Social Performance

'The measurement of social performance is a substantial element of the Department's sustainable development framework, in light of its  contribution to the justice sector outcome of safer communities by focusing on the two departmental outcomes of protecting the public and reducing re-offending.

The following broad indicators play an important role in the success of this particular core social outcome, and are referred to throughout this sustainable development report:

  • the employment and retention of skilled employees
  • ensuring the health and safety of employees, prisoners and visitors
  • maintaining an awareness of, and catering for the diverse cultural needs, experiences and attitudes of employees, offenders, families/whanau and community support groups
  • maintaining commitment towards equal employment opportunities within the Department
  • the provision of training and education programmes for employees and prisoners
  • working with communities to manage the Department's impact on communities effectively.

Summary of Performance within the Social Dimension

   • Health and safety programmes have delivered a reduction in the cost of workplace injuries and work-related incidents during 2004/05.

   • The Public Prisons Service has delivered 22,000 tutor hours for NCES programmes.

   • Over 30,000 unit standards have been completed and 3,654 externally recognised qualifications gained.

   • Females represented 36 percent of all of the Department's employees.

   • Community work projects involved over 2 million hours of work by offenders.

   • During the year, 3,218 formal complaints were addressed by the Prison Inspectorate.


Social Performance
The following table illustrates the categories, aspects and indicators of the social dimension included within this sustainable development report.

TABLE 15: Social Performance Indicators




Labour practices and decent work


Full-time equivalent employees by service or group



Full-time equivalent employees by service and region



Employee service and turnover

Health and Safety

Health and safety committees



Safe, secure and humane containment of prisoners



Management of incidents


Training and Education






Diversity and Opportunity

Reducing inequalities



Total employees by gender



Total employees by ethnicity



Senior management and corporate governance bodies by gender and ethnicity



Equal employment opportunities

Human Rights

Indigenous Rights

Relationships with Maori



Key themes



Departmental links with the community



Community work projects



Breakout escapes



Corrections Act compliance


The Department's ability to manage its human resources capability and capacity is critical to the achievement of its strategies as detailed within the Strategic Business Plan 2003 - 2008 and as supported by the Human Resources Management Operational Strategy 2003 - 2008. This issue is particularly relevant given the recent opening of the Northland Region Corrections Facility and the need for the Department to develop manager and staff capacity in readiness for the commissioning and opening of the new facilities under construction.

The Department continues to focus on enhancing the capacity and capability of its people. Departmental managers and staff have many strengths that have enabled the organisation's rapid progress since its establishment in 1995. These have also positioned the Department well when compared with its international benchmark corrections jurisdictions. Further investment has been made available through the Output Pricing Review to ensure that the Department continues to attract and retain the calibre of employees in all, and especially, key roles during the 2004/05 financial year. This involved:

  • building management and staff capability for the future (especially in readiness for the opening of new prisons)
  • addressing specific recruitment and retention issues
  • providing more effective support for managers
  • further developing manager competence.

The initiatives to address capability and capacity are contained within the Department's Human Resources Management Operational Strategy 2003 - 2008 and the 2005/06 Statement of Intent. Several of these initiatives, including equal employment opportunities, reducing inequalities, enhancing the Department's responsiveness to cultural diversity, health and safety and recruitment and retention are discussed further in this report. The Department has continued to make good progress towards achieving these initiatives during the 2004/05 financial year and will continue to address the outstanding initiatives during the remaining three years of the Strategic Business Plan.

Full-time Equivalent Employees by Service and Region
Of the 5,110 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, 4,580 were employed nationally within the Department's Services as illustrated in Figure 20 below.

FIGURE 20: Full-time Equivalent Employees by Service and Region

Public Prisons Service and Corrections Inmate Employment

Community Probation Service and Intervention Services

Psychological Service

Public Prisons Service and Corrections Inmate Employment

CPS and Intervention Services map

Psychological Service map

FIGURE 21: Full-time Equivalent Employees by Service or Group (thousands)

Figure 21

Full-time Equivalent Employees by Group or Service
The number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE) in the Department increased during the 2004/05 financial year by 500, from 4,610 to 5,110. Figure 21 illustrates the FTE employees by Service or Group.

FIGURE 22: Average Length of Service (years)

Figure 22

FIGURE 23: Employee Turnover (percent)

Figure 23

Employee Service and Turnover
Figure 22 illustrates little significant movement in the average length of service across the Department's Groups and Services in the 2004/05 financial year when compared with the previous financial year.

Overall gross turnover within the Department has increased from 12.98 percent at 30 June 2004 to 13.69 percent for the year to 30 June 2005. Figure 23 demonstrates an increase in the turnover percentage within the Psychological Service and the Community Probation Service, while the decreased turnover in Corrections Inmate Employment reflects the conclusion of the restructuring within that Service. Although Intervention Services turnover appears high, the total number of staff and the actual turnover (in numbers) were very small. High turnover within Head Office groups also remains a concern.

