What does Kelvin Davis do all day? It doesn’t look like he does any work

What does Kelvin Davis do all day? Because, it doesn’t look like he does any work.

Radio NZ reports:

The Corrections Minister has not looked to advance an idea he pushed while in opposition, to establish a separate Māori prison.

And a decision on whether to build a new $1 billion prison at Waikeria in rural Waikato is still pendinga month after Kelvin Davis said a final decision would be made. End quote.

Not much work going on, perhaps he needs a working group established? Quote:

Mr Davis floated the idea of a separate Māori prison last year, as a way of reducing the prison population, a proposal shut down by the party’s leader at the time, Andrew Little.

As Labour’s opposition spokesperson, Mr Davis argued prisoner numbers could be reduced through rehabilitation programmes in a prison run on a kaupapa Māori based approach.

In February this year, he said he was not ruling anything in or out, when asked whether he’d be progressing any units or prisons based on a Māori-only model.

Last week, in a response to an official information request, Mr Davis said while he had been looking at strategies to reduce Māori offending, he had received no advice about a separate Māori prison. End quote.

Yep, definitely needs another working group formed. But I’m struggling as to why they need a separate prison; they’ve already got most of the prisons well covered with 50.4% of all inmates being Maori. They pretty much already have their own prisons.

Meanwhile, Radio NZ has done his research for him: Quote:

A pilot programme at a South Auckland prison is being credited with helping Māori men reconnect with their culture and stamp out gang rivalries and jail tensions in the process.

There are also plans to extend the programme, which sees inmates come together for a two-hour te reo Māori lesson once a week.

As one of the prisoners explains – this class is strictly a no gang zone at the jail, which is home to more than 900 inmates.

“We leave all our colours out the door you know, we don’t bring it in the hui or the wananga we’re having,” he said.

“And I suppose outside the door… there’s still a lot respect shown amongst everyone.”

Since September, seven students have taken a pilot te reo Māori programme based on Māori broadcaster Scotty Morrison’s book Māori Made Easy.

The prisoners have different gang affiliations – but when they enter the wharenui and open their Māori dictionaries – those differences are put aside.

“It doesn’t even cross our minds that there’s rivalry amongst us – where just trying to learn together,” the prisoner said.

“We’re here to learn our own culture, our own reo –  kai o te rangatira – a chiefly language.”

The prisoner’s teacher, Anne Gervin, is a volunteer from the prison reform group, the Howard League.

She said it’s taken time for the class to work together.

“Right from the start I said I was not the teacher, I was not the tutor it was a collaborative working environment.”

“Some students are fluent te reo Māori speakers, while others are still at the beginning of their journey.

However, Anne Gervin has been able to see how much they’ve improved in the last seven months.

“I’m so proud of what they’ve done – they’ve worked really hard and two hours is quite a long time when you are having to focus quite carefully on language and structure and vocabulary.”

Prison director Mike Inglis said the te reo programme shows prisoners could look beyond their gang connections.

“For me everything we do in prison is based on respect and respecting each other – we have a zero tolerance to violence in any form.”

He said he saw how the programme would benefit inmates.

“Whether that’s back to iwi, hapu or back into the whānau – the strategies or the programs or the interventions that they’ve taken part in here continue with them,” Mr Inglis said. End quote.

Oh, how inconvenient, especially since the successful programme was implemented at a Serco prison, by the very company that he maligned during opposition.

Kelvin Davis is yet another minister who isn’t fit for purpose.


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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.

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