Gang leaders responsible for prison fight clubs - Judith Collins

Labour's Kelvin Davis says privately run prisons have no place in New Zealand. It follows the release of a new report which reveals "weekly fight clubs" were taking place at Mt Eden's correctional facility.

A new report has revealed these 'fight clubs' took place every week at Mt Eden prison. It's now prompted this call from Labour's Kelvin Davis.

“I think Serco is useless, whether it's in Mt Eden Prison or Wiri Prison, they're useless. The government should kick them out of NZ and close the door on them.”

But Justice Minister Judith Collins says his view is short sighted.

“We know that this behaviour happened at Mt Eden in the past it certainly was happening in 2008 and was subject to a 2009 report when corrections ran it.”

  • According to this report:
  • Organised fighting was occurring at least once a week.
  • Corrections staff are likely to have been a primary source of contraband.

Staff failing to take an active role in supervising prisoners, staff were observed playing pool or table tennis.

Collins says, “It was happening because a particular group of gang leaders decided that they wanted to run it run these flight clubs they clearly took had some corrections officers at Serco who were intimidated by them or were sympathetic to them.”

Davis says, “Prisons at Wiri say inmates can fight with other inmates even if the guards are close by.”

Corrections say it has now strengthened its monitoring to improve conditions inside the prisons.