Waatea News Column: After Waikeria Prison Riot – What Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis must be doing now

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After the lack of leadership displayed during the Waikeria Prison Riot, Minister Davis must be urgently reviewing the current state of the NZ prison muster.

By kicking the break down of conditions into touch with some bland promises of an internal review announced, Minister Davis must surely be sidestepping the empty assurances from Corrections and be independently reviewing what is actually going on inside our prisons.

It is apparent to anyone watching that Corrections have had staffing issues during Covid which have grown from the occasional weekend breakdown of prison conditions to issues that dragged on for weeks if not months.

The question Minister Davis must urgently have answered is, ‘how many other prisons have fallen into the same cycle of internal staffing issues that are creating conditions that are creating the same potential for a riot’.

Minister Davis was fortunate enough to have the Māori Party step up and show leadership by deescalating Waikeria but he was also lucky that the riots didn’t spread to other prisons.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

One prison riot is unfortunate, two prison riots is careless.

 

First published on Waatea News.

18 COMMENTS

  1. What he should be doing is standing down. Coming on TV, after the incident had ended, and saying some of them were gang members is truly appalling.

    For goodness sake what does it take to be brave and adopted a new way of imprisoning in this country, do as the Nordic countries do.

    How often does Davis turn up to a prison and inspect the place without the facility being notified. This should be happening regularly.

  2. Is this really the year for our governmemt ministers to be taking a nice long one month summer holiday? 2020 was just an appetizer and i am not even sure that 2021 is the main course. That Labour cabinet better hit the ground running on monday or we are in for a shit storm year on so many issues. Prisons Covid Health Lockdown Economy Poverty Housing Inequality Unemployment

    • Well said Peter . I am old school and get a paper each day and over the past 2 weeks there have been a number of stories where the government has been asleep at the wheel. We all need a break to charge our batteries but it could be done without everything stopping at a time of the worst crises to hit this country and the World in years.
      Quarantine staff leaving due to fear and being ostracized by others house prices and rents out of control country doctors leaving due to burn out and no help with relief staff .
      Jacinda needs to be told the country needs more than a big smile to fix our country we need to see some action plan

      • “We all need a break to charge our batteries but it could be done without everything stopping at a time of the worst crises to hit this country and the World in years.”

        Seems it’s a phenomenon unique to NuZuln. Even most MSM shut down for weeks on end and rehash “the best ofs” and reviews, while in the rest of the Whurl history continues with just one damn thing after another. (And in the new subscription-based begging media – brought to you by a few including Mr Fa-faa-faa-aaaaF-f-f-foi, which serves to enhance the digital and media “divide”).
        Quite quaint really – except when you consider the exploited keep getting exploited and have to wait just a little longer for relief (or at least for the promise of an inquiry on how to provide some relief); the same old shit continues in prisons; the same old monopsony-style shit continues with supermarkets; those “essential workers” remain at the bottom of the food chain; nurses, teachers and the like struggle whilst their masters-of-the Universe overlords holiday in parts unknown, and their spin doctors and PR/marketing sperts practice their language and bullshit for the new year (in that space, going forward)
        I hope Labour have a plan. I really do – having supported them over a lifetime in one way or another. But unless it’s more than half a dozen (if that) competent Munsters led by an expert in marketing and spin WITH good intentions and more than an ounce of compassion, it ain’t gunna cut it much longer – especially when their are one or two others in the background that’d do a better job.
        Some of them REALLY have well and truly been captured by the cistern in which they operate.

        • Trev and Tim – Agree. I’ve boycotted the Dom-Post since the Stuff girls jumped on the bad white people band waggon, but there’s too much being blithely ignored by politicians appearing online daily.

          Minister Davis is not an island.

          The sort of radical overhaul of the justice system and prisons is beyond the thought processes and the gumption of govt. The ‘ this generation’s nuclear moment’ climate cry, was mistakenly taken at face value by fools like me – but I still didn’t vote Labour.

          The ‘ child povidy’ sound bite produced nice warm fuzzies in a way that addressing our shocking incarceration numbers and their unacceptable conditions
          never will, so a self-serving silence will continue to suit whatever their agendas may happen to be- but the Nats had no long term vision either, apart from selling the family silver, toadying up to the USA, and being dirty.

          Ardern’s advising people to relax and enjoy Christmas took my breath away when so many are finding life very hard, especially children living blighted little lives.

          Ardern’s and Robertson’s limited life experience and sheltered backgrounds are no excuse for not heeding voices other than the two H’s, but they’ll get away with it as long as the public perceives major social problems as pertaining to the colour brown, whether home-grown or imported.

          The impetus to reform the prison system won’t come from the Pollies, nor from the effete Public Service. Every now and then circumstances produce an outstanding or innovative SSC, or a head of something, but the current obscenely inflated salaries seem designed to disconnect pretty people from reality, and render consideration of moral obligations unamusing cocktail party conversation pieces.

