The issue of prisoner rights is never going to be a winning issue in politics.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Justice Minister Andrew Little, and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis have been reminded of that this week as they grapple with voting rights and letter-writing rights, and what limits should apply.

Prisoner voting is a particularly difficult issue for Labour, which has to balance its reforming instincts with the electoral reality that, even in the unlikely event they muster the votes in Parliament, it will lose them votes at an election.


The ban is well set out in statute. The courts