being able to run amok, and the fact he hasn’t held Serco to account for a riot last year, but in this case it is on Kelvin Davis to produce evidence around widespread ‘dropping’, or at least obtain a signed affidavit from a witness of these accounts, so he can categorically state there have been more than just the two cases Serco have admitted too.

        • mickysavage 4.3.1.1

          I regret that a signed affidavit from Nick Evans is not possible.

          And Davis made a very good point. This Government is that vindictive do you think that people would willingly disclose their identity?

          • Bob 4.3.1.1.1

            I wasn’t saying he should release a signed affidavit from Nick Evans, Kelvin Davis has said ‘dropping’ is commonplace at Mt Eden, he said he has a source who is an “upstanding member of society” for this, obtain a signed affidavit from his source then release the details with his sources details redacted, it’s not rocket surgery.
            I understand why someone would be hesitant to help out the Labour Party (look at the Barfoot and Thompson worker), but Kelvin Davis is making unsubstantiated claims about Serco, Serco denies those claims, Malconz thinks it is up to the Minister to come up with evidence for something there is no proof is actually widespread, I disagree.
            It ‘is’ the ministers job to find out what happened to Nick Evans and hold the party/parties responsible for what happened to account, it ‘is’ the ministers job to follow up on the fight club’ videos, the cigarettes, the alcohol and the use of mobile phones by prisoners. It ‘is’ the Ministers job to follow up on claims of a riot in a Serco facility. On many of these the Minister has been shown to be out of his depth and should be removed from the portfolio, but it is not his job to go on wild goose chases because Kelvin Davis heard that something from an unknown source.

            Also, do you think it is just this Government that is vindictive?

  5. Karen 5

    There will be a protest against SERCO outside Mt Eden Prison at 11am on 1 August (Saturday).

  6. Clemgeopin 6

    Corrections boss says ‘prisoner-fell-was-not-dropped’

    “The Inspectorate concluded that the prisoner fell as a result of being chased by another offender who then physically assaulted the prisoner. There was no suggestion made in the report of any practice of ‘dropping’.

    “He was hospitalised, treated and returned to prison,” Smith said.
    Corrections National Office were informed of the incident within 24 hours and an investigation found “no evidence” that prison staff were “aware that the prisoner’s welfare was at risk prior to their officer witnessing him fall over the balustrade and being chased by another prisoner”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/70472683/prisoner-fell-was-not-dropped–corrections-boss

    • McFlock 6.1

      “Fell” while being chased by another inmate.
      Even if the semantic distinction of the event is accurate, it still shows that serco can’t keep their prisoners safe.

      So a nice PR / cover-their-arse distraction attempt.

    • BM 6.2

      Guy gets beaten up in prison, that’s never happened before.

      I don’t see much of a story here, I do see Labour politicizing the death of some guy though.

      Racist hit piece, now this, stay classy Labour.

      • maui 6.2.1

        Let’s delete the incident from our memory banks then. No death, no problem. Serco delivers inmates flowers every morning through their cell door while Valerie Adams, the chief warden, oversees the tightly run ship.

        • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.1

          Remember Liam Ashley? Stuff like this happens in prisons whether they’re privately run or union run (which is what this about really) so really not a big deal

          but hey anything to take the heat away from Labour eh

          • joe90 6.2.1.1.1

            Remember Chubb Security….

            • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes I do, do you?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Liam_Ashley

              In 2007, John Belgrave, New Zealand Chief Ombudsman, and Mel Smith, the ombudsman of the Corrections Department, conducted an inquiry into the department’s policy for transporting prisoners.Belgrave described the Corrections’ prisoner transport policies as “inhumane”, and ordered a review of the system.After publication of the report, Simon Power, a Justice & Corrections spokesman, asked O’Connor to resign due to the shortcomings in his department, though he stopped short of saying that O’Connor was directly responsible for Ashley’s death. Power criticized the system for failing to keep Ashley, a first time offender, and Baker, a high-risk prisoner, separated.

              • dukeofurl

                Have you missed the point.
                The prison van was operated by Chubb.

                So we are down to incidents that happened under a private operator being blamed on the public corrections.
                You’re a magician , Sammy needs you quick smart.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  No, they were operating under contract and I’ll bet that Chubb didn’t set out the conditions of the contract

                  • mickysavage

                    So are Serco. Can you not see that Ashley’s death is another example of why private enterprise should have nothing to do with corrections?

                    • McFlock

                      Stop diverting, ms. The entire point of this and all threads is “Labour did it too” /sarc

                  • maui

                    Here’s a breach of that contract you were talking about:

                    13. The non seperation of Baker as a Prisoner at Risk in accordance with the contract requirements (schedule 2, Service Description 6.1.9 – Separation of Groups of Prisoners) provided the ability for Liam and Baker to communicate during transportation both to and from Court on 24 August 2006.

