Hey Kelvin, what are you going to do about this fight club?

I wonder what Kelvin Davis is going to do about this fight club?

The hierarchical nature and brutal inner workings of a tough New Zealand jail block, including yard fights and sparring, has been examined at a prison murder trial today.

The rare behind-bars glimpse came during the trial of three Christchurch Men’s Prison inmates accused of murdering respected long-term prisoner Benton Marni Parata on March 25 last year.

Steven Betham, 36, Akuhatua Tihi, 22, from Toi Toi, Nelson, and Levi Hohepa Reuben, 21, deny murdering the fellow inmate.

Tihi today accepted he is guilty of manslaughter, but denied having murderous intent.

The Crown alleges that the trio had been acting to a pre-arranged plan in order to administer a serious beating.  

The alleged assault came two days after 44-year-old Parata tipped off prison guards that Tihi had stolen a fellow inmate’s prison-issue TV from his cell.

Corrections officers didn’t think the incident – or ‘tea-leaving’, a prison term for thieving – was worth reporting.

Parata told the prison guards he would speak with the younger prisoners about showing respect to older prisoners or ‘lags’ doing longer stretches inside.

There was a “pecking order” in high-security Rawhiti unit, one prison guard accepted. Weapons, including shanks, were sometimes used in assaults.

The court heard how inmates refer to their cells as their ‘house’. It’s not uncommon for more junior prisoners to clean the cells of more senior lags, the court heard.

So, a fight club operates in a Corrections-run prison and Kelvin is nowhere to be seen. He’s probably waiting for his talking points from the union.

And here was me thinking that only Serco ran fight clubs.

What I want to know is what is the fine for this sort of behaviour and who gets held accountable for the cowboy atmosphere at Christchurch Men’s prison? At least with Serco, they paid millions in fines and lost the contract.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.