Daily life

The prison service offers activities to prisoners


Vocational training is provided by staff members.

Vocational training is provided


Prisoners have access to computers

in some establishments

The South Auckland Correctional Facility (Wiri) put telephones and computers inside cells. The computers are fixed to a desk and do not have access to the internet. The screen also works as a TV. Prisoners can work or study from cells, arrange visits and book medical appointments.

Prisoners have access to a television

yes, rented

The prison service allows access to Internet


Individuals or organisations from the outside are allowed to participate in prison activities


Many organisations are authorised to enter prison:

  • Religious organizations such as Prison Fellowship and the Christian Community Agency visit prisoners and organize pastoral care and bible sessions.

  • Organisations involved in re-integrative services to prisoner’s, assisting them getting back to community, including Prison Chaplaincy Service of Aotearoa New Zealand, Prisoner’s Aid and Rehabilitation Society.

  • Community Law Centres, based in all major regions of the country, provide free legal assistance to offenders that do not have means to pay for defence.

  • Other external participants, who have access to prisons include: members of parliament, volunteers, protected persons, legal advisers, enforcement officers/statutory visitors and the Ombudsman.

Prisoners are allowed to make use of financial resources


Financial resources are accessible

in an account

Upon the detainees arrival, their money is taken away and placed in a trust account. Relatives transfer money via the post office or deposit cash, money orders or cheques during visiting times. Electronic transfers can be made after contacting the prison trust clerk.
Prisoners can have a maximum $200 in their bank accounts at a time and spend a maximum $70 per week. They can purchase groceries, toiletries, phone cards, stamps and confectionary items.

Destitute prisoners receive financial or in-kind support


Prisoners can access welfare funds via the Welfare and Entertainment Fund. Money allocated depends on the discretion of the prison’s director.

The Prison and Victim’s Claims Act 2005 establishes that prisoners’ salaries be used to pay compensations to victims if this forms part of their sentence. This legislation also prevents inmates from demanding compensation for harm caused to them.

Prisoners have the right to vote


Untried prisoners are allowed to vote. Convicted prisoners prisoners are not allowed to vote in New Zealand since the enactment of the Electoral Amendment Bill 2010. This legislation in not retrospective so all prisoners convicted before 2010 are still allowed to vote.