Corrections Minister to ask Serco 'serious questions'

  • 23/07/2015
Corrections Minister to ask Serco 'serious questions'

An urgent meeting is set to take place today between Serco and the Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga.

It's been revealed prison operators Serco did not inform him about a riot at Mt Eden Prison, which started in a gang fight and ended with prisoners barricaded in cells.

The incident happened in May but Mr Lotu-Iiga admits he only found out yesterday.

Labour's Kelvin Davis is scathing – he joined Paul Henry yesterday where he spoke about the alleged "dropping" of the prisoner by a fellow inmate as part of a "fight club" and that officials knew about this.

This morning, Mr Lotu-Iiga joined Paul from Wellington where he explained how he has asked Mr Davis for evidence of these claims and that there are now reviews in place with Serco.

"I've asked him to come up with evidence and we are looking into what happened," says Mr Lotu-Iiga. "I'm unhappy, and that’s why we have ordered a review".

He says that in today's meeting – which will be held at 11am - he will be asking Serco "serious questions. I'm asking them to fully cooperate and to fully communicate with us".

Mr Lotu-Iiga says he has told them of his disappointment about the situation.

"I've not been told certain things before it hit New Zealand," says Mr Lotu-Iiga. "There will be serious consequences if these allegations turn out to be true."

When asked whether Serco could lose their contract, Mr Lotu-Iiga stated that it's "too early at this stage to make this conclusion".

Watch the video for the full interview with Sam Lotu-Iiga.