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New prison plan moves forward

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016 Sean Martin

The business case has been approved by the government for a new 1500-bed facility at Waikeria Prison.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced plans in principle for the Public Private Partnership facility last month and revealed on Tuesday it was one step closer to construction.

The facility will be operated by Corrections but built and maintained by a PPP, similar to the Auckland Prison model.

Expressions of interest will be released early next year, with a successful bidder to be secured likely by the end of the year.

Ms Collins expects construction to begin in 2018 and the prison to be completed within three years.

Waikeria Prison, near Te Awamutu, currently has capacity for 766 minimum to high security prisoners.

The new facility is part of the government's $1 billion plan to increase New Zealand's prison capacity by 1800 places over the next five years.

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