MP for Waiariki and Co-Leader for the Māori Party Rawiri Waititi has been contacted by whānau of the 16 of Waikeria who have said they are only willing to surrender if he is present.
“They have said they are willing to surrender but only if I am there because they believe their safety will be compromised”
“They don’t trust the authorities and believe they will be harmed upon surrender”
“They have stated, they will come out in body bags if I am not there to escort them out and ensure their safety”
“Remember this is a protest not a riot”
“I am willing to go and have made several attempts today to contact the appropriate authorities to gain access into Waikeria a second time, including the Minister of Corrections, but I am getting blocked every where I go”
“The law allows the right for any MP to visit prisons and to communicate with prisoners in regard to their treatment in prison or a complaint about treatment”
“The purpose of my first visit was never to negotiate surrender. I went to listen. The purpose of this visit will be to ensure the safety of the 16 when they surrender”
“The conditions they protested against have been supported by an independent Ombudsman’s report in August of this 2020”
“We have the opportunity to solve this issue and keep everyone safe but the authorities are letting their egos and beauracracy take over instead”
“If this situation turns to custard and if there are any casualties – that is entirely on the Government”


  1. Waititi has gone up hugely in my estimation . He should be seen as the valid third party emissary that he most certainly is in this debacle. Where the fuck is our government?????

  2. Representatives of families of the prisoners have called on the Minister of Corrections to resign if he doesn’t give a lead or direction on how to end this standoff.

    Angela Davis wrote; “Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages.”
    The powerless Waikeria prisoners putting their existence into public view are putting the powerful on trial.
    How will the powerful react?
    With violence and repression?
    With justice and compassion?

    There is no midddle ground. The choice between the two options is black and white.
    Someone, somewhere, has to make a decision one way or the other.

    More repression, more violence will not solve the underlying problems, only push them further down out of public view, to erupt again, possibly in even more extreme ways.
    The Waikeria rooftop protest requires a political solution.
    Corrections staff, and emergency responders like the police, answer for their orders to their political masters.
    What are their political masters directions?
    Where are those who are paid to give a lead?
    Where is the Minister of Corrections, Kelvin Davis?

    Kelvin Davis said he won’t be commenting on the situation until it is resolved.

    Instead of giving a lead and direction, Davis has chosen to play the role of modern Pontius Pilate, wiping his hands of the matter, laying the groundwork for all future blame for any tragic outcome or even deaths onto Corrections and police.

    this crisis has highlited the fact that Kelvin Davis is a cowardly policitical lightweight unfit for the office he holds.

    Davis needs to step up and do the job he is paid for, or resign.

    • Davis has to do what Jacinda advises, and Jacinda perhaps to do what Helen and Heather advise and with all non-essential services enjoying a nice summer holiday break there is a stalemate.

    • The minister is doing his job, working behind the scenes with officials/staff to resolve this and he doesn’t need to do media grandstanding like desperate opposition mps. The minister is also building a new facility.

      “Ara Poutama Aotearoa – the Department of Corrections is developing a new prison with a dedicated mental health and addiction service at Waikeria Prison. The facilities will provide a safe, secure, and respectful environment for staff, prisoners, and their whānau”


  3. Waititi has them out now and in doing so has increased his mana I would think . Kelvin Davis is trying to vilify them and looks more pathetic by the minute. For whatever reason they were inside they need to be treated with regard to their welfare.

    • Did he though?, he said he could easily resolve it but couldn’t. What looks pathetic is opposition mps using this for political point scoring.

    • “Corrections, which says it is committed to resolving the incident safely, said on Friday that the prisoners agreed with negotiators earlier this week that they would surrender if they could speak to kaumatua.

      “This was facilitated however did not resolve the situation. Later in the day the prisoners committed to surrendering if they could speak with MP Rawiri Waititi,” incident controller Jeanette Burns said.

      “This was also facilitated and did not resolve the situation. We have negotiated in good faith, and prisoners have defaulted on the commitments that they have made.”

      And it was AFTER the prisoners had decided they would end the riot and surrender that Waititi was granted access for the second time to escort them which makes this article somewhat premature with its assumptions.

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