Sam Lotu Iiga

Why John Key can’t sack Sam Lotu-Iiga

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Labour think they have got a hit on Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga because on his watch prisoners have been fighting each other. Unfortunately for Labour the vast majority of the NZ public are only concerned about this because Corrections doesn’t provide lethal weapons for prisoners who fight to help ease them out of the gene pool.   Read more »

Labour cares more about criminals than they do about gay rights

Labour have been seeking a distraction from their race-baiting housing based on cooked up data.

They have finally found one in the death of a prisoner, allegedly by throwing him off a balcony in a prison.

There are fresh revelations tonight about chaos inside privately run Mt Eden Prison, with inmates making their own tobacco and alcohol and taking control of a unit for a day.

The minister in charge of New Zealand’s jails, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, has been caught out over when he was first told of claims a prisoner died after being thrown off a balcony.

The Corrections Minister is now fighting to save his job, with a recent inmate today revealing more about life inside the Serco-managed jail to Labour MP Kelvin Davis.

“It’s rampant. It’s out of control,” says Mr Davis.

‘Prisoner X’ describes both party time and fight time, saying alcohol is made from breakfast sugar, Raro and the yeast from porridge run-off or Marmite sandwiches. For cigarettes, the tobacco is prescription nicotine patches and tea leaves. Papers are provided from wax peeled off sugar bags, and a lighter is made by shorting a three-pin plug into a small spoon of shampoo.   Read more »

Green killjoys bitter over Parliamentary rugby team

What a bunch of killjoys the Greens are opposing the traditional Parliamentary rugby tour.

The Greens are objecting to a corporate-sponsored trip for MPs to play in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.

Corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, his colleague Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith and NZ First leader Winston Peters are among those who will skip parliamentary sessions in lieu of the September junket.

They’ll also be at the Rugby World Cup, which runs alongside the tournament.

Also on the team are Labour’s Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis, and National’s Alfred Ngaro and Mark Mitchell.

“If there are corporate lobbyists going, they have privileged access to ministers,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says.

It is not dissimilar to the Cabinet Club approach where there are select few who get to spend extended time with ministers and MPs.

“This isn’t the first time this has been raised.”

She added: “This is a trip to the Rugby World Cup, there is no point try to pretend that’s not what it is. And the fact that it has now been sanctioned as a parliamentary trip raises real concerns.”

In 2007, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark called for an inquiry into the Parliamentary rugby team after a trip to France.    Read more »

Trip to Paris to introduce plain packaging – What the MSM won’t tell you

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Despite the bleating by the anti-tobacco troughers, the Government is holding off introducing plain packaging for tobacco products until the legal case brought against Australia to the WTO by Big Tobacco has been resolved.

But then we see that the Government is sending someone from New Zealand to Paris to launch a common drive to introduce plain packs.   Read more »

Sam Lotu Iiga should take heed

Sam Lotu Iiga is the Minister responsible for looking at the plain packaging legislation in the house at the moment.

Quite apart from the fact that there is no need for it due to our no advertising and closed cupboards rules on tobacco sales he should take heed at what is happening in the UK.

Even taking the soft option and pandering to the Maori party by including a clause in the legislation pending the outcome of the WTO case is fraught with danger given what tobacco companies are lining up the UK government for.

Tobacco companies are preparing to launch what could be one of the biggest ever legal claims against the British Government for losses as a result of the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are expected to begin lodging papers at the High Court as early as Friday, seeking a multi-billion compensation payout for being stripped of the right to use instantly recognisable brands.

Lawyers will argue that forcing them to use entirely unbranded packaging would amount to deprivation of a highly valuable intellectual property.  Read more »

Troughers gathering in Wellington, Hague excited

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Well that didn’t take long.

A bunch of tax-payer funded troughers are rolling into Wellington and to Parliament tomorrow for the so-called 10 year ‘anniversary’ of the Smokefree laws.

No doubt Shane Kawenata Bradbrook will be there waving the flag, alongside Smokefree Coalition’s Prudence Stone, who may be looking for some action.

There’s just slight problem with this. Helen Clark introduced the Smokefree Environments Act in 1990, and by my reckoning that’s more than 10 years ago.     Read more »

Meh, close enough

From the dead tree version of the Herald today

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So now the truth comes out

Yesterday a scurrilous attack from within National’s ranks, most likely from the highest office was made on Sam Lotu Iiga.

Andrea Vance was apoointed the hatchet carrier and they maligned the Minister by sugesting he was in “meltdown” and “nowhere to be seen”.

In this morning’s Herald however we find out that Sam was actually doing his job.

Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is defending his handling of the escape of a high-risk prisoner as his department was forced to put all prisoner releases on hold.

The escape of killer Phillip John Smith was Mr Lotu-Iiga’s first test in the $2.6 billion portfolio, which he inherited from Anne Tolley last month.

Mr Lotu-Iiga fronted to media for the first time last night, two days after Smith failed to return from his 72-hour release into the community.

“I’ve handled it the best that I can,” he said. “Obviously mistakes were made within the department. We’ve acknowledged that. The department has acknowledged that.  Read more »

Cui bono? Why throw Sam under the bus?

Fairfax’s intrepid reporters Andrea Vance and Deidre Mussen have been briefed by the wet faction, led by John Key, inside National against new corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Meanwhile, Beehive sources report the office of Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is in “meltdown”, with Police Minister Michael Woodhouse ordered to front any media interviews.

Woodhouse is on his way to Wellington for meetings with officials this afternoon.

“Sam is nowhere to be seen,” the source said.

When you see statements like this the one thing you have to ask is cui bono? Who benefits?

Sources inside parliament are suggesting that the very wet Nikki Kaye and her office are briefing against Lotu-Iiga, as well as Maggie Barry as they are both Auckland based and a threat to Nikki Kaye’s chances of moving up the cabinet ranks.   Read more »

Sam Lotu-Iiga on hoarding vandalism

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We had another really rewarding day campaigning in Maungakiekie today. We spent most of our time in Mt Wellington where we met a wide range of people. These included labourers, teachers, nurses, students, job seekers and small business owners. What was fascinating were the stories of struggle, tragedy, success, redemption, love and hope. 

Awww, isn’t that nice.   But wait… there’s a twist:

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