Timber sector

We operate:

  • four joinery workshops
  • one housing refurbishment and new construction yard
  • one forest at Tongariro/Rangipo
  • eight external contract work parties
  • three timber processing workshops
  • nine training workshops.

These industries (building and construction, forestry, timber processing, joinery) and also external work parties and training workshops, provide employment for over 600 prisoners.

Joinery workshops

Joinery workshops are located within the Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, and Spring Hill prisons.

Three of the workshops specialise in bedroom furniture that is sold to furniture retailers in New Zealand. The bulk of the furniture is made from rimu.

Retractable attic stairs are manufactured at the Hawke’s Bay joinery workshop on behalf of Auckland-based Sellwood Products Ltd.

Hawke’s Bay Joinery also manufacture edge glue panels for the solid door core market.

Building and construction

Spring Hill Corrections Facility  has a housing refurbishment yard that specialises in refurbishing houses transported to the site by Housing New Zealand Corporation.

The prison also has a new builds yard which has covered bays for the construction of new dwellings such as classrooms.

A housing refurbishment yard is also under construction at Rolleston Prison, which will enable offenders to contribute to the rebuild of Christchurch.

Tongariro/Rangipo prison forest

Stretching across 4,500 hectares, the forest is made up of douglas fir and radiata pine trees.

Prisoners carry out all the general silviculture work within the forest. Logs from the forest are sold to New Zealand sawmills and also exported overseas.

The forest is being harvested to ensure long-term sustainability.

Timber processing workshop

Timber processing workshops are located at Whanganui, Christchurch Men’s and Tongariro/Rangipo prisons.

Whanganui Prison has a specialist fingerjointing operation that produces fingerjoint blanks under contract to New Zealand timber processors.

Two portable sawmills are located at Tongariro/Rangipo and mainly produce framing.

Christchurch Men’s Prison has a contract processing operation that specialises in defecting and dressing for companies such as SRS.

External contract work parties

Contract work parties are based out of Northland Region Corrections Facility, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Rimutaka, Christchurch and Invercargill Prisons.

External work parties are contracted to a range of entities and perform tasks such as maintaining parks and reserves on behalf of district councils, planting native flora for iwi, as well as forestry silviculture for companies such as Pan Pac and Craig Pine.

Firewood splitting is contracted at Christchurch Men’s Prison for a local company.

Training workshops

There are a range of training workshops which are designed to give prisoners skills and qualifications prior to being employed in the above commercial operations. These workshops offer qualifications in:

  • building and construction
  • joinery/furniture finishing
  • timber processing
  • forestry foundation skills
  • pre-employment/work ready skills.

Where are products from these industries sold?

  • Rimu, cypress and pine furniture made within the joinery workshops are sold to retailers.
  • Logs are sold under contract to sawmills, pulp and paper manufacturers, and exported overseas.
  • Timber remanufacturing products such as finger-jointing, edge gluing and assembled products are sold to New Zealand manufacturers.
  • Houses are refurbished on behalf of Housing New Zealand Corporation.