FIGURE 24: Employee Absences through Sickness or Injury (days)

Figure 24

As part of protecting the public, the Department provides a safe, healthy and secure environment for employees, contractors, volunteers, offenders and visitors. The Department maintains compliance with health and safety legislation, occupational health and safety requirements and the requirements of the ACC Partnership Programme. The Department has continued to make improvements to its health and safety programmes and has delivered a reduction in the cost of workplace injuries and work-related incidents during the 2004/05 financial year.

Figure 24 illustrates the number of absences from work through sickness or injury for full-time equivalent employees as at 30 June 2005 compared with the previous financial year.

Health and Safety Committees Local health and safety committees are a requirement under departmental policy and procedures relating to hazard management, and the Department's entire workforce is covered by joint health and safety committees. The purpose of each of the health and safety committees is to:

  • identify and document hazards
  • maintain a register of hazards
  • prioritise hazards for the level of harm possible and the probability of harm occurring
  • identify whether a hazard should be eliminated, isolated, or minimised
  • identify control procedures for hazards to be isolated or minimised
  • recommend actions to the relevant manager
  • draft and monitor hazard management plans
  • provide information to staff on hazards.

The local health and safety committees consist of up to 10 people and represent the cultural and gender background of the Department. All staff are encouraged to communicate any concerns about health and safety to the relevant manager and local health and safety committee. Local health and safety committees meet regularly every six to eight weeks. They ensure that site inspections are conducted on a regular basis to identify new or existing hazards and act accordingly to eliminate, isolate or minimise each hazard. Local health and safety committees are the vehicle by which the Department's monthly health and safety newsletter and the quarterly health and safety information brochure are produced.

Listed below are the Department's health and safety achievements for the 2004/05 financial year:

  • Employee Participation Scheme: With the exception of Public Prisons Service representatives who are currently under training, all employee representatives have been trained.
  • SAP Health and Safety Module: The SAP Health and Safety Module was completed and data entered into the system.
  • 2004 ACC Audit: The ACC audit was conducted in October 2004 and the Department met the ACC audit standards.
  • Health and Safety Management Induction Module: The health and safety management manager's module consisting of a leaders??? guide, work book and supporting notes was developed, piloted and rolled out.
  • National Health and Safety meetings: In accordance with the national plan the Department's bi-annual meeting was held with the unions to discuss a variety of health and safety matters.
  • Health and Safety Strategy 2005 - 2008: Through the release of the Government's strategy Workplace Health and Safety for New Zealand to 2015, the Department has developed an operational health and safety strategy that sets the overarching direction for continuous improvement in health and safety management.

Safe, Secure and Humane Containment
The Department has a range of policies and procedures designed to ensure the safe, secure and humane containment of prisoners, including:

  • The screening of all prisoners on initial reception, after transfer, or in other specified circumstances, to identify those prisoners that may be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
  • The undertaking of segregation processes designed to minimise violent, intimidating, or criminal activities within the prison environment.
  • Deterrence and detection strategies aimed at reducing illicit drug use by prisoners.
  • Application of the security classification system to ensure appropriate assessment of security levels.
  • Initiatives to allow infants to remain with their mothers in prison under certain circumstances and, generally, to a maximum of six months.
  • Initiatives in health, including harm minimisation and communicable diseases screening, the development of a mental health screening tool, and the development of national standards governing all aspects of prison construction, including cell construction.
  • The active management of prisoners, being the interaction between staff and prisoners in which every contact is viewed as an opportunity for positive influence. This recognises the valuable role prison staff play in managing prisoners and influencing their engagement in criminogenic programmes. It is a key tool to manage prisoners effectively and integrate sentence management and safe, secure and humane containment.

Management of Incidents
As part of providing safe, secure and humane containment, the Public Prisons Service maintains a National Incident Response Policy that dentifies how incidents in prisons are dealt with to ensure that the response brings the incident to a safe and swift conclusion, minimising the risk of injury to staff and prisoners, and damage to property.

The Public Prisons Service National Incident Response Policy has clear roles and responsibilities for managing incidents. These guidelines dentify the different roles, and recognise that responsibilities will vary depending on the type and seriousness of an incident. The clear statement of role and responsibility ensures that all staff understand the authority for calling up, authorising deployment and managing the incident when an incident response is required.


The Department of Corrections continues to attract highly skilled workers from an increasingly diverse and mobile labour market. As such, it is important for the Department to ensure that it is positioned to retain a capable workforce. In the completed Output Pricing Review, government agreed to provide additional funding for the Department to restore, retain and maintain capability. The Department has therefore been able to begin rebuilding its capability and capacity to deliver effective service.

