Source / Department of Corrections
The new prison development at Waikeria is in its peak construction phase, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said in a statement Saturday.
Minister Davis who was onsite to view the construction first-hand said "excellent progress" had been made.
The project will deliver modern prison accommodation for up to 500 people and a first-of-its-kind 100-bed mental health and addiction service, he said.
The Corrections Minister said the new development would boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in the prison
“We have built a strong working partnership with Ngāti Maniapoto, Raukawa, and the Waikato DHB to design the model of care for the new mental health and addiction service.
“The facility and outreach service will be based at Waikeria Prison and available to people at Central Region prisons, benefitting around 2,000 men each year."
Earlier this year, Waikeria Prison was the scene of a six-day standoff in which more than a dozen prisoners took issue with conditions at the current prison. This week they filed civil rights claims in the High Court against the Attorney-General and Corrections chief executive and also filed a claim in the Waitangi Tribunal.
In today's statement, Minister Davis said the new development would improve conditions for prisoners and provide more opportunities for whānau contact.
“There will be more spaces for whānau contact than in any other prison to date.
“Modern facilities will help reduce prisoner tension and improve staff working conditions. More people from around the region will be able to serve their sentences closer to their whānau and support networks.”
The new facility is scheduled to be delivered in August 2022.