Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

When is the project expected to be complete?

The project has been impacted by global events and the associated supply chain pressures. The construction phase of the project is still ongoing, and the new expected completion date is 30 November 2024. Once construction has been completed, a period of commissioning will occur before new prison units are brought into operation.

How many people will be working on the facility?

The number of construction crew on site will vary throughout the project, with between 400 and 900 workers at any one time. To operate the new facility, Corrections will be recruiting for custodial staff, case managers, administrative staff, vocational training and industries staff, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes staff, and staff with specialist health and mental health expertise.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health nurses will support custodial staff, social  workers, and occupational therapists within the facility. The Waikato District Health Board will recruit these staff.

Both Cornerstone Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Corrections encourage local residents to apply for construction and operational roles.

All recruitment for construction related roles will be led by the lead contractor CPB, as well as by individual sub-contractors.

Corrections, will undertake recruitment activities for operational positions closer to the opening of the new facilities.

To view vacancies for the construction project please visit the recruitment portal for main contractor CPB.

To view vacancies for frontline Corrections positions please visit Careers at Corrections.

About the facilities

Who is responsible for operating the facility?

Corrections will operate the new facilities, with specialist clinical staff working in the Hikitia - mental health and addiction service, employed by Waikato District Health Board.

This PPP arrangement is a Design, Build, Finance, Maintain Public Private Partnership (DBFM PPP). Unlike the PPP at Auckland South Corrections Facility, the consortium will not operate the facility.

Will the construction impact upon the operation of the prison?

No. The prison will continue to operate as normal.

What security measures will there be at the new facilities?

Access to the new facilities will be through a single point of entry at the gatehouse, which forms part of the primary secure perimeter. The primary secure perimeter system will be a high concrete wall with anti-climbing features and an energised fence, along with electronic security measures.

What will happen to existing prison units once the new facility is operational?

Corrections has confirmed its approach to transitioning the Waikeria Prison site towards the new build. In line with the Minister of Corrections’ 2018 announcement, the new facility will replace several units at Waikeria Prison. These include Nikau, and Miro Units, as well as the former Top Jail facility.

It is Corrections’ intention that upon the successful operationalisation of the new facility, Nikau and Miro Units will be decommissioned and retired from use. This decision reinforces Corrections’ commitment to facilitating more humanising and healing environments and retiring ageing infrastructure where possible.

Remaining low to medium security units located adjacent to the new development will continue to operate and will be managed under an integrated operating model with the new facility.

Will the number of prisoners at Waikeria increase with the building of the new facility?

The total number of prisoners at Waikeria Prison is unlikely to increase substantially as a result of the new facility becoming operational.

Corrections has announced its intention to close a number of older accommodation units at the prison. As a result, the opening of the new facility will result in only a modest net increase in capacity at Waikeria Prison.

Procurement process

The development of the new facilities at Waikeria Prison has been procured under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

What is a PPP?

A PPP or public–private partnership (PPP) is a partnership between the Government and the private sector.

What is the scope of this PPP?

For this project Cornerstone Infrastructure Partners (CIP) will be responsible for designing, building and financing the new facilities. They are also responsible for the asset management and facilities maintenance of the new facilities for 25 years.

This PPP excludes custodial operation of the facilities. This means that the new facilities will be managed by Corrections. This differs to the PPP contract for Auckland South Corrections Facility at Wiri, which is a full PPP with Serco also being responsible for the operation of the facility.

Cornerstone Infrastructure Partners (CIP) is a consortium made up of construction partners, design teams, investors, and specialist asset management, facilities maintenance and security services providers.

Do any other government agencies use PPPs in New Zealand?

Both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Transport work with the private sector to deliver infrastructure services.

How many PPPs is Corrections involved in?

Currently Corrections is involved in two other PPPs.

  • The Auckland Prison PPP covers the design, finance, construction and maintenance only – Corrections retains responsibility for the operation.
  • The Auckland South Corrections Facility (ASCF) PPP is a full agreement, which means that SecureFuture also operates the prison in addition to designing, financing, construction and maintaining the prison. SecureFuture have subcontracted Serco to operate ASCF.