The Department recognises the benefits arising from the development and maintenance of its human resource capability and capacity and is committed to developing the quality and skills of its employees. Training and development achievements for employees during the 2004/05 financial year include:

  • an increase in training and development for staff and managers
  • an enhanced training curriculum for Probation Officers
  • the graduation of future leaders through the Future Leaders Programme
  • continuation of the Chief Executive's scholarships for selected employees
  • completion of the Management at Corrections programme modules, including the piloting and roll out of the performance management module
  • leadership assessment for managers conducted by the Leadership Development Centre.

Improvement in the Department's responsiveness to Maori and Pacific staff and offenders requires an understanding of the relevant cultural issues, particularly at management level, and in those roles that require direct contact with Maori and Pacific offenders and their families. The Department encourages its staff to participate in a number of courses and seminars relating to cultural development, including several internal initiatives such as its Te Reo Strategy and Tikanga and language courses, and the Responsiveness to Maori module of the Management at Corrections programme. An example of the progress made during 2004/05 was the rollout of the cultural awareness course, Kia Mau, for staff within the Community Probation Service.

Staff also attended programmes through whare wananga, polytechnics and universities to develop their cultural understanding and its application to the Department's services. Staff engaged with local iwi, hapu and runanga for advice, direction and cultural supervision.

The Chief Executive's Maori Advisory and Pacific Advisory Groups provided significant input into the Department's ongoing and potential management of, and interaction with, Maori and Pacific offenders and their families. The Department also obtained advice on Pacific issues from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and other Pacific organisations and support groups.

Social benefits flow on to society through the education and upskilling of prisoners. The Department's education and training programmes provided offenders with opportunities to gain employment upon their release and to assist them with reintegration into society. This has provided a positive economic and social benefit to New Zealand as a whole. Prisoner employment and training activities include farming, forestry, horticulture, manufacturing, construction, asset maintenance, kitchen, computer and community work activities.

Prisoners undertaking the Department's employment and training options were given opportunities to receive externally recognised qualifications within the framework of the NZQA. The Department also provided prisoners with opportunities to participate in educational training programmes. The Public Prisons Service delivers the NCES, secondary school education, and literacy and numeracy programmes to prisoners as part of their sentence plan.

The NCES is an NZQA accredited programme that develops skills for the workforce. The NCES programme is primarily provided to prisoners who are 20 years or older. Secondary education is compulsory for 16 and 17 year old prisoners and is also made available for those younger than 20 years of age. Literacy and numeracy programmes are available to all prisoners with an identified need in accordance with their sentence management assessment. In the 2004/05 financial year, the Public Prisons Service delivered approximately 22,000 tutor hours for NCES programmes, while overall offenders in prison completed over 30,000 unit standards that gained 3,654 externally recognised qualifications.


The Department maintains an acute awareness of, and caters for, diverse cultural needs, experiences and attitudes with respect to employees, prisoners, offenders, family, and community and cultural support groups. This is particularly important in light of the fact that Maori and Pacific peoples continue to be disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. The Department's contribution to the government goal of reducing inequalities is discussed further below and will be supported by trained Maori and Pacific employees, including managers. Developing the organisation's responsiveness to diverse cultures and ethnic groups means evolving the organisational ethos and building the capability and capacity of people to enable improvements in everyday business with staff, offenders, communities and providers.

The Department recognises that, to be effective, the organisation needs to develop responsiveness to an increasingly diverse offender population, particularly in relation to Pacific peoples, women, youth and other highrisk groups. The desire, as well as requirement, to be a good employer means also targeting responsiveness to staff. A range of initiatives have been developed and implemented during the 2004/05 financial year that supports the Department's aim of being culturally responsive, they include:

  • increasing the number and proportion of Pacific peoples staff and managers
  • increasing the number and proportion of female staff and managers
  • increasing the number and proportion of Maori staff and managers
  • supporting Pacific staff networks that can utilise in-house experts on Pacific issues
  • supporting Maori staff networks at national and regional level
  • implementation of the Te Reo Strategy
  • enhancing the role of kaiwhakamana at the Northland Region Corrections Facility
  • piloting of the women's Tikanga Maori Programme in the Hawke's Bay/Gisborne and Taitokerau areas of the Community Probation Service
  • implementing Cultural Supervision in the Waikato and Canterbury regions.

Reducing Inequalities
The Department of Corrections is one of 13 identified departments required to report on reducing inequalities. The Treasury has outlined the Department's annual reporting requirements for contributing to reducing inequalities. The reporting requirements apply to annual reports from 2004/05 onwards and reflect the revised changes to the reducing inequalities policy agreed by Cabinet in June 2004.

