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Expressions of Interest for Prison Welcomed

Media statement
4 November 2010

Investors Welcome the Invitation for Expressions of Interest for Wiri Prison PPP

The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development welcomes the announcement from Ministers English and Collins that Cabinet will proceed with a custodial Public and Private Partnership (PPP) for the procurement of the new men's prison at Wiri, South Auckland.

Private sector innovation has the potential to reduce costs in publicly operated prisons, while improving prisoner rehabilitation and bringing an overall benefit to the sector. PPPs enable the public sector to retain control of the service provision because payment to the private sector providers is dependent on delivering the contracted service outcomes.

Industry notes Government's desire to improve prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration, as well as the importance of adapting services to meet the cultural needs of Maori.

The announcement to proceed with the Wiri PPP follows the recent release of the Defence White Paper, which signalled an intention to investigate the use of PPPs in the provision of infrastructure and support services to the defence sector. The Ministry of Education is also investigating PPPs to assist in the delivery of new schools.

NZCID is pleased to observe this emerging pipeline of infrastructure projects which will reassure constructors and financiers of ongoing opportunities to invest in New Zealand. Importantly, this will encourage local business, including the New Zealand Super Fund and Iwi, who are looking for opportunities in the domestic market. Without opportunities to invest in New Zealand, these funds and others will be forced to invest overseas, which would be an unfortunate outcome for New Zealand, given the country's well-recognised backlog of infrastructure investment.

"PPPs give business the chance to invest in the future of New Zealand, while providing value for money for tax payers, it's an opportunity for a win-win solution", says NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood.

ENDS

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