          • Galeandra 6.2.1.1.2

            To ‘Puckish Rogue’ a man’s death is merely one more in a galaxy of violent prison incidents “so really not a big deal….” and pursued by opposition parties led by Labour only as part of a political agenda. ie you feel free to judge other’s motives by assessing only your own.You really are a moral lowlife.

            Deconstructing your avatar reveals clearly the poseur you are. Uncle reveals himself as a twerp.

            BTW the philosophical issue regarding the management of prisons isn’t a matter about whether they’re privately run or UNION run. It’s about the role of the STATE in dealing with transgression while it protects, rehabilitates and ensures justice both for offenders and the society they spring from. Spot the difference?

            Unionism is a matter quite aside from the issue of this man’s death, though no doubt the politics of this r w government could be held to be the ultimate cause. But what do you care, eh?

      • Crashcart 6.2.2

        Dissmissing this incident with “Guy gets beaten up in prison, that’s never happened before” is exactly what I would expect from a supporter of the current government.

        It goes hand in hand with house prices go up, thats never happened before.

        Are you the kind of guy who gets up in the morning and goes “well I could have a shower and put on clean clothes but fuck it everything will just get dirty again”?

        I thought private enterprise was all about continuos improvement.

        • Puckish Rogue 6.2.2.1

          If you think this has nothing to do with politics (privitisation = bad, unions = good and quick we need an issue to take peoples minds of our racism) then you must be seriously deluded

          • weizguy 6.2.2.1.1

            This has a lot to do with privatisation. The Government were told that privatisation of prison services was a bad idea. They were provided the evidence of why it doesn’t work in the justice sector. They did it anyway.

            Live by the sword, die by the sword.

            There is a lot more to come out here. SERCO has been hiding things from Corrections. Corrections has been hiding things from the Minister. The MInister has been hiding things from the public. If it’s just the Minister that goes, there will be a great number of people counting their lucky stars.

            • Puckish Rogue 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Well according to that well-known supporter of National/Act Willy Jackson this is not new, has nothing to do with privatisation and was worse decades ago in comparison to now

              • dukeofurl

                Willy has to keep the bread buttered. Thats been obvious for some time.

                The real issue is the cover up to make Serco look great.

                That’s the real reason Sammy is saying rumour and innuendo one day and its verified by his prisons boss the next.

              • Saarbo

                Stop fighting PR, you just got “owned”.

        • Henry Filth 6.2.2.2

          Private enterprise is about providing a product or a service and

          A) making money from it

          B) making the product or service good enough to make the buyer want to come back for more.

          I should imagine that SERCO are making money.

          I should NOT imagine that the New Zealand government would want to come back for more. I really shouldn’t. But I’m not holding my breath. . .

      • Skinny 6.2.3

        Meanwhile today Slugger Bill English says “the state shouldn’t be running business interests.” I guess he means hand more over to the International traveling circus Serco? Lol classic!

        • dukeofurl 6.2.3.1

          Why the hell was the taxpayer through its Landcorp bought in to milk cows for Shanghai Pengxin ?

          Bills a laugh when he says that stuff.

      • adam 6.2.4

        BM are you saying that death in custody is now acceptable?

        All of the opposition are politicizing a death in custody. Poignant, as the company that held the duty of care, has had many other individuals die, and other still be injured in their custody. Just do a search of their name – it might just disturbed you. I know wishful thinking.

        Needless death, is just that needless. Any opposition worth it’s salt, would call in to question the events and circumstances around this tragedy. Try empathy for once BM, or do you have no moral compass?

      • mickysavage 6.2.5

        Guy gets beaten up in prison, that’s never happened before.

        I don’t see much of a story here, I do see Labour politicizing the death of some guy though.

        Keep it up BM. You know the problem with your complete intolerance? That guy had family of all different sorts and sizes. Who knows, one of his relatives may have been a strong National supporter who is now questioning his choices.

      • Tricledrown 6.2.6

        Where McCready he should prosecute
        The National govt.for being Accessories to a Murder.
        If this was your average Joe blogs on the St or anyone else the police would have no hesitation in arresting interviewing and charging anyone trying to coverup a Murder.

      • Tricledrown 6.2.7

        Questions now have 5o be asked about any donations Serco have made to the National Party as Serco has made donations to the Tories in the UK.
        And how many shares are held by National party members and MP’s
        It’s unbelievable that a company bidding for govt contracts is allowed to donate to the party awarding them contracts.