Key Goals
The Government's key goal for reducing inequalities is to:

"reduce the inequalities that currently divide our society and offer a good future for all by better coordination of strategies across sectors and by supporting and strengthening the capacity of Maori and Pacific communities. It aims to ensure that all groups in society are able to participate fully and enjoy the benefits of improved production."

This key goal reflects fundamental principles relating to social justice, a desire to reduce disadvantage and promote equality of opportunity in order to achieve a similar distribution of outcomes between groups, and a more equitable distribution of overall outcomes within society. This entails an integrated approach to managing the reducing inequalities policy to ensure that the goals and principles of reducing inequalities are a core part of key departmental activities and initiatives.

Key Outcomes
Reducing inequalities reaches across many sectors and requires coordinated action. Within the Department of Corrections, reducing inequalities means focusing on the following Government outcomes (Reducing Inequalities: Next Steps Report to Cabinet 2004):

  • better health and reduced inequalities in health
  • high levels of participation in education and improved educational achievement
  • improved labour market participation, greater access to sustainable employment opportunities and reduced unemployment
  • reduced criminal victimisation and violence
  • cultural and ethnic identities are valued.

The incorporated approach to managing the reducing inequalities policy assumes that departments will consider and reflect the goals, principles, and priorities of government's reducing inequalities policy in their planning, policy development and service delivery.

Addressing re-offending by Maori and Pacific offenders is a high priority for the Department. Because Maori and Pacific peoples continue to be disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, the Department is committed to providing quality programmes and services that are effective for Maori and Pacific peoples, from initial assessment through to intervention and release. Current departmental initiatives include:

  • the Whanau Involvement Plan
  • the Maori Provider Development Strategy
  • Tikanga Maori Programme
  • Maori Therapeutic Programme
  • Tikanga Maori Women's Programme
  • Specialist Maori Cultural Assessment
  • Cultural Supervision
  • Maori staffing targets
  • Te Reo Strategy
  • Kaiwhakamana Visitor Policy
  • Chief Executive's Maori Advisory Group
  • Saili Matagi (the Pacific Violence Prevention Programme)
  • Fautua Pasefika Policy
  • Chief Executive's Pacific Advisory Group
  • Pacific staffing targets
  • Female employee targets
  • the review of cultural competencies for frontline staff. Consequently, as part of the alignment to reducing inequalities and the conclusions of the State Services Commission-led review, the Department's reports continue to contain, as a minimum:
  • an overview of major departmental strategies that aim at, or contribute to, reducing inequalities
  • explicit reducing inequalities frameworks, strategies and policies
  • major programme-level interventions impacting on reducing inequalities
  • major research, policy development, or other developmental activities incorporating reducing inequalities, goals and objectives
  • monitoring, evaluation, or auditing activities aimed at measuring reducing inequalities outcomes directly, or programmes contributing to reducing inequalities.

A detailed report on reducing inequalities in the Department of Corrections, including expenditure, can be found on pages 182-8.

Equal Employment Opportunities
The Department of Corrections is committed to equal opportunities in all its employment policies and procedures. Equal employment opportunities (EEO) apply to all aspects of the Department's human resource policies, including recruitment, selection and appointment practices, training, performance management, career development, conditions of employment and the work environment. All departmental employees, regardless of gender, race, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, family status, religious or ethical beliefs, political opinion or union affiliation, have similar access to employment opportunities.

The Department's managers have primary responsibility to promote equal employment opportunities for all employees and to eliminate  policies and practices that work against equity in the workplace. The Department takes a strategic approach to equal employment opportunities and policies to support its business outcomes.

The Department's 2004/05 EEO programme continued to complement other human resource initiatives that worked towards achieving a positive workplace culture and cooperative relationships between staff and management. The Department also continued work on the  Disability Implementation Work Plan, which aims to progressively review all employment and staff support processes to ensure they are responsive to the needs of staff with disabilities, and in accordance with the Department's health and safety in employment strategy.

FIGURE 25: Full-time Equivalent Employees by Gender (thousands)

Figure 25

FIGURE 26: Full-time Equivalent Employees by Ethnicity (thousands)

Figure 26

Pay and Employment Equity
The Department of Corrections is committed to the outcomes of the Government Pay and Employment Equity plan of action. As part of the review of remuneration systems, the Department has provided input into the Department of Labour-led initiative to develop a gender neutral job evaluation system. The State Services Commission and the Pay and Employment Equity Unit of the Department of Labour have kept the Department informed of the development of pay and employment equity processes.

Total Employees by Gender
An important part of the Department's efforts to enhance its responsiveness to diversity is to increase the number of women within the organisation. Throughout the 2004/05 year, the Department continued to place a high priority on female recruitment to management and other key roles, particularly those interacting with female offenders. As at 30 June 2005, females represented 36 percent of all of the Department's employees, an increase on the 34 percent representation as at 30 June 2004. Figure 25 illustrates the gender split of the Department's FTE employees as at 30 June 2005 compared with the previous financial year.

