Complete PPP rebuild for maximum security wing
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections
25 October 2013
Complete PPP rebuild for maximum security wing
Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says that Auckland Prison’s maximum security wing is to be completely rebuilt to provide a secure, safe and modern facility which will deliver improved mental health services.
The rebuilt wing will also improve conditions for staff to work with prisoners to lower their security classification, so they can be transferred to a facility with greater rehabilitation opportunities.
As part of the significant infrastructure project the new wing, which is scheduled to open in mid-2017, will be designed, built, financed and maintained under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Corrections will continue to have full operational control for the custody and care of inmates.
The Department will sign an estimated 25-year contract with the successful consortium. The contract will include a series of key performance indicators, and payments can be withheld if these targets are not met.
“The maximum security wing at Auckland Prison is the only one of its kind in the country, and it houses New Zealand’s most difficult and dangerous prisoners, as well as a number of prisoners with high and complex needs,” says Mrs Tolley.
“It is 45 years old and expensive to maintain, and while it is still very secure, it doesn’t provide staff with the best environment to deal with challenging prisoners, or to deliver specialist rehabilitation or mental health services.
“We want a new facility which will put public and staff safety first, but which will also be more effective in reducing reoffending and providing better mental health care.
“The new building will house a mental health unit for prisoners with severe to moderate needs, which will provide care to offenders who currently have to be transferred off-site. This, in turn, will ease pressure on the Mason Clinic.
“The PPP will also allow Corrections to select the best ideas from the private sector, to inject world-class innovation and fresh thinking in to the way we build and maintain prison property.
“As well as delivering a more efficient, more effective and modern prison, this rebuild will also ensure we are getting value for money for taxpayers.”
Corrections will now seek Expressions of Interest from consortia wishing to take part in the PPP.
The new wing will be built on prison land alongside the existing facility, which will continue to operate until the new building is complete. Capacity will remain at 260 beds, with work on the new facility scheduled to begin by mid-2015.
Media contact: Gillon Carruthers 021 491 761
Questions and Answers:
Why is the maximum security facility at Auckland Prison being replaced?
This is the Department’s only maximum security facility, and this level of classification needs to be retained in the prison network. These buildings were opened in 1968. They lack adequate capacity to deliver specialist rehabilitation and mental health services to prisoners. The facility has no sustainable future and over time will become increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.
What kind of prisoners are in this facility, and how many are there?
The maximum security facility holds New Zealand’s most disruptive and violent male prisoners, as well as prisoners with mental health needs. It has a capacity of 260 prisoners, and this will be maintained in the replacement building. Total prisoner numbers at Auckland Prison will remain at 681.
Is the facility currently fit for use?
Yes. All necessary maintenance will take place to ensure the existing buildings can continue to operate safely and securely, until the replacement facility is operational.
How will the new maximum security facility differ from the existing buildings?
The replacement facility will support the stringent security approach required for the most dangerous and disruptive prisoners in New Zealand. At present, however, the focus is almost solely on safely and securely containing prisoners. While this continues to be the priority for the Department, the replacement facility will provide a modern correctional environment that offers improved opportunities for mental health services, rehabilitation and offender employment. Such activities will better support prisoners to prepare for their transition to lower security classifications and reintegration back into their communities.
Why do we need this facility when there is a new prison opening at Wiri in
Auckland Prison contains New Zealand’s only maximum security wing. Such a specialised facility is vitally important in the prison network.
The men’s prison at Wiri will only accommodate minimum to high security prisoners, who require less stringent custodial management, alongside increased rehabilitation opportunities.
What is a PPP?
For this project, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) means that a private sector consortium signs a contract with the Department to design, build, finance and maintain the new facility for the duration of the contract, expected to be for a period of 25 years. The consortium is likely to include a construction partner, design team, banks and other investors, and specialist asset management and facilities maintenance companies. The operation of the prison and custody of prisoners will continue to be carried out by the Department.
Why use a PPP?
A PPP will allow Corrections to use private sector expertise so that new ideas and innovations can be applied to this project, while delivering value for money. While this PPP will not include the operation of the maximum security facility, innovations in building design and whole-of-life asset management will introduce fresh thinking. These innovations will benefit Auckland Prison, and where possible could be transferred to the wider prison network.
What sort of safeguards would be written into the contract?
The contract will include a series of key performance indicators. If these are not met deductions will be made from payments to the PPP contractor. Ultimately the Crown will retain the right of ‘step in' and termination of the agreement should certain levels of concerns arise.
What happens if the quality or price of bids do not meet expectations?
The Government retains the right to revert to traditional means of procurement if that would provide the best value for money and best services for taxpayers.
What will it cost?
The cost will not be known until after the procurement process and negotiations with the successful consortium are complete.
What happens next?
Now that the project has been approved, the Department will seek Expressions of Interest from consortia wishing to design, build, finance and maintain the facility. Up to three consortia will be shortlisted, and they will be asked to respond to a Request for Proposal. Responses to the RFP will go through a rigorous evaluation and the Department expects to announce a successful consortium in early 2015. After negotiations are completed with this consortium, a contract will be signed and construction can commence before mid-2015. The redeveloped maximum security unit is scheduled to receive its first prisoners in mid-2017.