Construction industry factsheet

The Department of Corrections offers trade training and qualifications in construction and infrastructure in eight of our prisons throughout New Zealand.


We have building refurbishment yards at Rolleston Prison and Spring Hill Corrections Facility where we refurbish Housing New Zealand Corporation houses. There is also a new builds yard at Spring Hill which has covered bays for the construction of new buildings such as classrooms.

Corrections also has several training workshops for construction across the country.

The concrete yard offers the chance to learn concrete skills for a variety of structures.

We offer a range of on the job training, training courses and hands on experience including:

  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing, gas fitting and drainlaying
  • Painting and decorating
  • Plastering
  • Electrical work
  • Brick and block laying
  • Precast concrete operations
  • Crane operation
  • Worksite safety and use of power and hand tools

We offer qualifications in:

  • Gateway Programme in Carpentry
  • National Certificate in Building Construction and Allied
  • Trade Skills (BCATS)
    Certificates in Plumbing and Gas-fitting
  • Certificate in Painting
  • Gateway Programme in Plastering
  • Entry to Electrical Apprenticeships
  • National Certificate in Concrete Core Skills
  • National Certificate in Crane Operations (Mobile)
  • Certificate in Fortlift Operations
  • We also partner with accredited tertiary institutions to deliver quality training to prisoners.

An employment pathway

Lee*, 41, has spent his life in and out of prison. He left school at 14 when his family moved for the fourteenth time – a move for every year of his life. He’s only ever had occasional unskilled work. But these days, at Rolleston Prison in Christchurch, Lee starts work at 8:30am under the tutelage of Rolleston’s carpentry instructor.

Lee is being taught how to use power tools, read building plans and dozens of other highly soughtafter construction skills. Currently, Lee and the 14 other ‘yard crew’ are being shown how to put a new roof on a shed.

Lee’s work includes formal study. With his instructor’s help, Lee is working towards a Carpentry Gateway National Certificate. He finishes work at around 3:00pm, and studies
in his cell after lock-up. It’ll take Lee around three months to get his certificate, and then Corrections will help him find a job outside the prison through the Release to Work programme. Lee now has high hopes for a better future.

*not his real name


Concrete Yard

  • Whanganui Prison

Refurbishment and New Build Yards

  • Spring Hill Corrections Facility
  • Rolleston Prison

Training - Construction

  • Northland Region Corrections Facility
  • Auckland Prison
  • Spring Hill Corrections Facility
  • Tongariro Prison
  • Whanganui Prison
  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison
  • Manawatu Prison
  • Rimutaka Prison
  • Christchurch Men’s Prison
  • Rolleston Prison