Corrections Minister opens new learning centre for training and safety

  • Corrections has invested $5.3 million in new National Learning Centre
  • Provides accommodation for over 150 staff
  • Multiple purpose-built learning spaces, conference facilities and lecture theatre 

A new National Learning Centre opened this morning will ensure new recruits and existing staff receive the highest possible standard of training to keep them and the public safe, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says.

The centre, which has received a $5.3 million investment from Corrections, is based at the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport and replaces the former Staff College at Rimutaka Prison.

“Nearly 1,000 new recruits underwent training last year, and the old college simply wasn’t fit for purpose. We now have a purpose-built learning facility with the capacity to meet our training needs,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The prison population has increased by 20 per cent over the last five years, and this has put stress on not only our facilities, but also our people.

“Recruitment is one way we can release the pressure on Corrections staff, and so it’s vital our recruits receive their training in a modern, first-class facility like this one.

“The centre’s modern learning environment is fully equipped to teach staff the skills and techniques they need to keep the public, themselves and offenders safe.”

 61 Corrections officers and offender employment instructors also graduated today in the first graduation ceremony to be held at the centre.

 “I’m proud of these women and men for wanting to make a difference in people’s lives and help offenders get on the right track so they don’t re-offend once they’re out of prison,” Kelvin Davis said.

 “It was a privilege to present the Minister’s Excellence Award to Ceri Thomas from Auckland Prison for the leadership, professionalism and excellence he demonstrated throughout his 12 weeks of training.

 “Today’s graduates are well-prepared to step into their new roles, and the National Learning Centre means future recruits and existing staff now have the facility they deserve,” Kelvin Davis said.