Total Employees by Ethnicity
Improving its responsiveness to Maori and Pacific offenders and their families is one of the key themes within the Department's Strategic Business Plan 2003 - 2008 and its companion strategies the Maori Strategic Plan and Pacific Strategy. Being responsive includes the capability to develop and deliver services that are effective and appropriate for Maori and Pacific prisoners, offenders and families. Maori and Pacific peoples represented 23 percent and 8 percent respectively of the Department's employees as at 30 June 2005. Figure 26 below illustrates the ethnic split of the Department's FTE employees as at 30 June 2005. The results indicate that ethnic representation has increased slightly when compared with the previous financial year.

Senior Management and Corporate Governance Bodies by Gender and Ethnicity
Improving the Department's responsiveness to diversity within its environment includes ensuring that Maori, Pacific peoples, and females are fairly represented within the Department's governance bodies and at management level.

The Department's governance bodies comprise the Senior Management Team, Assurance Board, Chief Executive's Maori Advisory Group, Chief Executive's Pacific Advisory Group and the Inmate Employment Advisory Committee. Representation by gender and ethnicity is an  important element in determining the composition of the Department's governance bodies.


Relationships with Maori
Maori are recognised by the Government as the tangata whenua o Aotearoa (indigenous people of New Zealand) and, as such, have a special status as acknowledged by the Treaty of Waitangi. In accepting the Treaty of Waitangi and the tangata whenua status of Maori, the right of the Crown to govern and the right of non-Maori to identify as New Zealanders is validated. The Department's commitment to Maori derives from the Treaty of Waitangi and is linked to the Treaty through the key government goal "strengthen national identity and uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi".

The Department works in partnership with Maori communities and government agencies to provide corrections services that contribute to community safety and reduce re-offending, and provides these services in a way that has regard to the Treaty of Waitangi.

In 2004/05, the Department addressed the following issues in respect of its relationships with Maori:

  • revised recruitment methodology to better enhance the Department's ability to attract and recruit Maori staff and managers
  • continued the development and enhancement of kaiwhakamana
  • piloted the women's Tikanga Maori Programme in the community
  • implemented Cultural Supervision in Waikato and Canterbury
  • implemented specialist Maori Cultural Assessments in the Auckland and Waikato regions
  • participated in the Crown-Maori Relationship Instruments Review conducted by the State Services Commission
  • continued to develop and support Maori staff networks
  • signed a relationship agreement with Ngati Tuwharetoa
  • adopted the Maori Initiatives Pathway.

Key Themes

Building Partnerships with Maori
Partnerships with Maori communities are vital to the provision of effective and responsive services for Maori. The Department views partnerships as continually evolving relationships that balance the duties and obligations of kawanatanga and aspirations of rangatiratanga. The Department believes that establishing partnerships begins with the building of relationships with whanau, hapu, iwi and Maori communities. The Department forms relationships with Maori communities that are strategic and mutually beneficial. The nature of these relationships is focused around the aspirations of the Department and Maori for "wellness and wellbeing".

Currently, the Department has a partnership arrangement with the Ngati Rangi Development Society Inc in respect of the Northland Region Corrections Facility, while the Minister executed in 2004/05 a relationship agreement with the Tuwharetoa Trust Board in respect of  departmental services in the Central North Island. Other agreements are under development in respect of new facilities under construction, while consolidation continues of relationships at existing facilities. The development of government policy on Crown-Maori Relationship Instruments and associated Treaty of Waitangi policy continues to inform the Department's ongoing progress in iwi and other Treaty partnership relationship arrangements.

Being Effective for Maori
The Department seeks to provide quality programmes and services that are effective, appropriate and address the diverse needs of Maori. This approach is underpinned by the principle that Maori world views and methodologies will be included in the development of services. Being Responsive to Maori The Department looks to build the capability and capacity of its people and processes to enable it to improve its everyday interaction with Maori offenders, communities and providers. The Department considers that being responsive requires an organisation and staff capable of developing and delivering services that are effective and appropriate for Maori. This includes:

  • providing appropriate training and development for staff to be able to deliver services in a manner that respects Maori values and supports Maori processes
  • increasing the involvement of Maori staff at all levels of the Department, to support Maori-to-Maori service delivery, and influence change at a management level to improve overall services for Maori
  • incorporating Maori values in the Department's organisational policies, practices, processes and culture.

In this respect, in 2003, the Department adopted its Whakatinana Te Kaupapa Strategy for working with Maori service providers. The aim of  the strategy is to address issues relating to the way in which the Department works with existing and potential Maori service providers.


