$300 mil maximum-security prison set to replace existing

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

A new $300 million dollar maximum-security prison will replace the 47-year-old Auckland prison in Paremoremo.

According to Corrections Minister, Sam Lotu-Iiga, “If you do go inside Paremoremo you will see how dilapidated and archaic the structures are, it will be safer not just for staff also prisoners and those visiting the facility.”

The new department of corrections prison will re-place the old Paremoremo, Auckland prison built in 1968, where prisoners from northland with mental health issues have been placed.

Local iwi Ngāti Whātua representative, Naida Glavish says there needs to be more focus on why Māori end up in prison. She says, “We shouldn't wait until our kids are in jail to realise we need to keep them out, let’s look after them while we can."

The new $300 million dollar prison will house 260 maximum-security prisoners and the government hopes to reduce re-offending by 25%.

“By 2017 have every working prisoner spend 40 hours a week either in employment or learning and training. Jobs are really important.  Obviously if they are in jobs they are less likely to re-offend,” said the Correction Minister.

Construction will commence in December and the new facility is expected to be up and running by 2018.