Labour’s prison hypocrisy

Laura Walters at Stuff reports:

Do as I say, not as I do. Entering Government almost inevitably makes a hypocrite out of a morally assured opposition, and the coalition’s new prison is a prime example.

It sure is.

In order to get something across the line to help alleviate the pressure on the system, before planned criminal justice reforms take effect, he had to do two major things he was strongly opposed to while on the other side of the fence: double bunking, and entering into a public-private partnership (PPP).

And they had the choice of not doing either. This was not forced on them.

The new prison will also be financed, designed, built and maintained through a PPP.

Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party have consistently said they will not enter into PPPs when it comes to schools, hospitals, or corrections, but are open to PPPs for transport and infrastructure.

See that corrections there.

The minister’s office says the PPP allows Corrections to use private sector expertise, “so that new ideas and innovations can be applied to this project, while delivering value for money”.

But it’s hard to buy the spin when those who are now the decision-makers were publicly opposed to the concept until the day of the announcement.

During Question Time on Thursday, Associate Finance Minister David Clark said: “there is clear evidence around the Government’s prior experimentation with PPPs that they did not work. There are a number of perverse outcomes, and this Government has steered clear thus far of any such foolishness.”

The translation of this is “Their PPPs are bad, but our PPPs are good”.

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