To achieve successful delivery of outputs and make the appropriate contribution to departmental and shared outcomes, the Department must ensure proper development of its people and infrastructure. Investment in improved capability must be appropriately prioritised and underpinned by clear linkages to results.

Contribution to State Sector Goals

As both part of the justice sector and an individual government department, the Department contributes to the overarching goal and six supporting development goals designed by the State Services Commission to improve the overall performance of the state services to ensure the system can meet the needs of New Zealanders, whilst serving the government of the day.

The overall goal for the State Services is: A system of world class professional State Services serving the government of the day and meeting the needs of New Zealanders.

The Six State Sector Development Goals

Goal 1: Employer of Choice
  • Ensure the State Services is an employer of choice attractive to high achievers with a commitment to service.
Goal 2: Excellent State Servants
  • Develop a strong culture of constant learning in the pursuit of excellence.
Goal 3: Networked State Services
  • Use technology to transform the provision of services for New Zealanders.
Goal 4: Coordinated State Agencies
  • Ensure the total contribution of government agencies is greater than the sum of its parts.
Goal 5: Accessable State Services
  • Enhance access, responsiveness and effectiveness, and improve New Zealanders' experience of State Services.
Goal 6: Trusted State Services
  • Strengthen trust in the State Services, and reinforce the spirit of service.

Departmental Structure

In order to deliver its outputs and achieve its outcomes effectively, the Department is organised into service delivery functions (Services) and support functions (Groups). There is a particular focus for the groups and services to work together in a cohesive manner across the organisation to improve overall performance. For service delivery, this focus is enhanced by the General Manager Integration and the Regional Management Committees, which are responsible for ensuring that operational management and service delivery are fully integrated.

Further details are available on the structure of the Department, the responsibilities of each of the Groups and Services.

Investment in Capability

The Department's approach to capability development is set out in the Strategic Business Plan 2003-2008. Theme 4 of the plan covers enhancing capability and capacity. Supporting the strategic business plan are four operational strategies, which guide development in the key capability areas of facilities and infrastructure, information technology, human resources, and communications.

The Department finalised an output pricing review, in conjunction with central agencies, in 2004. The review found the Department was facing significant funding issues, due primarily to the accumulated impact of unfunded cost and volume pressures. As a result, it was evident that output delivery was being adversely affected, and the Department's capability and capacity eroded.

The Government provided additional funding for the Department to restore and maintain capability progressively from 2003/04, which meant that delivery against the Statement of Intent would be reasonably assured, although some information technology and asset and property issues could require attention in the future. The Department has been able to begin rebuilding its capability and capacity to deliver effective services. In particular, funding obtained following the review enables the Department to:

  • provide additional resources for the Psychological Service ($1.076 million)
  • support the work of the New Zealand Parole Board ($0.889 million)
  • enhance the investment in training and development for staff and managers ($8.665 million)
  • increase the number of Probation Officers, together with improved training programmes for them ($9.100 million)
  • develop risk assessment procedures for prisoners ($0.775 million)
  • carry out additional property maintenance ($2.605 million)
  • provide ongoing support for the information technology platform and infrastructure ($8.570 million)
  • improve health services for prisoners ($4.531 million).

The figures above are GST exclusive and represent permanent increases in per annum funding from 2005/06 onwards.

The phased implementation of the new funding will be completed in June 2006. Ministers were informed that there would be an effectiveness review of the funding provided in 2006/07. The Department is working with central agencies to agree on the approach to the review.

Funding Decisions in 2006

The following funding has been made available in 2006:

  • capital funding for completing construction of the Spring Hill Corrections Facility and Otago Region Corrections Facility
  • capital funding for constructing additional facilities at existing sites to provide for increased prisoner numbers and associated operating costs
  • commissioning, fit out and ongoing operating costs for the Otago Region Corrections Facility
  • operating costs for the use of Police and court cells and disaster recovery beds due to increased prisoner numbers
  • additional funding for the existing home detention regime.

Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure is incurred by the Department in accordance with financial delegations from Cabinet to the Chief Executive through the Responsible Minister. Also, the Department complies with the requirements of the Public Finance Act 1989, State Sector Act 1988, Treasury Instructions and any other legislation governing its operations when incurring any capital expenditure.

