News and Updates


February 2023
Construction recommenced on-site after a brief break over the Christmas and New Year period. Roofs are being installed on the covered walkways that connect the different buildings within the new facility, and landscaping is well underway with gardens in place and trees planted.

The site was closed briefly during Cyclone Gabrielle. Fortunately, damage to the construction site was minor, with the storm water system functioning well.

October  2022
Work continues across the construction site after a wet winter season. Concrete paths connecting the different buildings within the new facility are approaching completion, with covers for some sections installed. Progress on wall linings and paintwork on a number of the buildings is now giving a real sense of what the finished environment will be like to live and work in. Work is underway to consider how aspects of the Hikitia mental health and addiction service will be rolled out across our Central Region ahead of the new facility opening. Progress continues to be impacted by workforces shortages which is evident across the construction sector.
June 2022Contractors have been busy over the past few months with roofing of all buildings largely complete and the site’s power supply turned on. Finishing work is well underway in some of the buildings and the concrete paths and covers for the walkways are starting to take shape
April 2022
Contractors are continuing to follow relevant current Ministry of Health COVID-19 guidelines on site.
The Potable Water storage tank for the new facility is in the process of being commissioned and is expected to be up and running this month.  Good progress has been made regarding the Top Jail Demolition, with the Blessing and demolition commencement scheduled for June 2022.
February 2022
Changes to the COVID-19 settings have required the project to put extra safety measures in place to ensure the project is able to continue during the latest Omicron outbreak. This includes separate work ‘bubbles’ and the use of contact tracing technology. Despite this, there has still been significant work achieved on the site.

The new Potable Water Supply contract is progressing well, with the million-litre storage tank and treatment plant in place. Work has also been undertaken to support existing prison units – including setting up a temporary kitchen and laundry facilities.

December 2021

Work has continued on as New Zealand moved into the COVID-19 Protection Framework (the traffic light system). Contractor and supply chain availability has continued to be affected due to varying COVID-19 restrictions. While contractors have worked to reduce the impact of COVID-19 related disruptions, the new facility will now be completed in 2023.

Fit out work is now well underway in some buildings with close to 100,000m2 of wallboard installed. Many buildings now have their external cladding installed, and roading and landscaping across the site is well advanced.

October  2021

Work resumed on site with reduced contractor numbers as a result of the Waikato region leaving COVID-19 Alert Level 4. The project has experienced challenges accessing some workers and suppliers due to Auckland remaining at Alert Level 3, however, work is continuing with appropriate health and safety measures in place. Over 3.2 million hours have been worked on the construction project to date.

Fit-out work is now taking place inside the buildings. Roading around the facility has been completed, and the last of the roofing work is set to take place soon.

August 2021

Though the month started off busy on-site, work came to a temporary halt as a result of the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Official names for each of the buildings making up the prison have now been decided on in collaboration with our angata Whenua Liaison Group. We are also working with the group on commissioning bilingual signage, carvings, and commemorative plaques in recognition of the site’s history and our relationship with mana whenua.

June 2021

Construction continues at pace with over 900 contractors on-site on the busiest days. Over 2.5 million hours of contractor labour time has now been spent on the project. Most buildings now have roofs on, exterior cladding has been fitted to a number of buildings, and wall lining is starting to go up.

The Release-To-Work programme at Waikeria Prison continues to be a real success with more than 50 men in prison having been employed on the construction project. This provides men in prison with valuable skills to support their employment and reintegration upon release from prison.

April 2021

Solid progress continues to be made despite two periods of elevated COVID-19 Alert Levels since February. The new wastewater pump station is now complete, all pre-cast concrete panels in buildings are now in place. Looking to winter, roofing and weather tightening work is well underway and daily contractor numbers are increasing.

Temporary Traffic Management Plan:

As a result of the significant increase in construction activity, a Temporary Traffic Management Plan will be implemented at the intersection of State Highway 3 and Waikeria Road. The plan has been approved by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and will ensure Corrections’ compliance with conditions relating to the Designation for the new facility.

From 19 April manned stop/go controls will be in place at the intersection on weekdays at peak hours in the late afternoon / early evening. While priority will be given to State Highway traffic, controls to allow vehicles to exit Waikeria Road safely will be implemented to reduce wait times for drivers. A temporary speed limit reduction to 30km/h will also be put in place for vehicles approaching the intersection.

CPB Contractors and the Department of Corrections will continue to actively monitor the intersection and will recommend changes to the traffic management plan to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in response to changing circumstances where appropriate.

