Auckland South Corrections Facility

Wiri, Auckland

Project Detailsopen
Law & Order
Department of Corrections & SecureFutures
Wiri, Auckland

The new Auckland South Corrections Facility in New Zealand focuses on the reduction of re-offending prisoners in the system. It is the first prison built as a PPP and is the first privately run prison.

Recidivism is a complex issue involving social, educative and economic factors. Statistics show that the cost of recidivism in Australasia is alarmingly high. Re-offending prisoners cost the state approximately $100,000 per annum to keep and house.

Two unrelated but key factors were identified when Innovation Capitalisation was applied to the brief. Firstly, recidivism is reduced by 70% if you can solve the problem of suitable and affordable housing (social/economic) on a prisoner’s release; secondly 50% of children who reach Year 8 will end up in prison by age 18 if their level of literacy and numeracy (educative/social) falls below a certain level.

Starting with those two factors, and the economic imperative to reduce the cost of recidivism, MODE was able to apply Innovative Capitalisation to unlock significant capital in reserve in three of the four pillars – economic, social and educative. An environmental/economic benefit was identified but is yet to be applied.

Outcome 1: Progressive Model for Housing Prisoners
MODE based the architecture of the project on developing a progressive model of accommodation which rewarded a prisoner’s rehabilitation program. Offenders entering prison are initially accommodated in a traditional cell with basic amenities. As the rehabilitation of the prisoner progresses they are upgraded to a more functional and better equipped bedroom; at the third stage they are moved into built houses within the prison compound, and, finally, on release or parole, are moved into outside accommodation with intensive support from Not for Profit agencies.

The Rehabilitation Program is designed to reward health, education and engagement through acknowledging gains in personal hygiene and dental care, reduced addiction, commitment to learning life skills and skills sets, and engaging in productive work.

Outcome 2: Education Linked to Social & Economic Benefits
MODE incorporated architecture which enabled life skills and specific skills sets to be taught, with emphasis on practical, hands on teaching which could be turned into economic opportunities for the centre e.g. providing laundry and linen services for external businesses. Life skills training linked to Rehabilitation Program and lifting literacy and numeracy of inmates; skills training linked to economic opportunity and to fostering preparedness of prisoners on release.

Outcome 3 (Proposed): Sustainable food supply linked to environmental, educative, social and economic benefits
MODE recommended incorporating sustainable food production through permaculture principles (minimum land requirement) providing economic advantage through supplementing food costs; educative advantage through skills training in permaculture; environmental advantage through natural food production benefits of permaculture techniques, and social advantage through engagement and life skills.

Benefits to Stakeholders & Community


  • 1,000 less repeat offenders per annum would equate to $10,000,000 able to be re-directed to affordable housing programs supervised by NFPs
  • Quantifiable reductions in running costs for prison operators
  • Quantifiable income generating services


  • Healthier outcomes for inmates
  • Reduction in recidivism


  • Life skills and practice skills learned

Images: Dave Olsen