New Zealand Penal Policy in the Twenty-first Century

  • John PrattEmail author


In 1961, President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the growth of the military–industrial complex to the health of US society. In the early twenty-first century, it has been the growth of the penal–industrial complex that now poses these dangers to the health of New Zealand and similar societies, by its expansion and the stripping away of resources from all other sectors of society. This chapter argues that, instead of “keeping New Zealanders safe”, as politicians and lobbyists usually justify stringent law and order policies, penal expansion has damaged New Zealand’s well-being.


  1. ABS. 2006. Prisoners in Australia 2000. Canberra: ABS.Google Scholar
  2. Bartlett, Tess. 2009. The Power of Penal Populism: Public Influences on Penal and Sentencing Policy from 1999 to 2008. MA thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.Google Scholar
  3. Belich, James. 2001. Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders from the 1880s to the year 2000. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  4. Cunningham, Chris, and Sue Triggs. 2011. Best Outcomes for Māori: Te Hoe Nuku Roa. Summary of the Regional Results for Wave 4. Wellington: Research Centre for Māori Health and Development.Google Scholar
  5. Department of Corrections. 2011. Offender Volumes Report 2011. Wellington: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  6. Durkheim, Émile. 1964. The Division of Labor in Society. New York, NY: Free Press of Glencoe.Google Scholar
  7. Eisenhower, Dwight. 2016. Farewell Address, January 17, 1961. Accessed 23 Feb.
  8. Falck, Sturla, Hanns von Hofer, and Annette Storgaard. 2003. Nordic Criminal Statistics 1950–2000. Stockholm: Stockholm University.Google Scholar
  9. Fallow, Brian. 2015. OECD Points Finger at Rising Inequality. New Zealand Herald, May 30.Google Scholar
  10. Green, David. 2008. When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. HomeOffice. 2003. Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2002. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  12. Harcourt, Bernard. 2001. Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. ICPR (Institute for Criminal Policy Research). 2016. World Prison Brief. Accessed 25 Feb.
  14. Kay, Martin. 2006. Cells Cost ‘Five Times More Than a Decent Home’. Dominion Post, January 20.Google Scholar
  15. Ministry of Justice. 2000–2015. Conviction and Sentencing of Offenders in New Zealand. Wellington: Ministry of Justice.Google Scholar
  16. Mukherjee, Satyanshu, Evelyn Jacobsen, and John Walker. 1981. Source Book of Australian Criminal and Social Statistics 1900–1980. Canberra: AIC.Google Scholar
  17. NZ Police. 2016. Crime Statistics. Accessed 26 Feb.
  18. Pratt, John. 2006. The Dark Side of Paradise. British Journal of Criminology 46 (4): 541–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pratt, John. 2007. Penal Populism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Pratt, John. 2008. When Penal Populism Stops: Legitimacy, Scandal and the Power to Punish in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 41 (3): 364–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pratt, John, and Marie Clark. 2005. Penal Populism in New Zealand. Punishment and Society 7 (3): 303–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pratt, John, and Anna Eriksson. 2012. Contrasts in Punishment: An Explanation of Anglophone Excess and Nordic Exceptionalism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rashbrooke, Max (ed.). 2013. Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books.Google Scholar
  25. Penal Policy Review Committee. 1981. Report of the Penal Policy Review Committee 1981. Wellington: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  26. Simon, Jonathan, Ian Harvey-Lopez, and Mary Frampton. 2008. After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy and a New Reconstruction. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Statistics Finland. 2016a. Vangit, 1974–2007c Accessed 31 Mar.
  28. Statistics Finland. 2016b. Criminality. Accessed 31 Mar.
  29. Statistics New Zealand. 1980–2015. New Zealand Official Yearbook. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand.Google Scholar
  30. The New Zealand Treasury. 2009. Challenges and Choices: New Zealand’s Long-Term Fiscal Statement. Wellington: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  31. Workman, Kim. 2012. Justice Matters. Paper presented at Quaker’s Retreat on Penal Reform, August 18, in Wanganui.Google Scholar
  32. Workman, Kim, and Tracey McIntosh. 2013. The Criminalisation of Poverty. In Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, ed. Max Rashbrooke, 127–136. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books.Google Scholar
  33. Wylie, Cathy. 2013. Schools and Inequality. In Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, ed. Max Rashbrooke, 137–148. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations