Collins celebrating overcrowded prisons

It’s absurd that the Justice Minister is pretending that packing more people into overcrowded prisons is a strategic solution, when she should be trying to address the reasons why increasing numbers of Kiwis are being incarcerated, the Green Party said today.

Minister Collins has this morning issued a press release announcing increased “double bunking” and growing the size of our prisons to meet the out of control demand that her Government has helped created.

“Hearing Minister Collins’ comments about squeezing more and more people into prison cells is particularly galling,” Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon said today.

“Prisons bursting at the seams is a symptom of the Government’s systemic failures, not its successes.

“It’s farcical for the Minister to say that they have made progress in reducing crime numbers while she is scrambling to find room for all the people being locking up.

“The Government is continuing to underinvest in any long term strategic way to address the drivers of crime. One-off ‘windfall’ funds to drug and alcohol treatment agencies is a stop gap, not a solution.

“Mental health facilities are also under-resourced nationally, and police cells and the prison service are becoming ‘de facto’ repositories for people who should be receiving care, not punishment.

“We need to take this chance to have a complete rethink about how we manage our prison systems in New Zealand so that they are part of reducing crime in our communities, not just a place to hold more and more people who need our help.

“Waikeria is not ‘close’ to anywhere as the Minister asserts. It’s disingenuous of her to suggest siting the prison there will enable family and support networks to maintain contact.

“Double bunking is not a solution; increasing the number of beds while not adding to the other facilities a prison needs merely causes overcrowding, increases stress and violence levels at prisons,” said Mr Clendon.

Latest Justice Announcements


The Green Party shares the vision of Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group: “A justice system that treats all people wit...
Read More


Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote

The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in pr...
Read More


Greens welcome police ruling out of Armed Response Teams

The Green Party is welcoming the police’s decision to rule out any extended use of the Armed Response Teams (ARTs) which were recently trialled in ...
Read More


Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at th...
Read More


Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence

The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential thro...
Read More


Justice Policy

Click here for our 2020 Election Priorities on Justice Issues Our commitment to ensure a fair, transparent judicial and legal system together with...
See More