In a striking admission Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has confirmed the Government was not bound by any public-private partnership contract despite comments from his senior colleagues indicating it was, National’s Corrections spokesperson David Bennett says.
“When asked specifically about a contract for a PPP between the Department of Corrections and private sector consortium, Mr Davis admitted there had been none.
“This is completely contrary to answers given by the Finance Minister and Associate Finance Minister where they claimed that a contract had been signed under National.
“David Clark said, when asked why a PPP was now being used to fund Waikeria Prison, that ‘They [the National Government] signed the contract and it cost $34 million’.
“Grant Robertson subsequently doubled down when asked what date the contract was signed by saying a ‘PPP contract for Waikeria Prison was in place and that breaking it would've cost significant sums of money to this Government’.
“Both statements are false. No contract was signed by the former Government and certainly nothing costing $34 million.
“Why Ministers would so confidently announce they were bound by a contract that doesn’t exist beggars belief, but isn’t entirely surprising from this incompetent Government.
“There’s nothing wrong with using a PPP to build Waikeria – in fact, we were openly doing the same. But the Government freely using PPPs now smacks of hypocrisy given their complete aversion to them ever being used.
“In what has been a shambolic process from start to finish with Waikeria, this latest admission shows the Government doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing, particularly in law and order.”