Prison Capacity Programme – Phase 2

The Prison Capacity Programme is investigating ways it can provide extra capacity across the prison network due to the increase in prison numbers.

In October 2016, Cabinet gave approval to increase capacity across New Zealand’s prison network in response to growing prisoner numbers.  An additional 1800 prisoners places are to be provided by 2021. Prison capacity is to be increased across three existing prison sites in the upper North Island.

  • Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF) where double bunking will provide 80 additional beds by early 2017.
  • At Mt Eden Corrections Facility (MECF) a new accommodation block (Building C) is to be built for an additional 245 prisoners. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017 and be complete by late 2019.
  • At Waikeria Prison a new facility to accommodate 1,500 prisoners is to be built with construction anticipated to start in 2018 and be complete by late 2021.  The new facility is to be procured through a Public Private Partnership.

By planning for the forecast increase in prisoner numbers the Department can support its core obligations of providing for the safe, secure and humane containment of prisoners.

Fact Sheet: Increasing Prison Capacity to 2021
Fact Sheet: Industry, Treatment and Learning

Northland Region Corrections Facility

Most low security accommodation throughout the prison network is already fully double bunked.  It is proposed to double bunk four low security units to provide accommodation for an additional 80 prisoners.   Subject to staffing and consultation these beds will be in operation by early 2017.

Mt Eden Corrections Facility (MECF)

Government approved the construction of an accommodation block that was originally planned back in 2010.  The accommodation block (Building C) will house 245 additional remand prisoners. The earthworks were prepared in 2010 however the building was not constructed due to a flattening of the remand population at that time.

With the rise in the remand prisoner population, Building C will enable Corrections to ease pressure on remand capacity in the prison network.  The height and location of the accommodation block remains unchanged from that approved by the Auckland (City) Council in 2009. MECF is a critical site due to its proximity to a number of Auckland’s courts. It is expected that construction will begin in the first half of 2017.

Subject to consultation with staff and unions it is anticipated that Building C will come into service late 2019.

Waikeria Prison

Cabinet has approved the building of a new facility at Waikeria Prison in the Waikato.  It is proposed that the new facility would accommodate 1500 male prisoners.

Waikeria is one of the country’s larger prison sites covering 1200 hectares. The availability of land and its proximity to Auckland, Hamilton and the Bay of Plenty make it an ideal site for further development. The new facility is to be procured through a Public Private Partnership where the Department will  select an appropriate private sector consortium partner to design, build and finance the new facility andprovide asset management and facilities maintenance services under a long term performance-based contract. The Public Private Partnership does not include the operation of the facility. The Department will retain the responsibility for custodial health, rehabilitation and employment activities. This is the same model that Corrections is using to build the new maximum security facility at Auckland Prison.

The first stage of the procurement process involved an invitation to respond to the Expression of Interest (EOI) released by the Department on 11 January 2017. The EOI responses will be evaluated by the Department and the respondents who demonstrate the capacity, capability and understanding to deliver the project will be shortlisted for the Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP is to be issued in April 2017. Construction of the new facility will start in 2018 and be completed by the end of 2021.

Click here to find out more about the Waikeria Prison build.