OnPoint by Keith Ng


"Smokescreen," I scream

Can somebody take this up for me?

Can the Minister for Corrections explain why the previous prisoner forecast, included in the Briefing to the Incoming Minister in November 2008, required 275 new prison beds per year, while the new forecast projects a requirement for 555 new prison beds per year?*

* (5000 beds required by 2018 = 555 new beds per year; original forecast was 2200 beds required by 2016 = 275 new beds per year.)

Was it because somebody - not naming any names - made some iddybiddy policy changes?

Drop me a line if you're gonna to ask this.


It's the same bloody pattern again. Focus on the "controversial" stuff, like shipping containers and double bunking, and making it sound as though National has a very new approach to solving an old problem that they are carrying from Labour.

Nevermind that the double bunking is just using "supplementary beds", which is not new or novel - they are following the plan they inherited from Labour down to the letter.

Here. Page 23. The line goes into "supplementary beds" territory. It means that "hey, we're probably going to have to double bunk by mid-2010".

And now, Key and Collins are making the hard calls... by telling us that we're probably going to have to double bunk by mid-2010.

The tough act is a smokescreen for the *actual* news, that the number of new beds required are expected to double.

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