Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has issued an embarrassing clarification after saying he didn’t see the latest prison population projections before deciding to build a smaller prison at Waikeria.
The newly released Ministry of Justice report, from 2017, has the prison population increasing by an additional 2000 people compared to the previous forecast.
It’s now forecast to increase by more than 4000 by 2027 – that would take the prison population from 10,300 in June 2017 to 14,400 in June 2027.
The projections were completed in October, the report says, with the figures not released publicly until last week.
On Monday morning Mr Davis said he hadn’t read the report until Sunday night.
The admission that he hadn’t read a months-old report before making a crucial decision on the size of Waikeria Prison was met with surprise, leading the news at the next hour.
Who knows now if he had or hadn’t read the report. Several of his colleagues boast how they don’t read their papers, so quite possible he didn’t.
But either way another own goal which adds to the impression of a Government that is struggling to actually govern.