Another prisoner dies at Mt Eden – will Corrections be as accountable as Serco?


A prisoner has died at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland in an apparent suicide this week.

Acting prison director Dennis Goodin has confirmed the man died on Monday morning.

The man is understood to have been in solitary confinement, in a cell known by inmates as “the pound”, when he died. Read more »

2015 – Our losers (I claim two as scalps)


A jury couldn’t convict him on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice, but Cairns said it himself: “Reputationally, I’m completely scorched, burnt completely”. He’s vowing to fight on and redeem himself, but in many respects, the damage has already been done. The marathon trial in London’s Southwark Crown Court featured a prosecution witness list that read like a who’s who of New Zealand cricket: Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Chris Harris, Lou Vincent, Shane Bond, Kyle Mills and Andre Adams. Despite the not guilty verdicts, Cairns’ status as a cricketing great has taken a hit.


The private prison operator has managed to see out the year without its contract to run Auckland’s Mt Eden prison being torn up – just. A full-blown scandal erupted after footage emerged online of prisoners allegedly taking part in organised fights clubs. Further serious allegations emerged about the behaviour of inmates at the prison and a full independent investigation was ordered. Serco bosses were called in for a “please explain” with the Corrections Minister, who hasn’t fared well either, and not long after the Corrections department took over the day-to-day management of the facility. But whether Serco gets the boot is a question that will remain unanswered until 2016.

The Corrections union, Labour and the Media worked hand in hand to put Serco at the kerb using the same style of politics they have denounced Dirty Politics to be.  Brutal, and efficient.  Serco were dumped.   Read more »


2015 – looking back on political disasters


Winston Peters won the Northland by-election by more than 4000 votes, wiping out National’s Mark Osborne and seizing a seat that had been true blue for decades. The NZ First leader hailed the victory as evidence provincial voters won’t tolerate being ignored by an arrogant, big city government.

It meant National had one less seat in parliament and the government was forced to rely on support from both ACT and United Future to pass legislation.

It was a big boost for NZ First and if Peters retains the seat in 2017 the party will be exempt from the five per cent MMP threshold for list MPs.


Bizarre incidents in an Auckland cafe threatened to harm Prime Minister John Key’s image and popularity. It was revealed he persistently pulled waitress Amanda Bailey’s ponytail against her wishes, and opposition MPs accused him of sexual harassment.

Key admitted he had been “very, very silly” and that he had apologised. Bailey took no action and an attempt by serial litigant Graham McCready to bring a case against Key was thrown out. The scandal eventually blew over.

It has and it hasn’t.  The Media Party are still hitting Key with sexually charged negative stories trying to build a narrative that individually none of them are much, but collectively they form a pattern.  Read more »


Serco Crusher is on the job

Newly-reinstated Corrections Minister Judith Collins says the under fire private prison operator Serco must “front up” over the fiasco at the Mt Eden jail.

In a direct message to the private prison management Ms Collins says as the minister in charge she will be expecting a different result in the future.

“What happened in Mt Eden was totally unacceptable and it won’t be happening again as far as I’m concerned,” Ms Collins told Paul Henry.

Describing her reappointment to the tough portfolio as her “dream job” Ms Collins said she would be looking at reports and meeting with prison management to discuss troubled Auckland correctional facility.

Serco have one chance to get this right.  They can either go on a rather public Mea Cupla / charm campaign and make Collins look like the winner she is, or she’s going to turf them out for being useless.  Either way, Collins will chalk up a win.   Read more »


Oh look, Labour putting pressure on a prison issue. Must be Serco then

via Daily Mail

via Daily Mail

Labour really are nothing but the parliamentary wing of the unions.   The Corrections Association has been after Serco with the help of the Media Party, but mostly through the never-ending assistance of Kelvin Davis who keeps pushing the issue into the headlines.   Read more »

A newspaper manages a Serco smear and a crim hugging, and it is all overseas


photo supplied by Mrs Scumbag to A newspaper

See if you can figure out why Serco was mentioned here.

A Kiwi was met by Serco staff after his prison sentence for vandalism and then spent nearly three weeks in Brisbane police cells, where lights were left on around the clock.

