Justice advocacy group JustSpeak is calling on Minister Davis to show leadership and focus on his commitments to
meaningful change in Corrections policy, following his accusations against Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi and
People Against Prisons Aotearoa yesterday.
“Minister Davis needs to take responsibility for the systemic failures in Corrections facilities across Aotearoa and
demonstrate his Government’s commitment to actually making change, rather than attempting to deflect attention from the
human rights abuses happening on his watch” said JustSpeak Director Tania Sawicki Mead.
“Just yesterday, Judge McNaughton’s
interim ruling made clear that women at Auckland Women’s Regional Prison were subjected to degrading and inhumane
treatment, as well as excessive use of force.
“This follows evidence from multiple Ombudsman
reports that show unacceptable conditions at prisons across the country, including Waikeria, and a review by Corrections
itself finding a punitive culture
at Auckland Women’s with multiple breaches of the law and inadequate healthcare.
“Accusations against volunteer groups and politicians are a distraction from the Minister’s promises to make meaningful
changes under Hōkai Rangi so that people in prison are treated with respect and humanity.
“In the Minister’s own words,
the Hōkai Rangi strategy ‘is an admission that the status quo is no longer acceptable’ - we need to see the evidence
that he is actually focused on changing the status quo, rather than defending it.
“As a community we will all benefit when this Government finally makes good on its promises for transformational change
that focuses on prevention over punishment and ending the devastating mass incarceration of Māori.
“That is the best way the Minister can ensure the safety and wellbeing of people being held in prison as well as
Corrections staff”, said Ms Sawicki Mead