GUEST BLOG: Arthur Taylor – What are NZ Corrections frightened of when denying prisoners access to media?



How many millions of dollars in inept decisions has Vince Arbuckle cost the taxpayer?
Arbuckle , who is Deputy Chief Executive and on a salary of over $300,000 , has just been told by justice Dunningham that he got it wrong in refusing an interview by journalist Mike White with Scott Watson .

Arbuckle has in the past year refused requests to interview me by TVNZ , TV3 , NZ Herald , Radio NZ & Radio95bfM . That matter is awaiting hearing in the Court of Appeal and I have no doubt the Court will tell Arbuckle he got those refusals wrong as well .

The excuse given in my case by Arbuckle was the same as that given to Scott Watson – “victims would be impacted”. The only problem is I have no “victims” on the Victim Notification Register , so Arbuckle trotted out a prison officer from Rimutaka who has worked for Corrections for 25 years – Gary St John Keenan , who claimed he had been a “victim” of mine 10 years ago and said he would be “upset” if he saw me being interviewed .

The proposed interviews were all on matters of significant public interest and nothing to do with any offence I’m in prison for . and Mr Keenan could always switch channels . Not to mention , I’m often in the media . It should be obvious to everyone that this is just a nonsensical excuse to try to justify denying interviews that could publicise incompetence and unlawful behaviour on the part of Corrections . In other words , it was all about Corrections protecting itself .

Arthur Taylor is a prisoner who fights for prisoner rights.



  1. Tena Koe Arthur, strange place for us to meet again, we done ‘the tour’ together from Invercargill to Pare Max,

    You have to guess who this is, a hint being, ‘batteries flew at one stage to give ‘bully’ the message’,

    Cheers my friend, the fight never stops, those legal skills of yours could be put to good use out here,(in this alien place), stay free…

  2. You know the score Arthur; once you’re inside, the screws (no matter how ok they are) always make sure you remember they’ve got you by the balls (quite literally in the case of body searches, which I remember them doing whenever they felt like annoying you).

    What do you think they’re scared of mate? One thing is they don’t want too much public awareness of just how dehumanising their prisons are. The average people outside think that you’ve just lost your freedom but that your treated fairly. They don’t know the endless fucking searches when you’re moved about or especially on visiting days. Most of ’em wouldn’t know that full strip searching goes on all the time. They wouldn’t know what a strip search is. Most of ’em don’t know that there is no mail privacy whatsoever, they read through all inward and outward mail even if it’s just letters.
    And they certainly don’t want the public knowing just how crowded and unhealthy the prisons are.
    And the higher up the command chain you go the more dickheaded they become until you get to the chief himself.

    Why does he keep doing this?

    Because he fucking can and no one will challenge him.

    Which is why you need to keep grinding away at him/them.

    Even if you don’t get a good result, you annoy and embarrass them and that’s worth something.

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil eh?

    • And having given you access to make this post it’s more than likely you won’t be allowed to read the feedback your blog gets. Most of the public don’t know that either.

  3. I have real problems with some bureaucrat being able to arbitrarily deny someone freedom of speech (or in this case, simply the freedom to speak to a journalist) – especially when these decisions are made behind closed doors and with no clear means of challenging their legitimacy. One person shouldn’t have that power.

  4. no names on the VNR, but plenty of victims in NZ society resulting from your trade in that filthy drug….

    • Very true. But do the authorities have to descend to that same level of action?

      I thought society was meant to be better than that.

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