The Law and Order Referendum
and other related issues in New Zealand
The Mangaroa Obscenity
An indepth look at the Mangaroa Compensation Deal
In early August of 2000, four Mongrel Mob members were paid compensation for alleged mistreatment at Mangaroa Prison (now known as Hawkes Bay Regional Prison) in the early 1990's. The sums involved have not formally been released by the Crown Law Office, but apparently range from $40,000 to $90,000. The Herald broke the story along with the Dominion and the Evening Post to the horror of the public, largely thanks to Richard Prebble raising the matter in Parliament. Had he not done so, the actual quantities involved may never have become known to the public.
crime victims have no recourse to any UN committee or agency....
It is true of course that the guards at Mangaroa were out of hand, and breached UN and other protocols regarding the treatment of prisoners. They were investigated and disciplined for these actions, and some were dismissed.
However, before we rush to judge them, we need to remember that most of us have not been in the position of controlling scum like Gillies or Raheke, and it is difficult to imagine just what it is like to deal with people of this sort. Norm Withers also raises the valid point that the prisoners were treated better than the victims of their own violent crimes. He also notes that crime victims have no recourse to any UN committee or agency....
It should also be noted that when the situation was reversed and it is the prison guard that is attacked, then there was no compensation given by the prison service, and a rather pathetic $12,000 from ACC. This despite the fact that the guard, Mr Hemaloto has been unable to hold down a steady job ever since.
Public outrage is probably more a result of the nature of the lowlifes to which the payments have been made, rather than the actual quantities involved. The first of the four named is John Gillies the lowlife who very nearly killed Nigel Hendrikse a few years back, and has more recently said he will kill again if a cop gets in his way. He is also having his hideous facial tattoo removed at public expense.
The second is Micheal Ratima, a rapist, now back behind bars for kidnapping and raping a Wellington woman. The third is Nevara Rehaka, also a rapist, and the fourth, an attempted murderer, Warren Te Hei. All four are Mongrel Mob, the most violent and evil of our gangs. These are people Without any regard or respect for anyone. No wonder taxpayers are outraged....
This single event will more than anything else define the public view of this Government and their Law and Order Policy. It will be remembered at the next election, as will other excessive coddling of hardened thugs.
The most absurd thing about this is that the whole sorry saga could have been defused or at least minimized in effect had the government handled it better. As a side note, United Party leader Hon Peter Dunne was right on the mark with this comment on the matter, complete with a form for ALL assault victims to apply to Ms Wilson of the Crown Law Office for compensation..
...who is making these decisions, for it appears not to be our elected representatives...
Phil Goff's reaction seems to indicate that he is only going along with the Crown Law Office grudgingly, and that he is displeased that these scum, as he accurately describes them, have received these compensation payments. In this he appears at least to be in touch with public opinion, as is his job, unlike Matt Robson. This does however raise the issue of who is making these decisions, for it appears not to be our elected representatives...
The Crown Law Office should have tried to bring the whole matter before a jury. As Richard Prebble quite rightly points out, no jury in this country would have awarded any of these gang members a dollar. The only thing that may have complicated this is that an unfortunate precedent was set a few years ago where a similar situation arose regarding mistreatment by care workers at the Lake Alice mental health facility.
The Crown succeeded in having that case tried by a judge, because the patients involved would have elicited sympathy from a jury. That success may well have come back upon them, by setting a precedent, but it would have been more acceptable to the public had they at least tried for a jury decision in this case.
If this had failed, it would have been wise to have taken steps to ensure that the victims of these scumbags were able in turn to sue them for compensation, even providing free legal aid and assistance to the victims if necessary. This strategy would have been more expensive, but would have been far more acceptable to the public.
Had the victims been advised well in advance, they could then have taken legal steps to have the payouts frozen in the accounts concerned before word of the whole sorry affair even reached public notice, and the government would have emerged from the situation smelling perhaps not quite like roses, but at least not like that other brown stuff that has now hit the fan...