People Against Prisons Aotearoa has been provided with this, a manifesto stating the grievances and political purpose of the #WaikeriaUprising:

We are not rioting.

We are protesting.

We have showed no violence towards Corrections officers – none whatsoever – yet they show up here in force armed with guns and dogs to intimidate us.

We are the ones that are making a stand on this matter for our future people. Showing intimidation to us will only fuel the fire of future violence. We will not tolerate being intimidated any more.

Our drinking water in prison is brown. We have used our towels for three straight weeks now. Some of us have not had our bedding changed in five months. We have not received clean uniforms to wear for three months – we wear the samer dirty clothes day in and day out. We have to wash our clothes in our dirty shower water and dry them on the concrete floor. We have no toilet seats: we eat our kai out of paper bags right next to our open, shared toilets.

These are only very few of the reasons for the uprising.

We are tangata whenua of this land. We are Māori people forced into a European system. Prisons do not work! Prisons have not worked for the generations before! Prisons just do not work. They keep doing this to our people, and we have had enough! There is no support in prison, all the system does is put our people in jail with no support, no rehabilitation, nothing. We have had enough.

TDB Recommends

This is for the greater cause.


Hone Harawira is the Leader of the MANA Movement 


  1. And now we wait for more PR bullshit from ‘officials’, AND protestations from Ministers et al that it’s all an operational matter. That, in and of itself is part of the problem – when it’s a no-no for elected representatives to be unable to challenge the arrogance and incompetence of some of our ‘officials’, amny of whom seem to have had an imagination bypass.
    Except that there is the occasional show of guts (such as with OT), but only after things get a weeny bit embarrassing.
    The arrogance has become quite astounding. You’ll remember that even the Ombudsman had difficulty with Krekshuns.

  2. Where the fuck is jacinda and her ‘kindness’?

    Her slavish devotion to her US masters means she will condemn purported human rights abuses in Hong Kong, but not a pipsqueak about abuses happening under her nose right here, abuses that had they happened in a non western country she would be all up in arms about.

    • Firstly what human rights abuses in Hong Kong. There is some democracy in Hong Kong under China but none for 100 years under Britain.
      The USA flags waved by the rioters should tell you something. NED look it up.
      China now has laws to restore peace and punish the NED managed “riots”.

      Jacinda is hardly responsible for the legacy of filling our prisons.
      National brought in privatisation of prisons with bullshit promises then double bunking. Act sponsored the infamous grossly unfair three strikes policy.
      Labour does need to clean up the prison management and condition plus institute programs for many of the mentally ill in prison and rehabilitation for the young lives ruined by the prison university of crime.
      The big question is the racial / class/ cultural imbalance in our prisons.
      Look to Scandinavia for a change of approach..
      Wile the wealth / poverty gap grows so will crime.
      The biggest criminals never get to prison.
      Hone needs to be back in parliament but they all ganged up on him. “Wrong class of person”

      • Agree entirely John W.

        The fact that there was massive Western backed rioting in Hong Kong with legislative council trashed, firebombings etc, but not a single death at the hands of the police, shows that the HK government far from trampling on human rights, were extremely restrained in their use of force.

      • “Jacinda is hardly responsible for the legacy of filling our prisons.”

        Labour have been in power for more than three years. That’s long enough to wash some linen.

  3. C’mon Kelvin , Willie and Little what are you going to do about these conditions and following the neoliberal its all about profit won’t cut it.

    Adern and the establishment will want to sweep this disgusting mess under the carpet and who was it that introduced double bunking ? the Nasty Natz of course to save a bit of coin and show how tough they are on punishment and law and order.

    The bill of rights like everything else in this dumb country is a utter farce unless you are rich enough to hire a good lawyer.

  4. To be honest i don’t know where i stand on abolishing prisons because it seems idealistic in the extreme. I’ve met some seriously dangerous people who have no intention of stopping. Having said that, recreating a ww2 prisoner of war camp seems contradictory to the rehab courses published on the prison website page. Most of the demands in the manifesto above point to very poor management, and while NZ is flooded with dummies in management positions, there really is no excuse. Find a new laundry service before you go on holiday, or lose your holidays to organise rebuilding several buildings. Which is more efficient? Which is more economic? Actually now I’ve said it, I’ve seen people close companies and start new ones that behave exactly the same way to escape tidying their mess. Well, good luck to them. Meanwhile, journalists at are worried about corrections staff holidays being interupted, and Judith Collins is concerned about the concern of it all. One big goddamn mess alright.

