Prison visit updates

Last updated: 01 Jul 2022

We know how important visits from friends and whānau/family are to people in prison and to supporting their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Following a long period of significant restrictions due to COVID-19, some prisons have now resumed face-to-face visits. We are planning for the resumption of visits across more prisons over the coming weeks. The resumption of all activities, including visits, will be undertaken in phases as our prisons move towards a more normalised operating environment.

COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required for private visitors to people in prison, this includes friends and whānau visiting people in prison. We strongly encourage all visitors to prison to be vaccinated and boosted, and to take a Rapid Antigen Test and return a negative result at home prior to visiting a prison.

Site
Visit status
Northern Region
Northland Region Corrections Facility
Open – limited availability.
Auckland Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Mt Eden Corrections Facility
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Auckland South Corrections Facility
Open
Central Region
Spring Hill Corrections Facility
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Waikeria Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Tongariro Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Lower North Region
Whanganui Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Hawke's Bay Regional Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Manawatu Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Rimutaka Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Arohata Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Southern Region
Christchurch Men's Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Christchurch Women's Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available
Rolleston Prison
Face-to-face visits resuming 2 July with limited availability
Otago Corrections Facility
Open
Invercargill Prison
Face-to-face visits paused. Video calls available

While we do our best to ensure planned visits go ahead, there may be times where visits need to be cancelled at short notice, or when we need to restrict visits in the event of an outbreak. We will try to give advance notice to visitors where possible if this occurs.

Not all prisons will be ready to resume visits at the same time, depending on levels of COVID-19 at different sites, and staffing available.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, the community, and people in prison is our highest priority, and visits will resume in individual prisons when they can be safely undertaken.

Video calling will continue to be used, particularly where face-to-face visits remain paused.

Vaccination requirements

Please see the list below for more information on our vaccination entry requirements to prisons.

Proof of vaccination

If you are required to be vaccinated to enter a prison ‘inside the wire’, you must show us proof of your vaccination status each time you enter a prison.

Please ensure you bring proof of your vaccination status. Bring a physical copy of your My Vaccine Pass or My COVID Record; and valid photo ID with you. Remember, you can’t bring mobile phones into prison.

You can apply for your My Vaccine Pass at www.mycovidrecord.nz.

COVID-19 Vaccination Entry Requirements

Type of visitor
Includes
Requirement
Private
Anyone visiting a person in prison with the purpose of maintaining family and social relationships e.g. whānau, family, and friends.
No vaccination requirement
People attending hearings in prison
Victims and support people attending NZ Parole Board hearings or restorative justice meetings.
No vaccination requirement
Contractors and suppliers
Construction and maintenance, contracted service providers, health contractors, delivery workers going ‘inside the wire’, etc.
From 3 July 2022 contractors and suppliers are not required to be vaccinated and boosted, except for Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act regulated health workers working in prisons.

Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021, HPCA regulated health workers continue to be required to have received two doses and a booster.

Specified visitors
Specified visitors include those who provide social, cultural, or religious services to prisoners, volunteers, and people who provide certain assistance to prisoners (such as preparing for a disciplinary hearing).
No vaccination requirement
Legal representation
Lawyers providing legal services to prisoners.
No vaccination requirement
Statutory visitors
Statutory visitors as defined in s3 of the Corrections Act 2004(external link) such as Visiting Justices, an Ombudsman, member of the Human Rights Commission, etc.
No vaccination requirement
Visitors exercising their statutory authority
Employees or contractors of local or central government agencies exercising their statutory authority. For example:

Council compliance officers, food safety officers, Police investigating an offence, MSD or Oranga Tamariki workers performing a statutory function.

No vaccination requirement
Other visitors
Non-legal advisers or assistants helping a prisoner to prepare for a proceeding, private psychologists visiting a prisoner etc.
No vaccination requirement