Serco should be sacked

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, July 21st, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: crime, national, prisons, privatisation, same old national - Tags: ,

Kelvin Davis’s speech today during the urgent debate in Parliament today.

And Peseta Sam Loto-Iiga’s rather strange response.

And some twitter response to the debate.

46 comments on “Serco should be sacked”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Hes including the ‘independent office of the ombudsman’ in the investigation.

    That would be the overworked and under resourced ombudsman whos supposed to act for the public and its dealings with the bureaucracy.

  2. G C 2

    Serco Fight Club = Torture
    Serco + Torture = Investigation of Public Prisons

    1 + 1 must equal 3

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    “Serco should be sacked

    What about the idiot inefficient Minister? Why not him?

    • G C 3.1

      My thoughts exactly Clemgeopin. Labour has truly failed to fire over this issue. Oh how I longed for Helen Clark in Parliament today. She would have led a brilliant attack. She would have made mince-meat of them!

      After seeing Andrew Little’s lack-lustre performance, I even longed for David Cunliffe – who ironically sat behind him.

      Also remember, prisoners don’t have the right to vote so, it’s imperative their right to safety is insured. This issue is so serious that if capitalised on well will send National into a tail spin.

      – National have dropped the ball big-time.
      – Labour need to work on Andrew Little big-time and bring Cunliffe back in from the cold.
      – Serco obviously need to go.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    I agree with the headline. Sacked, burnt to the ground, and their fields sown with salt. There is no alternative.

    Unless the National Party’s owner/donors lose their shirts every single time they buy policy here, they will continue to get away with it.

  5. alwyn 5

    Poor old Toby Manhire.
    He clearly is pretty dumb if he still thinks that John Campbell is still on TV isn’t he?
    Someone put the poor chap out of his misery.

  6. Pat 6

    this from a company aware it is under the microscope and trying to demonstrate they are capable of running all our prisons…..hate to think how they would perform 10 years on if they did.

  7. Nordy 7

    Alwyn – you just demonstrated that he isn’t the one who is ‘pretty dumb’ ….

  8. dukeofurl 8


    “Labour MP Kelvin Davis has claimed that a prisoner who was thought to have died from a superbug had severe injuries that could only have been caused by violent abuse within jail.”

    He told a story of a prisoner named only as Evans who arrived at Ngawha prison in Northland with a punctured lung.

    “He was in such bad shape that almost immediately the guards at Ngawha transferred him to Whangarei Hospital where he subsequently passed away,” Mr Davis said.

    I’m told on good authority that there is a practice in Mt Eden Correctional Facility that is called ‘dropping’, where … new prisoners … are sized up by gangs, they’re bashed up, and they’re dropped off the balconies onto the concrete below for good measure.

    “That’s what happened to prisoner Evans. He was dropped off the balcony, his lung was ruptured, but then he was transferred out of Mt Eden Correctional Facility and sent north to Ngawha.”

    Mr Davis also cited another case in which an inmate was transferred to a Whanganui prison with two broken legs after being dropped off a landing at the Mt Eden prison.

    Sorry for the cut and paste job- its in the speech above !

    [Duplicate comment deleted] – Bill

    • AmaKiwi 8.1

      By transferring injured Serco/Mt. Eden prisoners to public prisons, Serco managers are doing what they are required to do by law: maximize shareholder profits.

      By law, company managers CANNOT do anything for the good the community, the environment, public health, their employees, or their clients if that action is not the most profitable course of action for the company’s shareholders.

      Are you getting some idea why privatization is destroying civilization and the planet?

    • G C 8.2

      Shocking just Shocking

  9. maui 9

    Mass walkout by most of National’s MPs at the start of Davis’s speech – good to see they care.

  10. Gruntie 10

    The Nats walk out because they are embarrassed

    • Molly 10.1

      The Nats walk out because they are embarassed not to have at hand the appropriate Crosby/Textor response.

      They still don’t care.

  11. Ad 11

    Minister Sam looks like he’s peaked in Cabinet – and Corrections is only above Racing and Consumer Affairs.

    Good mid-level story with lots and lots to run.

    Key’s “renewed” bench is looking worse than the Wallabies.

  12. ropata 12

    John Roughan and DPF will find a way to
    a) minimise the problem
    b) praise national
    c) blame Labour

    (i.e. bullshit the public again…)

  13. Dan1 13

    Don’t forget SERCO will be in the frame for privatisation of schools in NZ. Do a Google search for SERCO +education + England. You will be inspired by the vision the Nacts have for public education in NZ. The public private partnerships as espoused by Hekia and education planners will end up with the same results as Mt Eden prison and some of the charter schools in NZ, as well as New Orleans in the States and Bradford in England.

  14. Sable 14

    The Americanization of our public services with the inevitable results. Just wait till the little traitors sign the TPPA, it will be 1000 times worse again.

  15. mpledger 15

    Why isn’t the media asking “how bad does serco have to perform for their contract to be invalidated?” and “What have corrections put in place is serco’s contract is invalidated (or they walk away)?”.

  16. Crashcart 16

    What amazes me is that he accuses Davis of denegrating Corrections department staff then straight away lists shoddy stats to try and say Serco is way better than sitty corrections staff. Ignoring the initial point that they believe Serco is not recording incidents.

  17. Allyson 17

    I heard of a vicious prisoner assault at a Christchurch prison today. But for some reason the report did not state if the prison was run by the State or by a private company. Can someone enlighten me please?