The Department's operations, by their very nature, impact on communities within New Zealand, whether they are communities in close proximity to correction facilities, the families of offenders, ethnic groups, or the New Zealand public as a whole. Community safety is an important issue for most New Zealanders, involving police, courts and other agencies, and the Department plays a key role because it manages offenders both in prisons and those serving non-custodial sentences in the community.

The Department's risk strategy requires the sensitive management of actual risks in an effort to minimise perceived risks to the community. During 2004/05, the Department worked with both Maori and Pacific communities to assist Maori and Pacific offenders. New prisons encourage behavioural improvement, and are located so families can visit more easily.

In 2005, a survey of the community near the Otago Region Corrections Facility was commissioned to capture social indicator data. Stage one of a study has been completed and will be repeated five years after the prison opens to gauge the impact of the new facility on the local  community's social environment.

Department Links with the Community
The Department continued to identify and manage its impact on communities through the successful use of liaison activities, including:

  • the use of Community Probation Service Liaison Officers (Liaison Officers)
  • the presence of Community Work Supervisors and Probation Officers
  • the presence of Community Residential Centres
  • localised site liaison functions operating in collaborative relationships with local agencies.

Liaison services are established by the Department with communities and ethnic groups and include Probation Officers selected for their liaison skills and experience. The role of a Liaison Officer is to:

  • meet with social service groups and agencies to mutually exchange information
  • ensure that all new information regarding social service groups and agencies is communicated to staff
  • be available as a contact person to social service groups and agencies.

The Department's Senior Community Work Supervisors and Probation Officers maintain close links with the community through work projects and liaison with sponsors such as local authorities, the Department of Conservation and marae that benefit from the work undertaken. The Department also interacts with the community through Community Residential Centres, which provide offenders with a residential programme in a normalised and structured environment. The aims and objectives of Community Residential Centres are to:

  • provide residential programmes that identify and address the causes of an individual's offending
  • contribute to the reintegration of offenders into the community
  • foster community involvement in the provision of programmes for offenders
  • contribute to reducing the rate of re-offending.

Community Residential Centres have a more formalised Probation Officer liaison arrangement that involves greater interaction with offenders and staff at the Community Residential Centre. In order to make its services known and as accessible as possible, the Department also established localised site liaison functions to operate with local agencies such as Child, Youth and Family, the New Zealand Police, Work and Income New Zealand, and local iwi/hapu.

Community Work Projects
When sentenced to community work, an offender is placed with either a Community Work Agency, Community Work Centre or both. They then undertake a variety of projects in the community until they have completed their required number of hours.

Prior to placement, all offenders are assessed as to their suitability, work skill opportunities, placement availability, and work/family  commitments. Where possible, an offender's specific skills are matched with an appropriate project or agency to ensure maximum benefit to the community through the work undertaken.

During 2004/05, community work projects involved over 2 million hours of work by offenders. Table 16 provides information on a variety of community work projects undertaken during the reporting period and the positive impact they have had on offenders, project sponsors and local communities.

TABLE 16: Community Work Projects






A local marae

Planting new gardens, rebuilding fences, laying cobblestones

Providing positive cultural exposure for offenders, supports local hapu in important project, offenders learn new skills on the job.


Auckland Regional Council

Developing and maintaining Regional Parks

Over 4,500 hours work at West Coast regional parks in 2004, providing benefits to the environment, wildlife and tourism. Labour-intensive work giving offenders sense of purpose and chance to use skills.


A suburban cemetery

Clearing overgrowth and debris

Improving accessibility of the cemetery to visitors and walkers, continuing a long association between the cemetery and Community Probation Service.


A local food bank garden

Assisting in tending and harvesting the food bank garden

Making a meaningful contribution to the local community by helping provide food to those in need, and providing offenders with horticultural experience.


A local sports club

Flood relief - shovelling silt, digging mud, cleaning out sheds, fences and clubrooms

Providing much needed labour to ease a community crisis.


Local authorities

Operation Clementine, planting out hundreds of fruit, citrus trees for tenants

Health benefits to the local community from fresh reinforcing relationships with other agencies.


A local boat club

Refurbishing dinghies loaned to novice sailors

Encouraging young sailors to get involved with sport, saving club money and time.

Stoke, Nelson

A private land owner and local authority

Eight years' work helping to develop popular walking track (Kelly's Track)

Made rare coastal lowland forest accessible to community groups for educational and recreational purposes, provided offenders  with skills and sense of achievement.


Department of Conservation and local government

Two-year project to build wheelchair-accessible track through scenic reserve near New Plymouth

Provided valuable opportunity for people with disabilities to enjoy bush environment safely, labour-intensive work giving offenders sense of purpose and chance to use skills, such as  building dry stone walls.


