A riot at Waikeria Prison is escalating, with inmates constructing makeshift weapons and raiding an equipment room for armour and batons.
Ministry of Corrections incident controller Jeanette Burns believes “violent” prisoners are planning to attack staff.
“The prisoners have continued to cause extensive damage to the facility, including forcibly accessing restricted areas including a room used to store tactical equipment that includes power tools, shields, batons and body armour,” Burns said.
This is why any incident like this should be dealt with firmly and immediately. By allowing the rioting prisoners the run of the place for days on end, they have managed to get access to a room which now makes it even more dangerous for the poor prison guards.
The riot began on Tuesday after 17 inmates started several fires.
It’s now Saturday. Why did they allow it to go on for so long?
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi visited the prison in Ōtorohanga on Thursday night to speak with the 16 men who have taken over the prison in protest.
“They are clear that this is not a riot, it is a protest for their human rights for all inmates past and present,” he said.
Sure it is.
The Ministers of Corrections is Kelvin Davis. I assume he flew back to Wellington some days ago to receive regular briefings in the situation and to convey to the Department that they need to restore order in the prison to protect the staff and other prisoners.