          I have hoped that some UNO mechanism could be brought to bear on this country for the barbarity of a prison system which can destroy lives totally unnecessarily and produce more buggered up people. As far as our beautiful children are concerned, I am angry that in the 21stC, the joys of childhood escape many, when we can actually afford to do better, but won’t, and I consider that morally indefensible, and criminally myopic.

  3. The ongoing hypocrisy of the Adern Labour-led government, at a time when we need ministers with courage we have wimps and lackeys leading on massive social issues. Nothing is going to be done to fix anything, let alone transform AO/NZ, and as soon as we are vaccinated watch the engine/system rev up to full steam BAU planet wrecking policy by none other than “this is our nuclear moment” Prime Minister and her cabinet doing more to lead us down the garden path when we should be getting ready for the change that is about to land on all our doorsteps. She has zero vision for the next 3 years other than protecting her brand.

  4. Decriminalise all street drugs as other arguably more evolved and intelligent countries have done or are doing.
    Tax the fuck out of the High End S-Wanker-Dollar-Bot Flouncy Fascist Prancers sequestering more than say $500,000 in ‘pay’ per annum to enable our government to be able to pay a basic income to those whom they gleefully exploit.
    Impose a crushing capital gains tax on property speculation.
    =
    Less people in prison because street drugs would be a health issue not a criminal justice issue.
    Less of the social stigmatising that drove many to dysfunction. If one’s poor enough for long enough one does go a little ‘special’.
    Rutger Bergman TED talk.
    “Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash”
    https://youtu.be/ydKcaIE6O1k
    And finally everyone’s in a house.
    Is the reason why such commonsense and well proven tactics are not implemented in AO/NZ because our republican american owners say no? After all, [they] have us so buried in debt to their banks via those banks who were once ours but are now Australian owned who are now owned by the USA banks who are in turn owned by the Fed Reserve ad infinitum.
    And if you’re still wondering why we have a dysfunctional neo liberal politic which seems to blithely ignore that least common sense of the senses, that being common sense, then perhaps part of the answer lies here.
    “Psychopaths favor right-wing authoritarianism, finds study”
    https://boingboing.net/2020/12/24/psychopaths-favor-right-wing-authoritarianism-finds-study.html

    • well yea @CB, but you are pushing shit uphill if you expect our wonder-boys and political and public service elite to understand the basics.
      The down-trodden/precariat or however you want to describe them, will always seeks ways of escape. It’ll either be through various anaesthetics and all the shit that goes with that; or it’ll be by way of attempts at “legitimate” representation in existing structures (in this space, going forward); or it’ll be by something more violent.
      Hopefully nobody will be surprised by whatever comes to pass, but you’d hope there are a few that have come to realise.
      I’ve decided as of last week that I actually quite like popcorn especially while I follow the chain of bullshit artists and their agendas.

  5. “We all need a break to charge our batteries but it could be done without everything stopping at a time of the worst crises to hit this country and the World in years.”

    Seems it’s a phenomenon unique to NuZuln. Even most MSM shut down for weeks on end and rehash “the best ofs” and reviews, and ‘sharing content’, while in the rest of the Whurl history continues with just one damn thing after another. (And in the new subscription-based begging media – brought to you by a few including Mr Fa-faa-faa-aaaaF-f-f-foi, which serves to enhance the digital and media “divide”).

    Quite quaint really – except when you consider the exploited keep getting exploited and have to wait just a little longer for relief (or at least for the promise of an inquiry on how to provide some relief); the same old shit continues in prisons; the same old monopsony-style shit continues with supermarkets; those “essential workers” remain at the bottom of the food chain; nurses, teachers and the like struggle whilst their masters-of-the Universe overlords holiday in parts unknown; and their spin doctors and PR/marketing sperts practice their language and bullshit for the new year (in that space, going forward)

    I hope Labour have a plan. I really do – having supported them over a lifetime in one way or another. But unless it’s more than half a dozen (if that) competent Munsters led by an expert in marketing and spin WITH good intentions and more than an ounce of compassion, it ain’t gunna cut it much longer – especially when there are one or two others in the background that’d do a better job.

    Some of them REALLY have well and truly been captured by the cistern in which they operate. Yep, they need to hit the ground running or JA and one or two others better be dusting off their CV’s in the hope of a slot at the U.N. or some local body in the next season of “The Gummint”

  6. BTW…?
    If kelvin davis deliberately posed for the photograph of himself above? Assumed the position?
    He should never, ever be allowed to become a politician.
    This piece of fiction might help to explain why.
    American Psycho (film)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Psycho_(film)
    And this piece of fact might help as well.
    Psychopaths favor right-wing authoritarianism
    https://boingboing.net/2020/12/24/psychopaths-favor-right-wing-authoritarianism-finds-study.html

  7. This is the guy that tore up Nationals plans for a new prison even while double bunking was the norm due to overcrowding. In a 100 year old prison. Conditions must have been appalling.

    He got his little soundbite on TV by fiddling with the bail condition rules to effect a tiny and temporary dip in prison numbers, but beyond that he’s just sat on his hands.

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