Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


670 extra beds by October to manage inmate numbers

21 April 2005 Media Statement

670 extra beds by October to manage record inmate numbers

An extra 670 beds will be available by October to enable the Corrections Department to manage record inmate numbers, Corrections Minister Paul Swain said today.

Mr Swain today released details of the construction programme that shows 320 new beds at existing prisons will be built within the next six months. In addition, the Northland Region Corrections Facility will be at its 350-bed capacity by October.

He said these beds would ease pressure on the prison system and will be followed by more than 1400 new beds by 2007.

Cabinet approved funding of $125 million for a total of 493 beds to be added to existing sites late last year when revised Justice Ministry forecasts showed that inmate numbers would continue to increase faster than previously thought. This is in addition to the $700 million-plus set aside for four new prisons that will add more than 1600 beds.

The extra capacity is needed to cope with increasing inmate numbers due to tougher bail, sentencing and parole laws introduced by the government since it came to power in 1999.

Of the capacity being added to existing sites, a 40-bed unit at Hawke's Bay Prison opened this week (see table on next page for construction programme).

"The Corrections Department has handled the higher-than expected inmate numbers well. The department added 600 beds last year but it was always anticipated that the system would be under pressure again this year because of the time it takes to build new cells.

"The extra beds will become available throughout the year and will enable the Corrections Department to manage inmate numbers. However, until all the beds are available, things will be tight and some police and court cells will be needed."

"When all of this construction is complete, the country's prison capacity will have risen by 2109 beds – an increase of nearly a third and at a cost of more than $800 million. This will be sufficient to meet the projected increase in inmate numbers."

Construction schedule for added capacity at existing sites:

Prison Number of beds Completion date
Hawkes Bay 40 April
Hawkes Bay 20 June
Wanganui 20 June
Wanganui 120 September
Christchurch Men's 60 September
Christchurch Women's 40 September
Rimutaka 20 September
Tongariro/Rangipo 23 March 06
Rimutaka 150 June 06

New prison construction:

Prison Number of beds Completion date
Northland 350 Opened March 05
Auckland Women's 286 April 06
Otago 330 January 07
Spring Hill 650 May 07


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news