GUEST BLOG: Arthur Taylor – Statement of abuse for Kelvin Davis


Dear Minister Davis

I am contacting you regarding the violence used against me in a transfer which has suspiciously  occurred as I continue my legal cases.

One of my lawyers received the following information from an informant: After being rendered unconscious in the Auckland PCO’s office on Wednesday, I was taken to the medical unit, where it was found my blood pressure was dangerously high and Solomon Nui was told ( I don’t know by whom. Generally though , the medical unit is only staffed by staff nurses ) I shouldn’t be moved to Waikeria that day.

Solomon reportedly discussed the issue for about 20 minutes with a mysterious Mr X “in Head Office” who gave the order for me to be moved . I was strapped sitting upright with a guard on each side of me for the trip . A nurse was also in the prison van. At Waikeria , they still refuse to let me see a doctor.

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Who was the “Mr X” ?

When Richard Francois called Waikeria on Saturday to say he would visit on Sunday , they tried to delay the visit for a few days , but he would have none of it . He also got them to approve his phone number for me , which they should have done already for me , but hadn’t. I’m sure head office hadn’t counted on me being able to have a personal lawyer meeting before New Year .

My lawyer Richard Francois reports on his meeting with me at Waikeria Prison on Xmas Eve

“I was able to meet with Arthur at Waikeria at about 11:45 a.m.

He appeared ok, but described an ordeal, which, on the facts presented to me amounted to disproportionately severe treatment (torture) under s 9 of the NZBORA.

He showed me bruises and abrasions, which I observed were clearly from handcuff restraints around the wrist, and manhandling under the shoulder area and around the upper arms.

I will support unreservedly the breaches of all the rights and freedoms under the NZBORA and every mandatory violation of the Corrections Act and its Regs alleged by Arthur in the documents below.
When the State wilfully places an incarcerated prisoner in a situation that unnecessarily endangers his life without any justification at all, it loses its authority govern. To say it’s “routine”, in the New Zealand Herald is a lie.

Although we anticipated it, the Executive of Corrections has chosen to violate the last refuge of mutual trust between us. Yes, it lulled a vulnerable prisoner into a false sense of security that he wouldn’t be unlawfully transferred to a prison where he couldn’t pursue his Supreme Court claims and those in the Court of Appeal as well the High Court. These are senior court cases, and you can’t get around the Supreme Court. “

I asked for computer access ( non internet ) for my court cases on Thursday and was told “we’ll look into it”. “What’s to look into ?” I asked ” I’ve had had written approval for computer access for my Court cases for years ( Prison Operations Manual F.07 )

I am asking you Minister Davis to urgently look into the abuse Corrections have meted out to me and why this has been done to me.

This is your prison system now and the violence and abuse used against me is an affront to basic decency.


Arthur Taylor is The Daily Blog’s Prisoner rights advocate blogging from inside prison.


  1. The prison guards and admin you can bet treat their own home pet animals better than our inmates.

    This is criminal of them to treat humans this way.

  2. When we discuss prisoners’ rights we inevitably confront head-on a value or belief deeply embedded in the kiwi psyche. It is this: Arthur is a crim, which is why he is in prison. He is there because he has done bad stuff. And somehow the bad stuff that he’s done, or maybe just the fact that he is in prison, means that he should not expect to be treated the same as those of us who haven’t done any “bad stuff” )or at least, haven’t been caught..).

    So when we read that he alleges mistreatment, we go “Well he shouldn’t have done bad stuff (and he shouldn’t have) and this wouldn’t be happening to him”.

    It’s the old ‘lock ’em up and throw away the key’ mentality.

    We must arrive at a point at which we say “Yes, you have offended, and you have been sentenced according to our laws. But even if you have been found to have offended against society’s code of conduct, you are still accorded the protections of those laws.”

    I’m no fan of Arthur. He makes life bloody difficult for me, making me think so hard. But this case needs to be investigated. So far we have heard Arthur’s perspective. We await a response from Corrections. This is an opportunity, no matter how difficult, for Kelvin Davis to step up. and show leadership.

    • “So far we have heard Arthur’s perspective”

      Steve , actually Corrections got in first on the day I was transferred with this piece of yellow journalism in the Herald – no byline and quoting an anonymous Corrections spokesperson , who said “the journey went without incident”.
      No mention was made of the fact I was unconscious throughout the journey.
      My criminal career is well behind me ! In recent years , I have made a name for myself in civil Court in “public interest” matters. No small part of this is gaining a reputation for being objective and always telling the truth . In fact , I am the first inmate to have successfully prosecuted a criminal case . Also , Witness C’s sentence was the longest ever handed down for perjury in New Zealand . With so much at stake , my own credibility needed to be impeccable .

  3. Let’s hope the New Minister for Corrections understands the plight of persons wishing to be given the mechanism to reform as you have, and to all be accorded human rights in return. I do condemn drug handlers and drug promoters, but see the need to repair as many people as we can, mostly victims of drugs and the social system. The current system appears to be run by bullies and secrecy, that will never effect change.

  4. Well, well. Kelvin has to actually step up now and can’t even blame Serco for this one!
    He needs to realise that the Corrections Dept must undergo a cultural change for there to be any progress.

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