Kelvin Davis has plenty of questions to answer

The Corrections Minister has plenty of questions to answer now that the Waikeria Prison riot has come to an end, National’s Corrections spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“It is appalling that on Kelvin Davis’ watch this riot was allowed to continue for six days, leaving Waikeria Prison in ruins.

“This incident must now be the subject of an independent investigation, rather than an internal review, to find out whether Corrections was adequately prepared to deal with a prison takeover. On face value, it doesn’t appear they were.

“Kelvin Davis’ hands are not completely clean here. He scrapped the last National Government’s plans to upgrade Waikeria Prison and then procrastinated on what to do with the facility before scaling back the number of new beds by almost 1000.

“Doing so not only showed disregard for the safety of New Zealanders, it also left Waikeria’s inmates in the conditions they were supposedly protesting. National’s new and improved facility would have been partially operational by now without the Minister’s meddling.

“My thoughts are with the Corrections Officers who responded to this difficult situation. I want to pay particular thanks to those on the ground for the work they did to end this riot safely.”