New Wiri prison on schedule, boosting local economy

  • Anne Tolley

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says that building work is on schedule for the 29 buildings on the site of the new prison at Wiri in South Auckland.

Work is due to be completed on the new cell blocks, training, education and health buildings by early 2015, for the new 960-bed men’s prison.

The facility is being designed, financed, built, operated and maintained by the SecureFuture consortium through a Public Private Partnership. The 25-year contract, worth approximately $840 million, represents a 17 per cent, or $170 million, saving for taxpayers than if it had been procured through conventional means.

“I had a great look around the site today and was impressed by the progress being made,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Alongside excellent safety and security, the new prison will have the modern rehabilitation facilities that we need to support our target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

“For example, the huge industries building, where prisoners will be given skills and employment training, will help prepare offenders to make a positive contribution to society upon release, so they don’t return to crime.

“The new prison, which is in an area of high population growth, will also allow offenders to stay in closer contact with their families, something we know is important for rehabilitation. Currently around 1000 prisoners from Auckland are housed in facilities outside of the city.

“The building project has also provided a huge boost to the local economy, with businesses within 10 kilometres having won sub-contracts worth $36.6 million. There will be a peak of around 800 workers on the site at any one time during construction, and since work began over 2,500 workers have been involved.

“It was also good to get a look at the on-site canteen, which is staffed by offenders from the neighbouring Auckland Women’s Prison, who are gaining valuable work experience.

“This new prison will give us the right facilities, in the right area, to keep our communities safe.”