Sam Lotu-Iiga must be stood down

The Green Party is calling for the Prime Minister to stand Sam Lotu-Iiga down as Corrections Minister over his continued mishandling of the SERCO debacle.

The Green Party is calling for the Prime Minister to stand Sam Lotu-Iiga down as Corrections Minister over his continued mishandling of the SERCO debacle.

Sam Lotu-Iiga’s answers to questions from the Green Party yesterday show he was either unaware of or chose not to mention a Performance Notice issued to SERCO issued over its failure to return razors, which attracted a $100,000 penalty that was subsequently withdrawn.

“Either Sam Lotu-liga is keeping himself wilfully ignorant of the real extent of SERCO’s stuff-ups or he has totally lost control of his portfolio, either way his position as Corrections Minister has become untenable,” Green Party corrections spokesperson Dave Clendon said.

“John Key needs to clearly state whether he has confidence in Sam Lotu-liga and if he does, on what possible basis.

“This is a Minster who was unaware that fight clubs had been investigated at Mount Eden Prison, has continually underestimated the number and type of incidents that have occurred at the prison, failed to issue a Final Warning to the prison operator in the face of repeated breaches of its contract and who has gone out of his way to defend SERCO at every given opportunity.

“The number of errors and ignorance is beyond comical – the privatisation disaster in the prison system needs to be reviewed by a Minister who is capable of putting aside their politics and do what’s needed to fix this mess,” Mr Clendon said.

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