    • weizguy 6.3

      I’m sure there will be CCTV footage to that effect. I await the release of said footage. Until then, I’m sceptical.

      As for the veracity of the reports…

    • maui 6.4

      I’d take them at their word at that, it’s not like their prison has an issue with reliability… no contraband phones, alcohol getting in, or organised fighting between inmates, or even rumours of dropping inmates… oh wait

    • freedom 6.5

      The article has been updated and it is now clear the Correction’s boss, when making reference to a prisoner ‘falling’ from the balcony and being hospitalised before returning to prison, is in relation to the reports of a prisoner breaking his legs, not the incident leading to the death of Evans.

  7. Adrian 7

    What pisses me off is the lazy reporting that passes for journalism here. Look up ” Can n Winston Churchills Grandson Save Serco? ” . It’s a Guardian article from last month which details exactly how completely inept and corrupt Serco is world wide. It’s also on the brink of collapse facing court cases and inquiries everywhere.
    We should know this shit.
    Why none of this is public knowledge in NZ is beyond me, it’s only a click away, admittedly I was lucky to see it while in the UK.
    God, if only we had a paper like that here.

    • Steve Reeves 7.1

      Well, it’s getting closer 🙂 The Guardian has done a huge job on research and reporting in the health scandal (private provider…) in the detention camps in Aus.

      So, only The Tasman to get over now…

  8. Keith 8

    Is Nationals basic strategy of lying to make this go away really going to achieve the results needed to stop this horror? No!

  9. Keith 9

    Why does this jail have elevated landings that people can fall from?

  10. CnrJoe 10

    please delete this moderator but – 3rd last line of the post

    “Lout-Iiga is all at sea trying to explain why he has made the most basic of inquiries.”

    I like the lout bit but it reads to me like a typo?

    [Fixed thanks and yes it was a typo 😀 – MS]

    • Ed 10.1

      Is he really having trouble explaining why he has made the most basic of inquiries, or should it be why he has _not_ made the most basic of inquiries?

  11. Mick 11

    it is not a blind spot. it is deliberately farming out the prerogatives of the state to private enterprise.
    tax farming will be next

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Yeah, according to Chris Hipkins:

    Oh my goodness. Sam Lotu-Iiga just told the House he rates his own career survival more important than sorting out Serco. Seriously!

    • dukeofurl 12.1

      Didnt he say yesterday , there was evidence of leg injuries ?

      Today we have evidence of leg injuries

      “Private prison operator Serco has been accused of a “cover up” after it attempted to keep from the public details about an inmate who suffered two broken legs.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11485646

      The day previous there was no evidence of ‘dropping’ from balconies, then there was evidence of injuries but claims he ‘slipped over’

      Everyone knows inside the prison, no matter how bad you are hurt, you never rat on them, as you are targeted as a nark for ever.

  13. tc 13

    He’s already double dipped as an MP and akl city councillor pre supershity and fibbed his butt off during campaigning up against the ineffective Beaumont who let it slide past rather than take him on.

    Such potential at deception and troughing and that smile n wave is coming along nicely also so lets see if he is in the club or expendable.

  14. Ad 14

    Lotu-Iiga hasn’t cauterised this one yet, despite the “I really told them this time”.

    Kelvin clearly has sources that want to be tapped. I think there’s at least two more weeks worth in this yet. Nice hit Kelvin, well played. It’s still bleeding.

    • tc 14.1

      The hollowmen will be weighing up the distraction effect given akl housing, sheepgate, a prominent NZ’r, tanking dairy sector, flag sinkhole, another charter school fiasco, state housing flog off etc.

      Sammy’s about to find out his true ‘worth’ methinks.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Also not an easy time for Key and Ede’s House or media management, because with fuck all put on Parliament’s agenda, they have nothing to shift to another story.

        And so we have a week’s worth of stuffed pigeons and jailbait.
        It’s Key’s own fault.

  15. Clemgeopin 15

    Questions to Ministers & Answers

    Mt Eden Corrections Facility—Performance-related Fees

    1. DAVID CLENDON (Green) to the Minister of Corrections : What specific events has he been made aware of at the SERCO-run Mt Eden Corrections Facility that could trigger a specific deduction from the performance-related fee, and which of those events have resulted in a specific deduction?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA (Minister of Corrections): Some of the incidents include insufficient staffing levels, mixing accused prisoners with other prisoners, minimal entitlements, and incident notification. In the financial year 2014-15, these deductions amounted to $300,000.

    David Clendon : Given that there have been deductions, why did the Minister only very recently praise Serco as “performing exceptionally”?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : I said that statement with regard to the performance tables for prisons, where they have been given an “exceptional” performance rating.

