Judith Collins is boasting about the economic benefits of a new private prison at Wiri, South Auckland. She says the prison will generate $1.2 billion in economic activity over 30 years (yes, that’s 30 years). Something for the people of South Auckland to really look forward to.
I’m not proud that NZ already locks up more people (other than the USA) in any country in the OECD. But it looks like we’re going to need more prisons because of the NActs lock-em-up and throw-away-the-key policies that they’ve been steadily introducing since they became government.
In fact, if we look at parliamentary time spent since the NActs became government, I would guess that more than 50% has been spent on “being tough on crime”, while meantime, programmes for families - programmes that will ensure our children and families are supported and valued are being cut.
I think we’ve lost the plot if we think economic opportunities lie in locking more people up. This is not going to improve the quality of life for all New Zealanders, let alone lower inequalities.
But I do know who will be doing well out of this. Private foreign owners of prisons.
John Key said he was ambitious for New Zealand.
Ambitious to become the prison centre of the world?