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Mainzeal to Build Northland Prison

Mainzeal to Build Northland Prison

Mainzeal Construction has won the tender to build the proposed prison at Ngawha, regional prisons development project director John Hamilton announced today.

“They expect to begin construction within the next month, and we are on track to have the facility open in early 2005, as planned.”

“Ensuring that inmates are housed as close as possible to where they live is one of the key aims of modern corrections policy worldwide. Research shows that if inmates can maintain links with their families, whanau and other support networks their likelihood of re-offending is reduced. Yet currently inmates from Northland are serving sentences as far away as Hawke’s Bay.

Mr Hamilton said that up to 260 people would be employed during the construction of the Northland facility and most of them would be local people.

“Some 70 workers are already employed on site, fifty of them locals including thirty or so who were previously unemployed. When it is opened we expect there will be about 180 permanent employees and about 70 per cent of them will be from Northland.”

The Northland economy will benefit from the $8.1 million a year in anticipated wages and about $1.7 million in spending by the Department annually.

Mr Hamilton said the prison would cost approximately $132.8 million, including $128 million in capital costs, of which $82m are costs associated with the main building contract.

“This figure incorporates all the costs we expect to incur before we have a fully functioning prison in Northland. The incremental nature of funding means that initial figures for this project specifically excluded some aspects that needed to be funded at a later date. As the design has been fine tuned additional elements have been added. It was always expected this would be the case. In hindsight a more inclusive estimate covering all aspects of the project, from the initial conceptual design to the final delivery of the facility as a fully functioning prison, would have given a clearer picture of the final costs.

“This figure also includes unexpected costs that the Department had no way of foreseeing, such as the costs associated with objections to the Environment Court and Court of Appeal proceedings, as well as the costs of on-site protests.

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