    • Que sera sera.
      It seems we’re going to have to watch it all play out. However, there have been successful rehabilitation in the past. Like you @ Ethnic Jedi, I’ve met some serious arseholes who’ve gone on to do some serious good – even if some did have a few lapses along the way. In fact they’ve achieved more than a lot of the ‘officials’ this transformational and kind government has “complete faith in” (in this space, going forward)
      Rhubarb rhubarb.
      For me, I can’t blame JA or one or two others who’ve grown up and never experienced anything else (TINA and all the rest of it). Dogma, ideology, unwillingness to consider alternatives, stubbornness dressed up (marketed) as principle.
      Fuk ’em. Let it play out. There’ll always be those that have to learn the hard way.

  5. Prisons do work for the people on the outside (including victims) who are kept safe from people who are deemed to be a danger to the general public. No-one deserves the inhumane conditions described no matter how heinous the crimes were that they were convicted of. Ideally prison should be a place where inmates are taught habits that get their lives back on track so they can live with their families and the general public in peace. If inmates are treated with cruelty they will be very likely to develop PTSD type “prison brain” that will hinder their eventual re-integration back into society and make it more likely that they will re-offend and end up back in the prison system. That is a sad result that helps no-one 🙁

  6. Of course I support their protest, Stuff despite their little ‘oh we have demonised Maori forever’ have continued on their way and put as a headline in the Press ‘prisoners lounging around on the roof tops’. Now would you be able to say, ‘cops lounging around their cars’………

    Sign PAPA people against prison’s Aotearoa petition which I have just received – calling for the Department of Corrections to provide the protesters with food and water.

    It is an Action Stations Petition.

  7. If there was any justice there are politicians from both parties over the past few decades, and Reserve Bank governors who should be thrown into jail for the long term damage they have caused to NZ society, via rapid mass immigration (knowing full well there was inadequate housing and infrustructure to cope iwth it).
    to policies incentivising debt fueled property ponzi speculation, putting the cost of housing out of the reach of many, running down and selling off public assets, and allowing poverty and income inequality to grow wider year by year.

    Aotearoa has gone from the quarter acre dream, to the “Land of the long waiting list” and emergency hotel accomodation.

    But instead of jail time they are made Sirs and Dames.

    • Absolutely correct Polly.

      As for those defending Labour for goodness sake, they won’t really reform anything, they just tinker around the edges. Not much between the two parties really.

  8. This is fast turning into a PR nightmare for Labour and by default Arden personally….her sicophant followers will be waiting for a wave of her wand and a kindness speech…but this is different, this is prisoners and the vast majority of NZ voters want prisoners to be locked up.
    Her biggest problem is the ‘manifesto’ which says brown water/no linen or towel changes for weeks, now a scape goat will need to be found to deal with that one (prison govenor?) As she cant blame National for that…if indeed its true of course, prisoners are not exactly paragons of virtue lol

  9. For about the past year now a global pandemic continues, the public have been subject to a campaign lead by the government promoting improved hygiene, and yet they allow these poor sanitary conditions to develop here.

  10. Im
    It is that self satisfied dismissal of prisoners as much as anything that leads to conditions such as those endured in Waikeria. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

  11. What a lot of bullshit people are writing. These rioters don’t have any mana. Prison is not supposed to be a Hotel Med. If they prefer to live on a roof then they can live in a cell. Isn’t it better to demand improvements before rioting and destroying properties.
    Those complaints they were identified years ago. If it is true that its happening still and hasn’t been remediated then a few heads need to roll in Corrections. Whatever the outcome of any review, add another 5 years at least to the rioters sentences.
    ‘ve had the odd whanau in Waikeria (and elsewhere} and I think the best we can do is to help our children at school with their education and keep away from the life of crime – thru jobs, housing, etc.

    • Learning and rehabilitation in prison has its own minimum standards of living that corrections have been trying hard to dive under now for at least the last 3 months according to some statements.

      It’s either an exercise to legalize extending crime and punishment as far as the conservative view is satisfied, or it’s about defining political power as being consistently below the minimum.

      When I say human rights I believe they are absolute because I care, me, and I do things about it like pay taxes into a broad array of minimum public services including prisons.

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