The prisons Labour wants to keep

I find it interesting that Labour is opposed to the closing of old prisons. Surely liberals would want to close down old fashioned incarceration institutions in favour of ones that are better for the inmates?

But no, Charles Chauvel has said Labour wants to keep New Plymouth Prison open:

New Plymouth Prison is the country’s oldest operational prison and accommodates 112 minimum to high-medium security prisoners. The prison also accommodates offenders on remand.

The prison was originally an army hospital in the 1860s during the Taranaki land wars. The site was converted to a prison later that decade and has been in use ever since.

And Mt Crawford:

Wellington Prison was built in 1927 and replaced the original Terrace Gaol in central Wellington.

A third prison hasn’t yet been named but Waikeria is a pretty nasty old style type facility.

Nonetheless the enlightened liberals in the Labour party seem to want to keep these old, draughty, cold prisons open.


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  • Kosh103

    As long as National have a place to put every single on of the crims who are losing their little room – they can shuffle them around as much as they like.

    I am surprised Cam that you care so much for the comfort of criminals,

    • I don’t care, but I find it amusing that Labour who professes to care, in fact doesn’t either.

      • jay cee

        damned if they do,damned if they don’t. having a bob each way WO?

    • Adolf Fiinkesein

       I’m not much interested in the comfort of crims but I AM interested in reducing the cost of keeping them locked away and such will be the case with new, privately run prisons.

      I’m surprised Labour is not calling for the wheat fields of Canterbury to be ploughed using teams of draft horses.

      • Kosh103

        I question if private prisons are better run and do in fact cost less. Is there any proof of this?

      • In Vino Veritas

        Kosh, I question whether socialism is a viable system, given that most socialist countries are abject failures, since they always seem to run out of other peoples money.

      • Kosh103

        Oh vino making the mistake that so many of your lot make. Tut tut.

  • Gazzaw

    Charlie is more concerned about the prisoners moving into a privately run jail than he is about their welfare. Labour will get more votes sucking up to the prison staff who stand to lose their jobs than they will from the prisoners who can’t vote anyway.

  • Jasondarrow

    The crims should be on the crapiest, coldest most uncomfortable place we can find.  Bring back “hard labour” I say

    • Mr_Blobby

      The mattresses are obviously too thick. The menu needs to be reduced to the same shit every day of the year. Encourage the Guards to have big fry ups, bbq’s, anything that produces the smell of freshly cooked food.

    • Ratchet

      Fence an big area in the central plateau and put the worst ones there.

      Preferably a big area where the Army lob live stuff on a regular basis, that way IF they come out, any misbehaviour can be dealt with by exploding paper bag and resulting immobilization via shell-shock.

  • Phar Lap

    The solution dump Chauvel,keep the prison.Seems Chauvel the retread MP is long past his use by date.

  • Rockyr

    What interests me is why it should cost $16-20,000 to maintain a prisoner in the US and $90,000 in NZ. One guard to 68 prisoners in US, one to 2.5 in NZ.

    • Gazzaw

      Another union that needs dealing to?

    • Mr_Blobby

      Incompetence, corruption, to many soft cock rules, to many prisoner rights, etc etc etc

    • Kosh103

      Given the state of the US prision system only a fool would look to them for a model to follow.

      • Mully

        I agree with Kosh.

        Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need a shower.

  • Auto_immune

    I can’t speak for New Plymouth, but every Wellingtonian I know wants Mt. Crawford closed.

    • James Gray

      Been there (as a contractor, not an inmate), nasty building… I thought they just wanted to close unit 1, not the (significantly more modern) unit 2

      • Ronnie Chow

          It could be turned into a monastery for recalcitrant Catholic Priests . Oh wait….