Capital Expenditure Trends and Forecasts













Land and buildings







New regional prisons







Prison expansion - additional beds







Design options associated with the consideration of the future of Mt Eden Prison







Security projects, including fences  







Health and safety work  







Deferred maintenance work     







Probation and Offender Servicesaccommodation














Inmate employment projects    







Plant and machinery, equipment, motor vehicles, and furniture and fittings







Information technology














Facilities and Infrastructure

The Department's physical infrastructure, and the management systems required to operate it, have been subject to change and expansion since 1995. The growth in the prison population in recent years, in excess of Ministry of Justice forecasts, has necessitated an expansion in new prison facilities and infrastructure, as well as addressing the capacity of some existing prisons and developing options to meet increased prisoner numbers.

The most important infrastructure issue for the Department is catering for the expected increase in the number of prisoners in a way that is consistent with the regional prisons policy. Planning for this not only involves the commissioning of new facilities, but maintenance and improvement of existing facilities to ensure that they complement the regional prisons policy. Maintenance issues include energy efficiency and compliance with occupational safety and health requirements.

The Facilities and Infrastructure Operational Strategy 2003-2008 guides the Department's approach to facility and infrastructure management,with a particular focus on the following key areas:

  • implementation of the Regional Prisons Development Project
  • economical management of the maintenance of existing facilities and other assets
  • ensuring facilities and infrastructure (application of new technology) support the effective management of offenders and facilitate rehabilitation
  • developing positive relationships with communities
  • retiring obsolete and worn-out facilities.

The first of four new corrections facilities, the 350-bed Northland Region Corrections Facility at Ngawha, near Kaikohe, opened in March 2005, and was operating at full capacity by October 2005. Construction of the other three new corrections facilities commenced in 2004/05. The Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility, a comprehensive 286-bed prison in Manukau City, is scheduled to open in August 2006 and to be operating at full capacity by December 2006. Construction of the 335-bed Otago Region Corrections Facility, at Milburn, south of Dunedin, is scheduled to be completed by March 2007, with the first prisoners to be received in June 2007 and the facility to be operating at full capacity by November 2007. The 650-bed Spring Hill Corrections Facility is under construction at a site between Meremere and Te Kauwhata. Construction is scheduled for completion in July 2007, with the first prisoners to be received in November 2007 and the facility operating at full capacity in 2008.

The Department has been active in the construction of additional beds at existing prison sites. This recent and current expansion in accommodation at existing sites has included extensive redevelopment of supporting facilities. The support buildings and services work has been completed in the context of optimised development at each site. The ability, should it be required, to continue to extend existing sites is maintained through careful planning.

The major strategic issues concerning the future development of correctional facilities include consideration of future operating regimes, confirming intentions for older sites such as Mt Eden, New Plymouth and Wellington prisons, addressing the requirements for further building, completing deferred maintenance work and developing longer-term asset management plans for all sites.

Probation and Offender Services have experienced considerable growth in recent years, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. This growth has led to a number of new communitybased office facilities being required.

More detailed planning is underway to ensure that physical capacity is available to support increased demand. Key priorities for facilities and infrastructure management in 2006/07 are listed on page 26 under Strategic Business Plan Theme 4: Strategy: Provide facilities to meet projected demand.

A further key priority is progressing, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and other government agencies, the Department's response to a potential pandemic outbreak, in accordance with the approved response plan.

Information Technology

Since the Department's establishment in 1995, Information Technology (IT) strategies have been developed to provide and maintain key business systems, including a national system for offender management.

The Information Technology Strategy 2003-2008 guides the Department's approach to information technology management.

The Department restructured its IT unit in 2005/06, resulting in improved resources and governance arrangements. The IT direction is now being influenced more by the justice sector and E-government developments as a whole, especially following technology upgrades in the Ministry of Justice and work by other agencies on issues such as common networks and authentication technology.

Major IT initiatives planned for 2006/07 are listed under Strategic Business Plan Theme 4 Strategy: Continue to develop information management processes that support the Department's business.


The Communications Operational Strategy 2003-2008 guides the Department's approach to the management of communications through initiatives grouped under the following goals:

  • foster internal appreciation of, and commitment to, the Department's strategic direction
  • increase external awareness, understanding of, and support for, the role of the Department and the issues and challenges in managing offenders
  • build communications activities for specific initiatives that give focus to, and reinforce, the four themes underpinning the Department's strategic direction.

Current communications challenges rest in supporting the overall strategic direction for the Department and inparticular the increased focus on further integrating service delivery, increasing community involvement with the Department's work and ensuring that the Department's perspective is included in media coverage and public debate.

