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


Prisoners to refurbish state houses

10 July 2008

Prisoners to refurbish state houses

A new building construction yard at Spring Hill Prison will see prisoners refurbishing state houses for families in need while learning new skills, Corrections Minister Phil Goff and Housing Minister Maryan Street said today.

The construction yard was officially opened today by Mr Goff.

“The building construction yard located inside Spring Hill Corrections Facility will provide employment and training for over 90 prisoners. This number is expected to grow in the near future. More than 40 prisoners will work in the refurbishment yard and 50 in the internal prison workshop,” Mr Goff said.

“The project is a joint venture between the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand and will see prisoners learning trade skills as they refurbish up to 40 state houses a year.

“Prisoners will be involved in stripping out the inside of houses, insulating, plastering and painting them inside and out, and re-fitting them with new kitchens, vanities, tubs and shelving made by prisoners in prison workshops.

“These skills increase the chances of prisoners finding jobs following their release from prison. This is important because prisoners who obtain employment after their release are less likely to re-offend, resulting in fewer victims and safer communities. The last prison census (2003) revealed that 52 per cent of prisoners had no formal qualifications and only 45 per cent were in paid work before going to prison.

“This project is the latest step in a government drive to get more prisoners working and learning instead of being inactive in their cells. Through programmes such as Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) we now have 51 per cent of the total prison population and 66 per cent of sentenced inmates involved in some form of employment or training,” Phil Goff said.

Maryan Street said Housing New Zealand will manage the refurbishment operation, including the transportation of houses and quality checks and have contracted CIE as a labour supplier, at market rates.

“Prisoners will refurbish homes taken from sites in Auckland earmarked for new developments. Once completed, they will be moved to other parts of the North Island mostly to small rural communities,” Maryan Street said.
“The high demand for construction tradespeople and the on-going need for state houses provides an ideal opportunity for the two agencies to work collaboratively.

“A shortage of skilled tradespeople in the industry also means the initiative will meet skilled training needs and not take jobs away from other New Zealanders.

“Housing New Zealand has been recycling older houses for a number of years, following their removal from inner-city development sites. This enables Housing New Zealand to deliver quality housing to communities that may otherwise miss out. Recycled houses are used as part of its Rural Housing Programme or moved to small towns and communities throughout the country,” Maryan Street said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Speech: NZ Moves To Red

Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday....


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga

The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...


Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>




InfoPages News Channels