Corrections says a multi million dollar investment in rebuilding and refurbishing Auckland and Manawatu prisons will resolve  issues raised in independent assessment reports released today by Corrections’ new Chief Inspector, Janis Adair.

A new $300 million state of the art facility is nearing completion, adjacent to the current prison at Paremoremo, Auckland, while a two year, $15 million refurbishment is planned at Manawatu Prison.

“We are committed to ensuring we are meeting accepted international standards of safety, human dignity, rehabilitation and reintegration needs within prisons. This independent role of the Chief Inspector will ensure those standards are maintained and improved on, wherever possible,” said Neil Beales, Chief Custodial Officer.

“Auckland Prison houses some of New Zealand’s most disturbed and dangerous prisoners and the Inspector’s report found that security was a constant challenge. While it was noted that violence was not widespread, the new, purpose built facility, will make it safer for prisoners and staff alike by updating facilities, and will enable the current maximum security facility to be retired.”

“The new prison is designed to provide enhanced treatment and rehabilitation for prisoners including improving the model of care, with each unit featuring its own health and programme rooms, to give prisoners greater access to staff, treatment, education and rehabilitation. This will enable us to better assess a prisoner’s needs and security classification faster and begin their rehabilitation sooner.”

“This focus on health and rehabilitation has been balanced by making the prison highly secure. The safety of the public, staff and prisoners has been central to the plans for the redevelopment,” said Mr Beales.

The $15 million refurbishment programme at Manawatu Prison will address the following issues:

  • A single point of entry to the prison, down from the current three
  • A complete refurbishment of B Block – including creation of more areas for prisoners to interact safely
  • Installation of an audio visual suite to facilitate prisoner court appearances.

“Manawatu Prison has seen a rapid increase in prisoner numbers. Originally set up to house 48 remand prisoners there are currently more than 120 on site. The Chief Inspector has praised the response of staff for the way they have handled the environment in which they work and the extra challenges resulting from more prisoners on site,” said Mr Beales.

“We are aware that more than one entry point increases the risk of security breaches. There is already considerable investment being made to improve the physical condition of the prison and we intend to use this report to help drive improvement in our prison network.”

The national prison muster is sitting at approximately 10,700 and the Chief Inspector has identified that some issues facing Auckland and Manawatu Prisons, including a growing muster, are outside of its control.

“Inspections like this are invaluable. Daily life in a prison can be demanding and due to the busy and complex nature of the job, staff can miss the opportunity to reflect on progress. A report such as this helps refocus our work and maintain standards across the system.” “The investment in the prisons also shows Corrections commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of staff and prisoners and helping make communities safer,” said Mr Beales.

Read the media release from Office of the Inspectorate.

Inspection reports

Response from the National Commissioner