Correction Minister claims Mt Eden is NZ's highest performing prison

By Heta Gardiner

The content of a Select Committee meeting with Corrections has been given exclusively to Te Kāea and shows concerns about inmate fighting at Mount Eden Prison were raised previously.

The Minister responded in the meeting by insisting that security at the prison was of the highest standard and that it was "the highest performing prison".

That meeting was in June, so does the Minister still stick by his comments? 

Correction Minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says, “According to the 31 March year, yes it was. It is.”

Labour MP Kelvin Davis says, “If that's the highest performing prison, then I don't want to know what goes on in the others!”

The meeting also revealed that the Minister stipulated that some of the blame must be attributed to the inmates themselves.

Davis says, “Serco is in trouble. The Minister knows they are in trouble.”

Despite sticking steadfast to his comments, the Minister does acknowledge that this has highlighted a big issue.  He says, “We've got a review in place looking at some of the footage that has arisen in the past few days.  Certainly that is subject to change.”

Labour has requested an urgent debate on this issue in the House.