Millions of dollars wasted on poorly constructed prison cells, resulting in a terminated contract is yet another failure from Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis, National’s Corrections spokesperson David Bennett says.

“Kelvin Davis has mismanaged the contract with Australian company Decmil from the beginning.

“The Minister may be trying to make Decmil the scapegoat now, but warning bells went off 18 months ago and he was well aware of their unsatisfactory performance when he chose to extend their contract by more than 600 beds.

“Staff had gone back to China to try and sort out those issues multiple times, costing thousands of dollars. Despite this, Corrections staff told the Justice Select Committee last December they were ‘very pleased’ with Decmil’s progress, even though they knew about damaged units, unforeseen costs and significant delays

“This project is now years down the line, Kiwi taxpayers are out of pocket and the Government has nothing substantial to show for it. It now looks as though Corrections will have to spend a further $30 million to find a new contractor.

“Kelvin Davis and Corrections are responsible for providing essential expansions of our prisons. Now there is no safety net should the prison population continue to grow as predicted and Kelvin Davis will have to continue to release prisoners early, putting our communities at risk. 

“Kelvin Davis had plenty of time to take the lead and fix issues with the deal with Decmil, but at the last minute is cutting the contract. Kelvin Davis needs to front up and explain why he’s chosen only now to terminate the contract, and how much extra taxpayer money is going to be spent as a result.”

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