Serco have made a bid to run Wellington trains

Serco train

*** trigger warning: mentions of rape***

It seems that every other day we are hearing more and more horror stories relating to Serco in New Zealand. Last week we found out that Corrections withheld official reports regarding incidents at Mt Eden prison pre-dating the widely viewed Fight Club videos. [1] And a few weeks before that we learned that Serco were let off $270,000 in fines for serious contract breaches. [2]  How can this happen? If a prisoner in Serco-run facilities can’t be let off their fines, how is it justifiable that Serco can be?

In 3 weeks, the first of two reports investigating Serco will be released to the public and we hope to get some answers. The first report is on the specific issue of the videos and how smartphones were smuggled into Serco’s Mt Eden Prison facility in the first place and the second report, on November 30th, will cover the wide range of other allegations.

The thing is, a report is great for shining a spotlight on specific issues with evidence-based research, but unless a report is coupled with action for positive change it is virtually useless, and that’s where you come in.

Despite the fact Serco are being investigated - a process that has now taken over 3 months - they have continued with bids to run New Zealand’s essential public services, including specifically the train networks in Wellington and Auckland. [3, 4]

Amidst allegations of misreporting, drug-use, and violence in the public services Serco already run, we can’t afford to allow them to have a shot at running other vital public services too. Services like social housing - which they’ve already expressed interest in. [5]

What we want is to get Serco out of New Zealand's public services. We can use the release of this report to start that process, by focusing on the bid they are currently making for the KiwiRail train network in Wellington by calling on Wellington MPs to push for a complete moratorium on all Serco contracts and bids for public services  - old and new - until a full and independent investigation is complete. We'll target Auckland MPs next, once we hit 1000 emails for Wellington.

Simply use the form on the right to send an email to all the Wellington MPs your concerns about Serco running our public services in NZ 

Shocking allegations of rape at Serco’s only other contracted facility, Wiri prison in South Auckland, have seen the police called in to investigate and protests have taken place over the weekend.[6] Wiri was supposed to be the shining light of the partnership between Corrections and Serco, and it’s clear it suffers from similar problems to Mt Eden.

Your support of this campaign so far has been important in keeping pressure on Minister Lotu-Iiga and Corrections, and recent polling shows 70% of people think Serco have no place in our prisons. [7] But there is some way to go until the first report is due and it’s time to take action to further safeguard New Zealand’s infrastructure from Serco’s chaotic mismanagement.

Send an email to an MP now calling for a moratorium on Serco contracts and bids until a full and independent investigation is complete.  

With your support, we can ensure a proper independent investigation into Serco’s mismanagement of our public services and push for a complete ban on their contract bids until that is done. 

Your email will go to:

  • Grant Robertson, Labour MP, Wellington Central
  • Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP, Te Tai Hauāuru
  • Marama Fox, Māori Party MP - Ikaroa-Rāwhiti
  • Alastair Scott, National MP - Wairarapa
  • Trevor Mallard, Labour MP - Hutt South
  • Peter Dunne, United Future MP - Ōhariu
  • Annette King, Labour MP - Rongotai

References:

  1. Corrections hammered over lack of Serco transparency, Newstalk ZB, Oct 5th 2015
  2. Serco let off $270k in fines - Minister, Radio New Zealand National, Sep 15th 2015
  3. Serco - first the prisons and now they want to run the trains, Scoop, Oct 5th 2015
  4. Auckland Trains Ops Shortlist, Transportblog, April 25th 2015
  5. Serco keen to become involved in social housing, 3 News, Aug 22nd 2015
  6. Dozens protest transgender prison treatment, New Zealand Herald, Oct 10th 2015
  7. Voters want Serco gone - poll, 3 News, Sep 21st 2015

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