For enquiries related to the Temporary Traffic Management Plan, please contact CPB Contractors at or phone 0800 4 WAIKERIA.

December 2020 - March 2021

Work has continued throughout changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels with added health and safety precautions. The project is now entering its peak construction phase, with well over 700 contractors working on site each day. Contractor numbers are expected to grow over coming months. The overwhelming majority of contractors are locally based, with a recent survey showing that only a small portion of houses arerented by out-of-region contractors.

Over two million contractor hours have now been worked on the project, and nearly all 2,106 pre-cast wall panels have now been installed. Framing work has started on buildings outside the secure perimeter (including the Staff Building and Visitor Reception building). The secure perimeter fence is all but complete, with openings remaining only for contractor entry. Space for the Sports Field has been cleared, with seeds for grassing to be planted shortly.

September - November 2020

Contractor numbers continued to grow with daily averages of around 650 workers on site, with a peak in excess of 700. Contractor numbers are expected to grow in the months to come as internal fit-out works begin in some buildings.

  • All cell modules have been installed
  • 1920 of 2106 wall panels have been installed
  • 1.4km of the 1.7km of the concrete panels for the secure perimeter fence have been installed

40 men in prison at Waikeria have been employed by contractors working on the new build as part of our Release To Work programme, with 14 currently working on the prison development. 10 have retained their employment following their release from prison.

June - August 2020

Construction has continued at pace with floors poured for all buildings. Concrete panels have been erected for most buildings. The roof has been installed on the Gatehouse. Work has continued under Alert Level 2 restrictions with heightened health and safety precautions.

The completion date for the project shifted by six months to August 2022 as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

As of July:

  • 10,915 metres of sewer and storm-water drainage has been installed
  • 1,181 pre-cast wall panels have been installed from a total of 2,106.
  • A total of 235 cell modules have been installed.

· One million hours have been worked by contractors on the project with zero lost time injuries – a fantastic achievement.

April - May 2020

Work on-site was temporarily paused throughout COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Full site remobilisation occurred in early May, with appropriate measures, including physical distancing, taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all construction and site personnel.

January – March 2020

Piling is nearing completion with 3000 of the approximately 3200 piles now in the ground. Cell construction is progressing and concrete pours for various buildings are continuing.

November - December 2019

Installation of Gatehouse ground floor panel walls completed. Panelling for accommodation units continues. Excavation work (16 metres underground) for wastewater piping continues. Earthworks for new pump station foundations continuing. Further enhancements are made to the intersection of State Highway 3 and Waikeria Road.

October 2019

Two thirds of piling works completed, with foundation works commencing for a number of accommodation units. Work commences on the Wastewater Upgrade project, with earthworks and other founding activities occurring at the site of the prison pump station. Preparations for the first section of piping between Waikeria Prison and Kihikihi begin.

August - September 2019

Concrete pours for the Gatehouse completed.

June - July 2019

Piling commences on site. Enhancements to the intersection of Waikeria Road and State Highway 3 are completed. These works included the construction of a right-hand turn bay from State Highway 3 into Waikeria Road for traffic from the south, and better sight-lines for traffic turning out of Waikeria Road at the new Stop sign.

September 2018

Design on the revised scope progresses successfully with Corrections executing a PPP contract with Cornerstone Infrastructure Partners (CIP), closing the procurement phase of the project. Earthworks commenced on-site to enable further construction to proceed to schedule.

May 2018

Cabinet directs Corrections to complete the PPP procurement process for the new development at Waikeria Prison with a capacity of 500 beds with an additional 100 beds for a dedicated mental health service.

December 2017

Assessment of responses to the tender process ended, and the appointment of a Preferred Bidder by Corrections was advised to the new Government. Corrections was then directed by Cabinet to put the PPP procurement process into a state of managed delay while the new Government assessed options to change the scale and scope of the new development.

January 2017

A comprehensive tender process commenced for a public-private partnership contract for the new facility using the New Zealand Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS)

November 2016

Cabinet approved in principle that Corrections will develop new prison facilities for up to an additional 1,520 beds at Waikeria Prison through a Design, Build, Finance, and Maintain PPP, to be operating by late 2021.

October 2016

Cabinet approved a Programme Business Case to address forecast prison capacity shortfall through investing in new, modern capacity. Cabinet agreed for a Business Case to be presented by Corrections for a new development at Waikeria Prison.