19 May 2017
BBC crew visits Spring Hill
A British film crew has visited Spring Hill Corrections Facility as part the BBC One series ‘Wanted Down Under’.
The successful series, which has been running since 2007, focuses on British families who want a glimpse at life in New Zealand and Australia ahead of possible migration.
A UK based prison officer accompanied the film crew and was given a tour of the prison as well as the opportunity to speak to Prison Director Chris Lightbown and a Department of Corrections recruitment expert.
“It was a really successful experience,” Chris says.
“He has already submitted a job application, so it was about showing him the facilities and answering specific questions about the job. Hopefully we convinced him it was a good idea to make the move.”
“One thing I didn’t have to emphasise is the difference in the quality of our facility compared to prisons in the UK,” Chris says.
“They tend to be cramped and damp, so he was really surprised at how much open space we had and the freedom that prisoners had within the prison walls.”
Having emigrated from the UK with his family around six years ago, Chris could also describe what life is like for a UK citizen settling in New Zealand.
“Based on my conversations with the potential recruit I’m pretty sure at the end of the episode when they ask him if he still wants to immigrate to New Zealand, he will say ‘yes’,” Chris says.
The episode was shot by a three person film crew made up of UK based director/cameraman and a local sound technician and runner.
Corrections is on a recruitment drive to employ hundreds of new corrections officers to help cope with rising prisoner population numbers and the Department’s usual turnover.
Because of the high demand, the Department has been looking overseas for experienced recruits who are willing to bring their skills to New Zealand, with target markets in the UK and Australia, as well as New Zealand.
There are a large number of jobs available at Corrections in many different areas. If you are interested in applying for a role please visit: http://frontlinejobs.corrections.govt.nz/
The episode filmed at Spring Hill Corrections Facility show should air within the next six months.