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 »

Fairfax reheats a 2011 Serco story

The union/Labour hit on Serco was implemented with the eager assistance of A newspaper, while the rest of the Media Party branches were left out.

Seems that Stuff is trying to redress this by reheating a 2011 story.

Blundering Serco prison bosses are under investigation after a Mt Eden prison inmate was released early – and paid hundreds of dollars after he returned to finish his sentence.

The prisoner, who is back behind bars – this time in Wellington’s Rimutaka Prison – after reoffending, is understood to have been let go from Mt Eden six days ahead of schedule.

A prison source said the man was given his freedom even after he tried to convince prison operator Serco he was not due for release. The company then had to contact the man and plead for him to return and finish his sentence. After coming back and completing his time, it is alleged the prisoner was given a cash payment understood to be around $500. Read more »


Red Radio turns against the tide: exposes Corrections just as bad as Serco

The Labour Party/union-led and main stream media-fueled attack on private prison operator Serco has not seen any balancing comment except on this blog.  Rather surprisingly, Red Radio has finally found the stones to speak the truth.

Department of Corrections figures show assault rates at state-run prisons are just as bad, and in some cases worse, than the privately-run Mt Eden prison.

Figures released to Radio New Zealand show Mt Eden prison recorded 224 prisoner assaults on guards or other prisoners in the year to June – the highest overall number. That was up from 165 assaults in the 2013/2014 year.

The prison, run by the private company Serco, is currently being managed by Corrections while the department investigates allegations of violence, including a prisoner-run “fight club” and contraband smuggling.

It had the third highest overall assault rate, with 22.9 assaults per 100 prisoners.

That ranged from non-injury assaults, such as spitting or pushing, right up to serious assaults requiring hospitalisation or ongoing medical treatment.

The worst overall assault rate was at Christchurch Women’s prison, which recorded an overall rate of 37 assaults per 100 prisoners, followed by Hawke’s Bay Regional prison, which had a rate of 23.5 assaults.

Manawatu prison also recorded high rates of serious assaults, while all three women’s prisons had very high rates of less serious assaults.

Heh.  That reminds me of transgender prisoner Jade that wanted to be in a women’s prison.  Good luck to her.  But back to the point – Serco does just as well as Corrections when it comes to running a prison.   Read more »

Rodney Hide on the alleged failure of privatisation

Rodney Hide discusses privatisation vs the state in the prison sector in his NBR column.

The Left were gleeful. The free market a failure. The private sector demonstrably about cost-cutting and profit, not service. The government’s privatisation policy wrecked.

Me? I’m waiting for the results of the review before declaring capitalism dead, turning my back on 250 years of economic knowledge and crossing to North Korea.

Besides, what’s really on display is the Left’s woeful understanding. People and organisations in the private sector aren’t better than those in the state sector. It’s rather that poor performance is weeded out in the private sector. And that’s precisely what’s happening with Serco. Its fee is cut and it’s at risk of losing the contract.

That’s precisely how it works. That’s what contracting out is all about: Perform or else.

I would have thought the swift dealing to was evidence of the wisdom of contracting out. What happens when the state sector fouls up? Invariably it’s a systems fault, no one has their pay docked and no one is fired. The state sector staggers on to the next mess up.

Besides, there’s no options with state sector management. Ministers are stuck with the people, the system, the organisations. There is no talking tough and no talk of sacking.

Read more »


Developing: Inmate dies at Mt Eden – bad luck or going to plan?


The death is unsuspicious and has been referred to the coroner. Read more »


Serco suspension a win for the government

This whole story was pushed out by the unions when they needed a circuit breaker to get Labour’s Asian Bashing off the front pages.

And although it’s delivered on that, the good news is that Serco have been found wanting, and the Government gets to clean it up before it gets out of control.

The Corrections Department will step in and put their own management team into the privately-run Serco prison in Mt Eden following serious allegations of assaults and other inappropriate behaviour.

The announcement was made at a press conference this afternoon following a meeting between Corrections chief executive Ray Smith and the Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Mr Smith says the department has invoked the “step in” clause of the contract, and says a potentially substantial financial penalty may be imposed on Serco following the spate of violent incidents at the remand prison.

The clause allows the department to insert its own prison director from Tongariro and a “crack team” of 20 from Corrections team from across the country to oversee the daily running of the prison, however, the Serco staff will remain onsite.   Read more »