    David Clendon : At the Minister’s meeting with Serco today, did they advise him of any additional incidents at Mt Eden Corrections Facility that may result in a deduction?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : No.

    David Clendon : Given that the Department of Corrections produced a report on fight club incidents over a year ago and given that the department reported on a dropping incident earlier this year yet the Minister knew nothing about it until last week, will he concede that there is a dysfunctional relationship between him and his department?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : No, I do not believe that there is a dysfunctional relationship, but what I can say is that I expressed my disappointment to the department for not elevating that to the chief executive and me.

    Mahesh Bindra : Now that he is caught between his own career and Serco’s survival, which will he choose?

    Hon Gerry Brownlee : No, that’s not a reasonable question.

    Mr SPEAKER : Order! I am going to listen to the question again, please.

    Mahesh Bindra : Now that he is caught between his own career and Serco’s survival, which will he choose?

    Mr SPEAKER : No, I consider that that question has ministerial responsibility.

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : Well, I believe in my own career, thank you very much.

    David Clendon : Does the Minister stand by his statement that Mt Eden Corrections Facility is “performing exceptionally” under Serco’s management; if so, why?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : That performance table was in respect of the year ending 31 March 2015. However, I did say to Serco in our meeting this morning that there was room for improvement and that it needed to improve its performance, based on some of the evidence and incidents that we have seen in recent days.

    David Clendon : Will the Minister now guarantee that Serco’s contract for the management of Mt Eden Corrections Facility will be renewed?

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : I cannot guarantee that that will happen. What I can say is that we will get the findings of the review, in terms of the incidents that were reported, and going forward we will make decisions that will be based on its performance.

    David Clendon : Why is Serco only on notice and not facing immediate cancellation of its contract following the death of a prisoner, a prison riot, video evidence of fight clubs, evidence of the manufacture of alcohol and tobacco; or do they actually need to burn Mt Eden Corrections Facility down before the Minister will—

    Mr SPEAKER : Order!

    Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA : Well, unlike the Green Party, we believe that there is a process to follow—due process. There needs to be a review, we need to get to the bottom of the facts around some of the incidents that we have seen in recent days, and then we will make the appropriate decisions.

  16. RedBaronCV 16

    And by the look of this he doesn’t know what being on remand is.
    “mixing accused prisoners with other prisoners”
    Are remand prisoners who are guilty of exactly nothing until convicted by a court being mixed with convicted prisoners which is a huge No No.

    Wonder if Sam has realised yet that hanging him out to dry might be the distraction de jour for the Nacts from housing speculation

  17. keyman 17

    whats the big deal so someone dies look at all the money we have saved

    • Clemgeopin 17.1

      Does that money saving idea of yours apply if it was you we were talking about that was bashed, chased and dropped from a high balcony collapsing your lung, causing concussion and broken limbs and bones? Would your mum, partner, children and near and dear ones say about you what you are saying about someone else’s death?

      Here is hoping some bad karma does not happen to you for your bad sentiments. You better retract, apologise and ask some forgiveness, man.

    • Macro 17.2

      So why don’t you save us all some money – and take a running jump.

  18. upnorth 19

    why doesnt Davies go the local police station and tell them there has been a murder?

    Problem solved and the Davis can back up his statement

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga thrown under a train by Corrections bosses

    The minister has been thrown under a train by his department after it confirmed serious incidents at Mt Eden prison that, if not entirely proving allegations by Labour MP Kelvin Davis about a cover-up over the death of another prisoner, point to exactly the sort of standover tactics and violence that he claims to be rife at the privately-run prison.

    Those allegations include an inmate being chased off a landing before being assaulted by another inmate and hospitalised with leg and ankle fractures.

    The cover-ups by this government just keep getting uncovered.

    • Tricledrown 20.1

      More bad news for Minister of corrections another prisoner has said he was badly treated and confirmed that prisoners were being dropped from from the first floor as part of an initiation ceremony.
      Injured prisoners were being shipped out to avoid Serco paying heavy fines.

  20. shorts 21

    Found on reddit just now….

    “If anyone’s interested in the NZ prison system, ask away. I was in Rimutaka, Spring Hill(during riot), Mt Eden(Serco), Milton, Waikeria, and Paparua.”

    I was recently released after a 4 year sentence in NZ jails AMA from newzealand

    Relevant:
    The screws were smuggling in boxing gloves up in Serco too getting prisoners to fight in a little room with no camera and placing bets.

    and
    Seen heads split open, people rushed to hospital, stabbings, boiling water assaults, people thrown off tiers, screws smashing a kids head into the concrete.
    The last one doesn’t specify the prison though.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
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    3 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
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    4 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
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    5 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    6 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
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    1 week ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
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    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago