National fluff numbers to hide new Mega Prison


This is being sold as a National Party blunder…

Jenna Lynch analysis: Mark Mitchell gets caught up in spin, not substance in Govt’s worst performance at press conference

Law and order burnt to a crisp – the Waikeria Prison riot saw prisoners rampage on the rooftops in the summer of 2020.

It burnt the high-security unit to the ground, causing $50 million in damage.

The riot added to the need for an out-of-date prison. Waikeria was already in line for a 500-bed high-security facility that was announced back in 2018 but still not completed due to COVID-19.

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Now, the prison is expanding.

“The Government is investing $1.9 billion in Corrections, more officers, prison capacity and more support for offenders turn away from a life of crime,” Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell said.

As the Government amps up tough-on-crime talk, it’s boasting funding to add 810 beds at Waikeria – except all is not as it seems.

“Are the 810 new beds, are they on top of the 500 already being built at Waikeria?” the Government was asked.

“No, no,” Mitchell replied. 

“So, you’re only doing 200 extra beds, not 800 extra beds?” the Government was asked.

“No, there’s an extra 800 beds going into the system,” Luxon said.

“But 600 of them were funded by the Labour Government?” they were asked.

“Well, well,” Mitchell replied.

Just 200 more beds the Government said, not 800.

“I think what we’re doing is we’re re-staking our commitment as the incoming Government to get that delivered,” Mitchell said.

The Government couldn’t say how much the total prison capacity would increase by, compared to the current capacity, nor could it say how much the extension would cost.

“Well, I mean, I can’t give you a number now because it’s commercially sensitive,” Mitchell said.

…National fluffing these numbers is not a blunder.

It was very manufactured…

Here are the corrected numbers: There are currently 455 beds at the prison, Labour’s 600 will be ready for use next year and 810 will be added on top of those – bringing the capacity at Waikeria to 1865 beds. That’s mega prison levels – basically what Labour cancelled when it came into Government 

…the reason why National were so reluctant to spell out how many prison beds they were actually creating is because they’ve made an 1800 bed Mega Prison and ‘Mega Prison’ tests very badly in the polling

They have built a Mega Prison – they won’t feed kids, but will build Mega Prisons.

National are selling the extra 800 beds because they need to keep their redneck voters happy, but what they aren’t telling you and have been at pains to hide is the fact that it’s 455 beds PLUS Labour’s 600 beds PLUS National’s 800 – it’s a fucking MEGA Prison, that’s what National are trying to downplay, the last thing they want is the media to pick up the Mega Prison tag because Mega Prisons poll badly.

No money for new Hospitals, but plenty of cash for a Mega Prison.

No money for new Schools, but money for a Mega Prison.

We don’t have the money to feed hungry kids at school, but we have the money to build a Mega Prison.

We are mere months away from ACT suggesting Private Prisons.

The rich donor class pay for a Right wing Government to give them huge tax cuts while building a Mega Prison to house all those in poverty who are about to get the shit smashed out of them by Mark Mitchell’s looming Police State.

This is what we have become, this is what we have mutated into.

This is what we is now.

Ain’t it funny how the factories doors close?
‘Round the time that the school doors close?
‘Round the time that a hundred thousand jail cells
Open up to greet you like the reaper? – RATM

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  1. Really? I think Mitchell is an idiot. You give him far too much credit to say he was acting. It doesn’t change the numbers released straight after.

    In an interview the other day he basically tried to imply that his mere presence has stopped gangs gathering.

  2. The sheer audacity of these bumbling corrupt clowns on full display.
    This government has to go.

      • Let’s put the Policy to a formula.

        Idea/10  x  Practical Consideration/10 =
        Quality of Outcome % / 100

        ( I/10 × PC/ 10 = QO %/100 )

        Idea = 8/10

        ☆Offenders of streets
        ☆Think big temporary construction employment
        ☆ Tough on crime smug politician look

        Practical = 2/10

        ~ Staff costs, recruitment and housing in rural town
        ~ current per annum cost of prisoners at one site = $216 M
        ~ on-going infrastructure logistics costs egs. Security and Data Technology, Power and 3 waters
        ~ increasing total staff costs across all admin and  ‘ rehab ‘ sectors
        ~ Goon squads – visitor’s management for 1800 prisoners
        ~ managing and delivering on Human Rights

        ( I/10 × PC/ 10 = QO %/100 )

        8/10 × 2/10 = 16% Quality outcome ???

        For every “Yehaaa” idea there’s always a profiteering snake oil salesman somewhere and a dumbf*k to suck in.

      • No Bob, this government makes the last one look way better. There’s something about adding a ‘complete wanker’ feature to the previous incompetence that almost nostalgic. Luxon just sounded so wooden this morning it was unbelievable. At some point he will have a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’ moment where someone plants a “f’ck you San Diego” in the teleprompter.

  3. As far as I am aware the best sign that someone will end up in prison is a previous prison term so it looks like National is intent on having a permanent prison class. They just do not have the imagination to create a system where the drivers of crime (poverty, inequality, etc) are reduced or eliminated so they lock people up instead.
    The real gospel is all about setting people free from sin so Luxon is simply a Judus in the camp with his false punishment theology.
    I am not against prisons & state laws that protect the people however when those laws start to punish more people than they protect we need to wake up to the trap we are being led into.

    • Bonnie, With respect I doubt that lack of imagination hinders these politicians from addressing the drivers of crime. It’s more basic lacks, like human decency, intellectual honesty, courage, honour, integrity – the qualities that distinguished real men from bottom feeders.

  4. The presser was a fustercluk of epic proportions, but probably, as you suggest, Martyn, hides the more sinister fact that prisons and landlords matter much more than, for instance, lunches in schools or free prescriptions.

  5. How do you house the poor? Send them to Waikeria prison I believe facilitates the largest intensive dairy farms in the North Island and has the most beds.

  6. Bad people going to prison is a good idea I think. When in prison try to help,them to become a good person is a good idea.
    The fact it was not happening enough unders Labour watch is another reason they were voted out of office.

    • A better idea would be to help people before they have any interaction with the law. There will always be bad people that need to be locked away for the good of the community, the trick is to prevent the mass of offenders from becoming offenders and not create a business around their incarceration.

      • Oh…? So now we have guess who will have an interaction with the law and help them? How do you help 5.5million people? That is like saying “because we should have helped the All Black before he made the high tackle, there will be no penalty try.” Great, that works.

          • Yes of course millsy the righteous. You’ve had no training to say that rape, murder, robbery, wife beating, ram rading are wrong. Forgive me. But you’ll learn quickly.

    • The fact is, Labour or National have fuck all to do with becoming a better person in prison.

      Its all on the individual. Help yourself. Do your own lag!

    • Who’s gonna do the helping, Trevor? They can recruit more guards from the citizens of the Punjab, and as Mitchell says, people do have to travel to work, but what about the therapists and underpaid coppers? Iraq? The Horn of Africa ? Addressing the causes of crime is a better idea.

    • “Bad” people are probably best in a prison or mental health hospital but a large number of prisoners are only guilty of being slow thinkers or having a poor education (yes both words are relevant) & could be productive members of society with the correct incentive. If you think that spending millions to lock them up is better than thousands to actually help them is a smart move then that is only a reflection on your own selfish attitudes.

      • 100% correct .My daughter works in corrections and has said fuck all effort bis put into rehab because most screws have the saying ONCE A CRIMINAL ALWAYS A CRIMINAL

      • This government is trying to improve school as well. Cellphone ban is a good start at little cost .Reading programs and attendance improvement is another.

        • Trevor If this govt can improve educational standards, well and good. But note that pre-election they committed to SFA, and they were deafeningly silent about the abhorrent transgender ideology being forced upon school pupils. Peters wasn’t, and the MSM boycotted him then, but that’s the main reason that I party voted NZ First.

          Cellphone ban was inevitable, and a drop in the ocean, as far as addressing our children languishing in every measurable basic educational outcome : we don’t even have the qualified staff to address the shortcomings, just as in the debilitated health service, and sneaky privatisation agendas slithering in from every direction.

    • Define bad people Trevor, is bad the landlord that puts his rent up time and time again when he knows his tenants are struggling. Is the same landlord a bad person for taking money for a cold moldy home and refusing to do repairs. Are the supermarkets bad people for having a monopoly so said bad people can’t afford food. Are children bad people for needing free school lunches. Are the wealthy tax dodgers bad people. Are the drivers who refuse to drive slowly around schools bad people .Is the NZ minister first a bad person because he is taking 2 Public service salaries in a time of austerity. Are these government MP’s bad people for telling us they are not borrowing for tax cuts when we know they are lying and they stand up and state that lie on a daily basis, so please Trevor enlighten me.

      • Landlords and supermarket owners are business people not a social agency . so they are not bad .People letting slums and people that turn homes into slums are bad and perhaps prison may stop them. Children who need help are unlucky but the state is there to help them and support the parents. Politicians that lie belong to all parties some are also shoplifters and bullies, so no points scored on that from.
        Bad people that warrent prison are really bad both themselves and society

      • But what about Trevor’s appalling spelling of ” warrant” Bob the retard hypocrite”

        Not so well said eh.

  7. they are not spending extra 1.9 billion because 1.5 is already allocated by the last government .No one can say if they are actually adding more than 200 beds .Another 800 beds will cost 2 billion at the old cost so will be closer to 3 billion .Then there is the cost of 120k per prisoner per year thats 216 million per year .
    surely this money would be better spent on helping young people stay away from crime in the first place .a lot of these young people are children of the state and now we have the mentality of ambulance at the bottom of the cliff treating the symptom and not the cause .

    • National think they’re spending 1.9 billion more because they had meant to rifle that funding for tax cuts.

  8. Feed the kids…house the people…fully employ the working class…no, no, no if you are a Natzo…you simply lock ’em up!

    And Martyn is correct–the real aim here is increased private for profit prisons. Look at the US–Jails full of black and brown people are a major earn for capitalists over there. Just as more dodgy PPPs and new tolls on existing roads are in the frame here now. These people are fucked in the head because how the hell can people in a low wage economy keep paying exploitative rents for dumps, inflated food prices, union busting Charter schools (if Act get their way) and second tier private medical charges?

    Something has to give–and it will. Even many cops and teachers can barely afford to live these days. Public servants are bricking themselves with thousands being sacked in Wellington and the regions. In the Far North where I live we support each other sharing food and resources, but not everyone can do that in bigger centres particularly. The 2023 revenge election has unleashed societal vandalism not seen since the original Rogernomics.

  9. @ Gordon Walker. I agree with you entirely.
    Have you not noticed…? Since rogers neo-liberalism, we’re all in prison to a greater or lessor extent. If you have a massive mortgage you’re in prison. If you’re a poorer parent with teenage kids, your in prison. If you’re getting old and you have no freehold home to call your own, you’re in prison. If you have no savings or a supportive whanau, you’re in prison. There are more ways to be imprisoned than in a horror-box with bars at both ends and a psychopath peering in now and then through a peep-hole.
    Quite a while ago now I read about an experiment in a Spanish prison where prisoners were treated as if they were tourists on holiday. They were ‘imprisoned’ within beautiful, hotel-like rooms with all the modern conveniences and luxuries. The prisoners were fed well, were allowed to have their lovers and kids visit and could even keep pets. When they were released they were given a cash amount upon their release and had prison staff help them find a place to live and to find work and in the in-between time they were given a living wage.
    Recidivism was close to zero in the participants involved in the experiment.
    Solutions: Mandate voting. You live in AO/NZ as a citizen, then you must vote.
    Farmers? You’re our primary industry and as such everyone relies on you guys to be strong, unified and happy. If you are not? Then, we’re all fucked.
    @ Maori. You represent a majority in the prison muster but you’re only about 19% of the population. What does that say about you? What does it say about the other 4.212 million of us? Do you know what it says to me? That figure says to me that you’re being exploited by evil cunts to destabilise our society and our communities to argue for ever more draconian, far right fascist governance so the real criminals can continue to syphon off farmer earned money into their privateer pockets. 14 multi-millionaires, 3118 multi-millionaires and four foreign owned banks stealing our money at a rate of $180.00 second 24/7/365, and that’s after tax, which is in reality a simply a means of money laundering.
    Here’s what you can do. It’s not rocket surgery. @ Farmers and @ Maori? Stop it would ya. Just stop it. Stop working.
    Farmers. Please. I’m literally begging you guys. Stop. Work. @ Maori. Help farmers do nothing. They need your help. They need your interpretation of whanau.
    Our beautiful AO/NZ’s being dragged under by a relatively small group of hideous, greedy, festering rich cunts. graeme hart was national’s largest donor. I mean, what the fuck does that tell you?
    NB. Junior Doctors on strike! Go you guys!
    The heading for the above article was ” The money needs to be found…” Try looking up the 14 multi-billionaires, the 3118 multi-millionaires each with an after tax minimum of $50 million EACH! for fucks sake and the four foreign owned banks taking $180.00 a second after tax 24/7/365 then.