Section 190 of the Corrections Act 2004 prescribes particular issues that must be reported on in the Department's annual report. Notwithstanding the commencement date for the Act being 1 June 2005, section 190 makes it clear that the reporting requirements relate to the whole of the year to which the annual report relates. Information provided to meet the reporting requirements has therefore covered the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005. These issues, and the Department's achievements, are detailed below.

Section 190(1)(a)
This section reports on how the Chief Executive has carried out his functions under section 8(1)(k), of ensuring that processes are established  and maintained to identify communities significantly affected by policies and practices in the corrections system, providing opportunities for those communities to give their views on those policies and practices, and ensuring those views are taken into account, together with information on how prison managers have carried out this responsibility.

Regional managers are required by the General Manager Public Prisons Service to engage with local communities on a regular basis. The processes established to assist engagement are described in the following publications:

  • Public Prisons Service manuals and guidelines
  • Release of official information: Guideline for Coordination
  • Consultation requirements as set by local authorities
  • Performance management system.

The major issues for the Public Prisons Service requiring consultation with community organisations included:

  • the opening of new corrections facilities
  • the transfer of existing facilities out of a community
  • changes to existing operations and facilities.

Through staff and community networks, public meetings, hui, and the media, opportunities were made available for community involvement to identify issues that could negatively impact on a community, provide opportunities for positive contributions by a community, to pass on information regarding departmental and prison activities and to ensure that the Department complied with legislative requirements.

Section 190(1)(b)
This section reports on the work undertaken by inspectors of prisons, including statistical information about the disposition of complaints and comments on issues arising from complaints or visits.

The Prison Inspectorate was first established in 1954 under the provisions of the Penal Institutions Act of that year. The legislation established a dedicated complaints resolution, investigation and general assurance function, reporting directly to the Chief Executive independently of prison line management. The level of statutory protection afforded to the Inspector's role and reporting level was in direct recognition of the high level of risk attached to prison management and the need to provide a level of legislative protection for the Inspector's functions. That arrangement was retained upon the devolution of sentence management functions to the new Department of Corrections in 1995 and has also been reflected in the provisions of the Corrections Act 2004. The major change for the Inspectorate arising out of the 2004 legislation is the formal extension of the Inspectors' role to cover community-based sentences in addition to the traditional prison focus.

This is the first formal report prepared by the Senior Inspector for inclusion in the Department's annual report. It is early days in terms of the new community-based sentence role for the Inspectorate. This report therefore deals primarily with prison related matters.

In terms of prisoner contact and complaint volumes for the Inspectorate, 2004/05 has been a record year. Prisoners made 6,689 contacts with the Inspectors during 2004/05. While this figure includes 539 interviews conducted during routine prison visits, the bulk of prisoner contacts are now made through the Inspectors' direct 0800 telephone service for prisoners and their families. Not all prisoner contacts generate complaints. Many prisoners are simply seeking advice, information, or assurance that they have been managed appropriately.

However, 3,218 formal complaints were dealt with by the Inspectors during the year. This figure is the highest since 1995, and is due primarily to the increase in the prison population over that time. High prison musters in themselves generate tensions among both staff and prisoners. These tensions are exacerbated by the need to transfer prisoners away from their home locations and from prison to prison to meet the need for available bed-space. This has a downstream effect on families, visits, property, programmes and all those things that directly affect the quality of prison life. It also draws staff away from their key supervision and case management roles.

Despite the high volume of complaints to the Inspectors, the incidence of justified complaints remains low, with only three being so defined for the year. It has been acknowledged, however, that the current definition of a justified complaint is not a satisfactory measure of prison performance. The present definition effectively excludes any complaint brought directly to an Inspector without first going through the internal prison system. The definition has been revised for the

2005/06 year to include all instances where intervention by an Inspector is necessary in order to achieve the appropriate outcome for the prisoner.

There are, however, encouraging signs that complaints to the Inspectors are beginning to reduce. The last three months of the year saw a dramatic reduction from the hitherto record figure of 371 in February 2005 to a new low of 184 in June 2005. This can be attributed in some measure to the increased effectiveness of the revised internal complaints process introduced throughout New Zealand prisons in April 2004. It is expected that this trend will continue as prisoners and staff alike gain confidence in the new system.

In addition to their role in complaints resolution, the Inspectors have undertaken 16 full investigations of significant prison incidents, including 13 deaths in custody. The Inspectors have also monitored the conduct and outcome of 51 internal prison investigations into other prisonerrelated incidents and allegations.

