“A letter which outlines in detail a clear crisis that is unfolding within corrections and the system failing at keeping guards safe has been sent from the union to the department’s chief executive,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters Leader of New Zealand First.
“The Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis must address this letter and explain why things appear to have become so out of control under his watch.”
“The scathing letter from the front-line Association to the Chief Executive of Corrections, is in response to initiatives against the increasing violence being shown from prisoners. In each of the five initiatives CANZ has slammed them as utter failures – with assaults against staff continuing to increase.”
“Attached to the letter was the latest assault figures which show a massive increase in violence and assaults over the past few years. The frontline is clearly fed-up of the lack of action being taken to keep them safe.”
“In the letter, the President of CANZ Floyd Du Plessis, states that recruitment and retention is an ‘abject failure’, ‘staff are leaving in droves’, and that leadership ‘is the biggest failure of your department’.”
‘We’re not prepared to continue enduring endless, pointless meetings with people who have no idea of the reality of what we do or the challenges we face’.
‘All we seem to be doing is exchanging letters, with nothing really happening. Our letters and extensive submissions to you detail the issues facing your staff / our members, and your replies accept what we’re saying and how you’re committed to change, but nothing really happens. Richard Waggott is the SRO for all 5 Initiatives, yet under his stewardship what has been put in place? Nothing that frontline staff have seen or experienced.’
“It is clear the management of corrections and the safety of its frontline staff needs to be addressed. This letter is a symptom of a long period of constant failures by the Minister and the Department to address the concerns being voiced by the Association,” says Mr Peters.
“It seems the system is at a crisis point being understaffed with no support, no leadership, and no plan to address the critical issues the frontline is facing.”