Staff understanding and support for the strategic direction is a vital component of enhancing the Department's capability and capacity. With much already done to establish an overall identity, there is now an emphasis on internal relationships and improving staff understanding of the organisation as a whole.

In recent years, the Department has increasingly emphasised the importance of working with communities and stakeholders. As a result, the Department has been more proactive about the way in which it communicates with the public and community groups. In particular, the increased focus given by the Department to initiatives involving Maori and Pacific peoples has required the development of specific communications activities to support these.

With high public interest in the Department's work, there will frequently be reactive management of media interest in specific events. At the same time, a proactive approach is required to allow the public to have reasonable trust and confidence in the Department's ability.

Key communications initiatives in 2006/07 will continue to focus on:

  • Increasing internal and external awareness of the Department's contribution to the Government's key theme of Families - young and old
  • Supporting the Department's Statement of Intent initiatives and responding to stakeholder, media and public interest in the Department, its role and achievements.
  • Supporting the opening of new corrections facilities as part of the initiative to manage prison population numbers.

Human Resources Management

The Human Resources Operational Strategy 2003-2008 guides the Department's approach to human resources management and builds on the existing culture and capability through key initiatives grouped under the following themes:

  • alignment of organisational culture
  • responsiveness to Maori and diversity
  • enhancement of people capability and capacity
  • an effective human resources framework.

The Department has also made progress on identifying what it needs to do to be more effective for Maori, Pacific peoples and other groups. A number of initiatives have been piloted for implementation. While progress has been made, it will take some time for the current initiatives to produce results in terms of increased representation of Maori and Pacific staff in key roles across the Department. Recent responsiveness initiatives include implementation of a Te Reo strategy, development of a training module for managers and adoption of a Maori name for the Department.

Central to the development of the desired organisational culture has been the Department's focus on its values statement: PRIDE, which stands for Professionalism, Responsiveness, Integrity, Diversity, Effectiveness and Efficiency. The PRIDE values are reinforced throughout the Department, in performance competencies, and through the award scheme, PRIDE in Corrections - a Chief Executive Award, which recognises and rewards staff who demonstrate the Department's PRIDE values. This scheme, along with other initiatives, is aimed at embedding values and shaping the desired culture throughout the Department.

In 2003, the Department achieved primary status in the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) Partnership Programme and has maintained this status through successive annual audits. The Department has successfully implemented a system for employee representation and provides ongoing training for its elected representatives and staff serving on health and safety committees. Significantly, the frequency and severity of injuries continue to fall.

The Management at Corrections programme has seen the development of training modules on health and safety, responsiveness to Maori, performance management, and finance and business information. These modules are being delivered to departmental managers. The development of further 'core' products and increased linkages to the opportunities provided by existing public service senior development programmes is also a key focus for the Department. The Management at Corrections programme is complemented by further human resources development programmes specific to the Department's service delivery functions.

Key human resources initiatives planned for 2006/07 are under Strategic Business Plan Theme 4 Strategy: Develop the capability and capacity of staff and managers; and Strategy: Provide an increasingly safe and healthy work environment.

Further work will also continue to:

  • integrate the management development component into a single department-wide framework, linked with wider public service initiatives
  • address recruitment and retention issues, especially those associated with the commissioning of new prison facilities
  • consolidate and reinforce the Health and Safety systems and processes implemented to date.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Department recognises that it must take a leading role in promoting the Government's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy through the implementation of initiatives detailed on State Services Commission website (external link) and  EEO Policy to 2010: Future Directions of EEO in the NZ Public Service (external link) . New Zealand society is underpinned by the principle of fairness, and the Department seeks, in the delivery of both policy and services, to develop an organisation that recognises that people have a right to be free of unfair discrimination. 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.

Developing the Department'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 it needs to be effective for an increasingly diverse offender population, particularly in relation to Pacific peoples, women, youth and other high-risk groups. The desire, as well as requirement, to be a good employer means also targeting responsiveness to staff.

Pay and Employment Equity Plan

The Department 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 Labourled 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.

The Department's Pay and Employment Equity Audit will occur in the 2007 calendar year.

Reducing Inequalities

The Department of Corrections is one of 13 government departments required to report on reducing inequalities. The Treasury has outlined the Department's 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 the Cabinet in June 2004. 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 the Government's reducing inequalities policy in their planning, policy development and service delivery.