Phone calls

Waikeria Prison incident

Updated 5 January 2021

The incident at Waikeria has been peacefully resolved. We appreciate that this has been a distressing time for many family and friends and our number one priority remains the wellbeing of prisoners and staff.

A number of prisoners have needed to be relocated to other sites for their safety.

We are working hard to fix some issues with phones at the prison caused by the fire.

We ask for your ongoing patience and understanding.

All our prisons have standard Telecom payphones for people in prison to use. The phones are located in the common area of each unit.

Phonecards are available to purchase through the prison weekly shopping system, or they can be posted to the prisoner. Prisoners in MECF can buy phone cards through the canteen. They may not receive phonecards by post or in person. We encourage other items with a monetary value to be hand delivered.

Up to 10 phone numbers can be approved at any one time for people in prison to call.

Once a person has applied to have the number approved staff check to make sure the call recipient is happy to receive calls from within the prison. The number is then made available for the person to call.

Apart from some free (0800) numbers, prisoners must pay for the calls they make. The cost of making calls is:

$1 for up to 15 minutes Local calls
25 cents per minute National calls
35 cents per minute Calls to cellphones
90 cents per minute International calls
Free Approved 0800 numbers

All phone calls can be monitored. This means that calls are recorded and can be listened to by staff.


Cellphones are not allowed in prison as they are contraband items.

Contacting a person urgently

To contact a person in prison urgently, call the prison and they can ask the prisoner to call back.

Unwanted phone calls from people in prison

People in prison are allowed up to 10 approved phone numbers to make calls.

They can’t call unless the person the number belongs to gives their permission.

We check that the person wants to receive phone calls from the prison. We understand this can change for various reasons.

If you are receiving unwanted phone calls from someone in prison, please let us know.

How to stop calls

You can phone the prison directly (find details on Our locations page).

If you are not sure which prison the person is now in, you can email Please include details of the person you don’t want calls from, and your phone number so we can take it off their list.