  • Mr_Blobby

    What he should be questioning.
    Why does it cost so much to build a prison cell in NZ.Why do we have such a high guard to prisoner ratio?Why do we treat prisoners, especially, those that should never be allowed out so good.Why does it cost so much per year to keep a prisoner locked up.
    All for contracting out prisons but let’s do it properly. Build prison containers for short term stays and transportation if a prisoner needs to be moved, load the container onto the back of a truck. Contract the prison out to another country and ship the prisoners there and back on commercial container ships. They will do it for half the current price and still make a huge profit. It used to be bread and water now days I think it is rice and fish head soup. Dangerous prisoners to be shackled. There won’t be many, if any, that want to go back for seconds.

  • Grizz30

    I am still in favour of constructing the “Pitt Island Correctional facility”. Even more ideal would be putting prisons on our Subantarctic Islands.

  • tspoon

    Prison staff are for the labour party an area of interest. Having more prison staff is an ideal of the left. google california prisons to find out what a massive industry this is in other parts of the world. The prison population of the US has quadrupled since 1980, I’m not sure how that translates to this country. But in that country, prison unions actively lobby politicians for tougher laws, with favourable results. 
     The feedstock for this industry? Where to start? Off the top of my head, a maori male given nine months for making a threatening gesture at a former partner through a window when he saw her passing by chance. Threatening gesture. 9 months. To put it in perspective, the same sentence of home detention given to a young female who killed someone whilst driving drunk.

    • wiltinpenis

      The young female, if she has any conscience, has dealt herself her own life sentence. The Maori male – was this his only crime?

      • tspoon

        possibly not. maybe he dealt himself his own 9 months. maybe it wasn’t her only crime. I struggle to find any scenario in which 9 months makes much sense for a gesture made in anger. What happens next time he looks at someone the wrong way?

      • Bunswalla

        How’s this for a scenario then tspoon? Maori male with more than 30 convictions for assault, male assaults female, aggravated assault, breaching restraining orders, breaching bail and breaching parole, as well as drug and alcohol offences going back 25 years.

        Has been smacking his missus around for a long time, she flees to Womens Refuge, he uses the whanau to track her down and convince her (yet again) to give him a chance. Didn’t work out, more smacks, more restraining orders.

        She walks past (more likely he sees her and makes sure she sees him) and he gestures he’s going to slit her throat.

        9 months enough for ya? 

      • tspoon

         Actually what happened is he was at the pool (an indoor one). He waved to his daughter (enough for a conviction in itself in this country), saw his ex partner and made a threatening gesture to her. 9 months. 

        Well I guess I invited you to use your imagination, and obviously quite a few people are more than willing to, as long as the perp is of a particular demographic. But it’s telling see that imagination disappear when the demographic changes. Is your first drunk driving kill free or something?

      • Bunswalla

        So by “quite a few people” you mean “one”, and as far as the demographic goes, you introduced it!

        And by the way, it wasn’t my imagination, there have been dozens of cases just like that in “this country”.

        I don’t drive drunk, and I’ve never killed anyone.

  • johnbronkhorst

    So labour want to keep these cold drafty, in some cases victorian prisons open…but are against warm confortable converted shipping containers, that are both better and less expensive than upgrading these dungeons!! I,m with you WO….typical labour full of contradictions!

  • Ronnie Chow

     I think the word for Labour these days is “addicted” , as in unable to stop a bad habit that is self destructive .

  • ShaunHay

    “Nonetheless the enlightened liberals in the Labour party seem to want to keep these old, draughty, cold prisons open.”
    Labour and its members oppose National… that’s it.  It’s not that Labour wants to keep the prison open, it’s that National wants to close it.
    National could say ALMOST anything, and if the opposite is even remotely semi-reasonable then some Labour politicians will oppose National (even if it doesn’t become party policy for Labour).  This way if someone opposes closing a mangy old prison (for whatever reason), that person will see Labour opposes the prison closing; ergo the subject person should vote Labour.  Most opposition parties do this to some extent (it helps keep the government on its toes and ensures they justify their decisions).  The problem is Labour – as a rule – opposes almost everything and its attacks often become personal rather than opposing the issue based on reasoning.