    • Pat 17.1

      there may well have been but a) youve heard about it and b) the incidents wernt ignored and hidden for months and publicly denied and c) the victim is unlikely to have been sent to hospital via another prison….so what was your point?

      • DoublePlusGood 17.1.1

        Uh, why are you jumping on Allyson for asking a simple question requesting a clarification that is relevant to the topic at hand?

        • Pat

          you are right , my apologies Allyson I misinterepted the post…Serco only run Mount Eden and South Auckland currently though it is envisaged that should they perform to an acceptable level the opportunity to run other facilities within NZ will present itself….assuming there is no change in policy.

  18. Jo 18

    People in the UK and other countries have been aware of problems with Public Private Partnerships (PFPs in the UK) and the massive outsourcing companies contracted to run them, for a very long time. More about Serco’s UK variant, here:

    and here

    ‘People are well and truly sick of Serco. Not just because Serco is under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for defrauding the taxpayer. Not just because Serco has been accused of all number of scandalous things – from allegations of abuse and deaths at detention centres to lying on NHS records.

    […] Our polling, carried out by Survation, about what the public thinks of outsourcing companies shows people are deeply uncomfortable with Serco. They use words like ‘self-interested’, ‘greedy’ and ‘unaccountable’ to describe the company. Governments and businesses ignore those kinds of reactions at their peril.’

    Could we do with our own version of We Own It, perhaps?


    I wholly agree that Serco need to be sacked. I think New Zealand’s corrections system needs to be renationalized. Whilst there might be a place for the private sector in terms of ensuring services are delivered in an economically responsible way, where you are dealing with victims of crime and the future of prisoners as people as well as (HOPEFULLY)reforming prisoners, there is none.

    • Clean_power 19.1

      Sorry, but your line of argument does not make sense.
      Robert, what sector would you consider off-limits to the private sector? Or should the state own it all?

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        the bits dealing with victims of crime, the future of prisoners and reforming prisoners, obviously.

        Robert wrote it quite clearly.

        • Clean_power

          Based on what? Why don’t you extend the prohibition to schools or hospitals? I repeat: based on what? Ideology?

          • dv

            Principle> CP

            • Clean_power

              And the principle is?: Aversion towards private enterprise? Dislike of profits and private ownership? Preference for big state ownership? Love of socialism?

              • McFlock

                Well, in the case of Serco and the MECF, the principle in question seems to be the principle of gravity as applied from the perspective of a balcony.

              • dv

                Would you allow private armies CP?

              • Colonial Viper

                Clean_power – to stop the dead weight loss of private profit and rentier behaviour on society.

          • McFlock

            Well, the apparent state of MECF under Serco seems to be a pretty good basis to start with. I.e. the demonstrated incompetence of the apparent best bidder from tprivate sector.

            But Robert merely expressed an opinion, one which I happen to agree with and think to be quite reasonable in the light of current events. I’m sure Robert has a different rationale to mine for holding that opinion. Whether they can be bothered engaging with you is up to them.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            of course based on the ideology that same functions should be in the service of the public, and that every dollar for those functions should be used in the service of the public, and not diverted to private profit.

          • Naturesong

            Private sector, must by design maximise profits on a given income.
            Public sector, must by design, maximise service on a given budget.

            Also, only one of these things is democratically accountable (although National are clearly committed to disproving this).

            A short list would be, all natural monopolies that underpin the economy; roads, rail lines, power infrastructure, communications infrastructure, postal service, healthcare, state housing, education system.
            An easy way to separate this group is to include all the infrastructure New Zealanders built as country via the state.
            The ones that private sector is only interested in after we built and paid for these things with taxes, blood and sweat.
            So they can charge rent.

            Also, any institution that has the power to deprive a person of their liberty, or provide other sanctions on New Zealand citizens; courts, penal system, IRD etc.

            And any national service that deals with people who are vulnerable to being exploited; WINZ, CYFS, Health Services, State housing etc., etc.

            For me, thats the core of it.

            • Clean_power

              Are you against a private postal service, private hospitals and schools?

              • McFlock

                How is that relevant, whichever way I answer?

                Private enterprise can’t run prisons. Serco can’t run a prison. MECF was supposed to showcase the efficiency of the private sector. Well, it’s certainly showed the outcomes.

              • I am not against private hospitals, private schools or private freight/courier/document delivery companies from operating.
                Why would I be?
                Private companies will compete, and those who can afford the higher fees they charge will use them.

                What I am against is kneecapping our public postal service, education and health systems in order to create or expand a market for the private sector to fill.
                Accountability, economical use of resource, and ensuring a healthy and educated populace are core government functions.

                Here’s a mental exercise for you.
                Imagine if you will, every five year old currently in their first year of school.
                Should I meet any of them in 15 years’ time, I want to maximise my chances that it’s over a beer, or a trade, or a sports game, rather than the end of a knife or a gun.

                People who say, “They’re not my kids, why should I pay for their schooling or health care” are idiots, pure and simple. The sort you beat at chess in 7 moves because they are unable to visualise the future result of their actions.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              and more relevant overseas but also here: police and defence

      • Molly 19.1.2

        Health – including mental health, ACC.
        Defence and Police.

        To start.

  20. Smilin 20

    But how do you stop TPPA ? we are seeing it in action now with this fiasco NZ will be bankrupt, morally, financially
    Who will have the power to oversee these corporations then.
    How much is this going to be for ACC to pay

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