John Parakuka, whose visa was cancelled after three months in prison for vandalism because of his previous assault conviction, was not allowed outside for fresh air at all and his mental health deteriorated, his partner Deanna Airey said. Read more »

Prisoner raped woman while on day release. That just has to be another Serco thing, right?

Nope.  Apparently these things happen all the time on Corrections’ watch.

A prisoner has raped a woman while on a release to work programme, sparking a major internal probe by Corrections.

The 35-year-old has pleaded guilty at Christchurch District Court to the rape which happened in May last year.

Since the shocking incident, Corrections has “significantly strengthened” the rules around its Release to Work (RtW) programme.

The inmate, serving a two-year, eight-month sentence at Rolleston Prison for injuring with intent to injure, had a placement with a local employer from February 25 last year.

During his placements, a woman visited his unsupervised workplace to have sex with him.

But during one of the visits, they argued and the prisoner raped her in a car, according to Fairfax Media.

Ian Bourke, Corrections’ regional commissioner for southern region, said the department was contacted by police about the allegations on May 6 last year. Read more »


CYFS a disaster – public service union panics and says members can do better

With Anne Tolley’s announcement that CYFS is going to get a total rework, one that may include some private service providers as part of the mix, barely 2 days old, the PSA National Secretary took to A newspaper to try and get the first salvo in.

In short:  It may be a mess, but PSA members are clearly not at fault and do better.

Richard Wagstaff, PSA’s national secretary writes:

Lately we’ve heard a lot about the children we’ve failed as a country. Children in care are more likely to end up in jail than the rest of the population – effectively giving them a life sentence from childhood.

It’s easy to think these children are somebody else’s kids – kids that some other parent, family or community has failed. But these children are members of our community and we are responsible for their care.

The Government’s due to tell us what they’re going to do with CYF and what they plan for children in care. It seems like they’re going to continue to follow the path the UK has been on for the last decade – the State will hand over to private corporations like Serco the right to remove children from their families to make sure they’re loved and cared for. But is this a job that can be done by a corporation?

Perhaps there’s been enough political fallout from the mishandling of Mt Eden prison to prevent CYF contracts going to Serco. The idea of Serco being responsible for a pipeline guiding children through their lives from cradle to grave – from CYF to prison – sounds like something from a dystopian novel rather than preferred government policy.

And there you go.  Serco’s the reason why New Zealand kids will have to remain in the hands of public servants.  The same public servants that have failed these children.   Because of a remand prison being run by a private provider.      Read more »


The real reason behind the Serco hit jobs finally revealed

Despite Mt Eden Prison descending into chaos under Serco, Prime Minister John Key doesn’t think giving control to a private operator was a mistake.

“You have to be careful what you wish for because we’ve had publicly run prisons that have had issues as well,” says Mr Key. “Mt Eden Remand Prison isn’t the easiest prison in the world to run.”

But voters disagree.

When asked should private operators run prisons, 70 percent said no, the Government should run them.

Just 13 percent said Serco should run prisons, while another 13 percent said private providers are OK – but not Serco. The rest didn’t know.

“The private sector provides a tension between keeping both the public and private sector honest,” says Mr Key.

The Government is locked into a 10-year $300 million contract with Serco to run Mt Eden and Wiri prisons. Read more »


A newspaper harps on about Serco

A newspaper maintains its position of championing the criminals and the unions, while attacking the government and police.

Serco has been forgiven $620,000 of financial penalties after being issued performance notices by the Corrections Department since it took over private management of the Mt Eden Corrections Facility in August 2011.

Over the same period, Serco has forfeited $1.4 million in penalties to Corrections.

Figures released by Corrections show that penalties were very high in its early operating days, then dropped away, but have dramatically picked up again.

The $620,000 in forgiven fines comprises $275,000 in penalties that were withdrawn and $375,000 for cases in which the performance notice was upheld but Corrections decided not to deduct the penalty.

Among the latter group of cases upheld but no deductions made was a $100,000 penalty in relation to a breach of contract over Serco’s handling of safety razors.

Green MP David Clendon said the notice for the razor blades was for a serious breach – giving prisoners razors but not taking them back again .

“This is an extremely serious failure that put the lives of staff and inmates at risk,” he said.   Read more »