The Government is set to pay $1.35 million in ex-gratia payments to prisoners and Corrections’ staff following a riot at Waikeria Prison over the New Year.
The payments cover prisoner and staff personal property which was lost during the riot due to smoke and fire damage.
A Cabinet paper states about $1.3 million would go directly to more than 800 prisoners – with about $21,000 having already been paid out.
Meanwhile about 190 Corrections’ staff are eligible to receive almost $50,000.
The Department of Corrections allowed this riot to continue for six whole days, during which time the damage was done. If they had sent the necessary force in to suppress it early on, then there would be no need for taxpayers to fork out $1.3 million to the other prisoners.
It should not take six days to regain control of a prison. It shouldn’t even take six hours.