New Zealand Labour Party

Government goalposts taken off the field

The Government’s decision to dump the Better Public Service (BPS) Target to Reduce Reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 shows when it comes to measuring their progress the National Government hasn’t just shifted the goalposts, but has taken the goal posts right off the field, says Labours Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“National has failed dramatically to meet their target and rather than assess where they’ve gone wrong, they’ve simply stopped measuring.

“It’s the political equivalent of the Wallabies, deciding not to keep track of the score when they play the All Blacks, so that no one can accuse them of losing.

“Corrections are still in the game, just no longer keeping track of their results. There is no longer any accountability to the taxpayer for Correction’s failures.

“With an attitude like this reoffending rates will continue to rise, there will be more crime, more victims and New Zealanders will be less safe. This undermines Correction’s core responsibility to the people of New Zealand, ‘to protect them from those who could harm them’, as stated in their Annual Report.

“New Zealand can’t afford to continue to spend $100,000 a year just to keep one person in prison.

“The Government’s lock ‘em up for longer approach is short sighted and has contributed to the reoffending rate.

“Longer prison sentences for mental health and addiction issues doesn’t reduce problems for offenders. It makes them more likely to reoffend and then we continue to punish these people for being unwell.

“Labour is calling for a cross-party strategy to address the many problems that Corrections faces because of National’s failures, says Kelvin Davis.