    • You could always look on the bright side countryboy. At least there’ll be upcoming bed capacity for corrupt lobbyists and politicians. Imagine who could double bunk?

  10. Punters don’t care for fluffed presser like the political tragic here. Punters think more crime…more prisons…perfect!

  11. Creating “beds” makes it sound like they are building new hotels for the community whereas crime does the opposite for hospitality and tourism; it destroys it. Enough with the euphemisms, call them “cages”.

    • And Mr Mitchell has signalled more double bunking–which a number of corrections staff do not like one little bit as it makes their lives more difficult, and further traumatises inmates.

  12. Yet another plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel. Or the road to privatization. Only one column has mentioned the word mega prison so far.

  13. ” “Well, I mean, I can’t give you a number now because it’s commercially sensitive,” Mitchell said ”

    That’s the little diversion created to hide your numbers when you are doing dodgy stuff that might be uncovered and remove the need to be transparent when you are spending other peoples money and might run the risk of people questioning your motives.

    Its also used in the private sector and local government.

    At least Luxon heeded the advice to not follow Ms Ardern’s promise to run a the most transparent government ever !

  14. Hidden costs.
    Waikeria will have to double its potable water plant treatment and supply capacity from its never ending magic source; and who will be paying for the doubling of its wastewater pumped to Kihikihi and onto the Te Awamutu treatment station ?

    • Good points OToole. Add on where are the extra staff going to come from and then where are they going to live when they get there.
      Can’t get staff now and there isn’t too many spare houses in Hamilton, Te Awamutu or anywhere else for that matter.

  15. They want this place to become like the USA, where all levels of government spend more on police and prisons than social services, and there is a hard cap on the number of social housing. There is a law in place where their version of state houses can only be at 1999 levels.

  16. From a comment someone made on Facebook on this daily blog post I shared .

    Look at these pages.
    Note that the individual jobseeker support comes to a maximum of ~$45/day.
    For comparison, parole is $36/day, home detention is $56/day. It only gets more expensive. $239-307 per DAY. That’s what someone needing support gets per WEEK.

  17. Given the chaos and corruption of this government they are going to need as many prison beds as possible to house this corrupt lot .

    • White collars never go to Jail C.G

      Definitely not in Gods own capitalist wet dream.

      There are plenty of examples if you dare to do some research.

      Pike and the CTV in Christchurch and Cave creek not forgetting for the of us here that remember Erebus and the cover up that took place while blaming innocent people for the disaster.

      And the laws broken by the Shysters government ..2008-17 and the damage inflicted on innocent people caught up in the black ops operation run from Key’s office an elected Prime minister in our liberal free democracy. See Nicky Hagars research.

      The first weapon of Neo liberalism is to encourage apathy.

      New Zealanders excel at it.

      Do the time only if you aint got the money.

  18. If it’s not Steven Joyce, it’s Nicola Willis, if it’s not Nicola Willis it’s Mark Mitchell and Chris Luxon who are hopelessly out of their depth in accounting. The other alternative is they are simply corrupt.
    The competency of Grant Roberston seems light years away now.

  19. Again, they stumble and basic fuck up, and again as they self promote their new mega ponticon henucky, they fucked it up again, numbers, and both not understanding their numbers, and this stand over x thug, even then looking and speaking over his, leader, as he the Leader, scrambles to dictate.Then other news, a double dipper in Winnie!s, ranks, and then, a school lunch for children, fruit sandwich and a cold juice as winter approaching. ! Shall our spring be saying good bye gone cold burgers.

  20. EH! YOU, who that you,philanthropy, philistine,,egit. moron, children their care is not your egit, lets govern, fool, we are coming ,care knowing. Educate, shall our brain open up, our humanity outside greed and exploit.

    • What are you bleating about? Makes about as much sense as voting for any of the parties currently supposedly running the country – hilarious!

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