A number of areas have been drawn to management's attention during the year, arising out of the Inspectors' complaints activity. The most significant of these are as follows:

  • There is a continuing high incidence of prison property complaints. Errors in property handling are likely to remain a concern while muster pressure necessitates the current high level of prisoner movements. Many property complaints could be avoided by greater care in itemising property, and ensuring that prisoners have adequate time to check and sign for property during transfer movements. The property management systems themselves appear adequate, provided they are properly implemented.
  • The complaint category that is of most concern, however, is that of staff conduct and attitude. The Inspectors received 214 complaints in this category during 2005/06. While the great majority were not of a serious nature, and none were found to be justified under the current definition, the sheer incidence of these complaints is of concern. Some of this is, again, attributable to the pressures at all levels created by high musters. The nature and dynamics of prisons, however, require a constant, consistent and ongoing management presence right down at unit floor level in order to reinforce the desired behaviours. The time demands placed on today's prison managers, particularly in investigating incidents, complaints and allegations, rarely allow this ideal to be achieved.
  • The Inspectorate was also able to clarify the Department's obligations in respect of providing adequate clothing for those prisoners who do not want to wear their own clothing while in prison.

The most consistent areas of concern arising out of the investigations and monitoring assignments carried out by the Inspectors during 2005/06 were in relation to:

  • the supervision, observation and routine security checking of prisoners
  •  adequate cross-matching of information when carrying out prisoner self-harm risk assessments.

While these areas are the subject of adequate and well-proven systems, instructions and procedural requirements, the issues identified have been more about the observance in practice of these systems, and the provision of adequate management resources to ensure that the required standards are maintained. The Inspectorate has reported these issues directly to the Chief Executive and the Assurance Board.

Section 190(1)(c)(d)(e)
This section describes the processes and systems in place to supervise and control the monitoring of prisoner calls, including statistics on the proportion of prisoner calls monitored and the number and percentage of calls disclosed under section 117(1) and (2):

  • to any person other than an employee of the Chief Executive
  • to an employee of the Chief Executive
  • number of proceedings against a person for a disciplinary offence in which a recording of any of those calls was used in evidence.

Legislative authority for the Department to monitor prisoner telephone calls is provided under sections 111 to 122 of the Corrections Act 2004. Process and systems to monitor prisoner calls were not in place in the 2004/05 financial year. Consequently, statistics required under the legislation cannot be provided. As a result of serious breaches in prison security, the Government approved additional funding in Budget 2005 to enhance prison security by introducing a system and staff to monitor prisoners' telephone calls, and collect and analyse data that contributes to increased Crime Prevention Information Capability (CPIC).

The Terms of Reference for the CPIC project have been developed and the deliverables will include:

  • developing a model of CPIC staffing
  • purchasing and developing a secure database
  • integrating a secure database with IOMS
  • purchasing and building a telephone monitoring system
  • developing a training plan for all staff.

Section 190(1)(f)
This section provides a report on measures to reduce drug and alcohol use by prisoners and the effectiveness of those measures, random-testing programmes and the results of those programmes.

The Department's progress in reducing drug and alcohol use by prisoners is reported in Part 1 (pages 34-5) and Part 2 (page 112) of this annual report.

Section 190(1)(g)
 This section provides a report on the operation of every security contract in force for the whole, or any part, of the year to which the annual report relates, including:

  • a summary of reports forwarded to the Chief Executive under Section 171(2) and (3)
  • a summary of reports made to the Chief Executive under Section 172(2)(b)
  • a summary of actions taken in relation to the operation of security contracts as a result of matters raised in any report forwarded.

The Department's contract with Chubb New Zealand Limited is for the escort and court room supervision of prisoners in the Auckland and Northland region. Chubb performance over the 2004/05 financial year was in line with contract expectations. Chubb provided the Department with monthly reporting, outlining performance for measures such as: escapes, releases in error, prisoner deaths, prisoner injuries, complaints, staff personal grievances and disciplinary actions.

Section 190(1)(h)
This section provides a report on the operation of any contract prison, including a summary of reports by the manager of the contract prison, including:

  • a summary of reports forwarded to the Chief Executive under Section 214 (2) and (3)
  • a summary of reports made to the Chief Executive under Section 215(2)(b)
  • a summary of actions taken in relation to the management of contract prisons as a result of matters raised in any report forwarded.

The Auckland Central Remand Prison was the first privately managed prison in New Zealand and was initially managed by Australasian Correctional Management Limited (ACM), which later became GEO Group New Zealand Pty Limited. ACM/GEO negotiated a five-year contract with the Department to manage the prison. With the passing of the Corrections Act 2004, the management of the Auckland Central Remand Prison reverted back to the Public Prisons Service on 12 July 2005, on the expiry of the contract.

GEO performance over the 2004/05 financial year was in line with contract expectations. GEO provided the Department with monthly and quarterly reports that outlined performance against set criteria for incidents, complaints, searches, disciplinary proceedings, drug testing and programme delivery.