Department of Corrections (New Zealand)

Department of Corrections
Ara Poutama Aotearoa
Department of Corrections NZ logo.jpg
Logo of the New Zealand Department of Corrections
Department overview
Formed October 1, 1995
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Employees 7184 full time equivalent (FTE) staff (30 June 2009)
Minister responsible Hon. Judith Collins, Minister of Corrections
Department executive Ray Smith, Chief executive

The Department of Corrections (in Māori, Ara Poutama Aotearoa) is a state sector organisation of New Zealand. Its core responsibility is the management of the New Zealand corrections system.

New Zealand's Minister of Corrections is the Hon. Judith Collins.



The department was established on 1 October 1995, following government decisions on the recommendations of the Review of the New Zealand Department of Justice in 1994. In effect the Department of Justice was divided into the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Justice.[1] Corrections was led for its first ten years by Chief Executive, Mark G. Byers. Byers retired from the public service in 2005 and was replaced by Barry Matthews. Matthews is a former Deputy Commissioner of Police in New Zealand and was for a time the Commissioner of the Western Australian Police Force. The Department is part of the national public service of New Zealand. In early 2006, the Department officially adopted the Māori name Ara Poutama Aotearoa.


A corrections bus for the transport of prisoners, near Mount Eden Prisons, Auckland.

The Department of Corrections is tasked with ensuring that custodial sentences (imprisonment) and non-custodial sentences and orders (home detention, community work, community detention, supervision, intensive supervision, extended supervision and parole) imposed by New Zealand's Courts and the New Zealand Parole Board are administered in a safe, secure, humane and effective way. The Department aims to improve public safety by ensuring offenders comply with their sentences and reducing the level of re-offending by delivering rehabilitation programmes and providing education and job training.

The Department:

  • Was managing 8469 prisoners across 20 prisons as at the end of March 2010.
  • The average number of offenders on community sentences and orders being managed on any given day was 44,893 as at the end of March 2010.
  • The average annual cost of housing a prisoner was $90,977 or $249.25 per day in the 2008/09 financial year.
  • Prisoners are fed at a cost of less than $5 a day per person
  • The average cost per offender on a community-based sentence or order was $9.92 per day or $3621 per year in the 2008/09 financial year.
  • Offenders serving Community Work sentences completed 3,285,373 hours of work in the 2008/09 financial year.
  • Corrections provided 44,596 pre-sentence reports to the judiciary in the 2008/09 financial year.



The Department is headed by the Chief Executive, Ray Smith, and comprises a number of groups.

Prison Services

Prison Services operates the Department's 20 prisons. They provide secure, safe and humane containment of prisoners while also aiming to reduce re-offending.

Community Probation Services

Community Probation Services manage approximately 100,000 community-based sentences and orders per year, and provide information and reports to judges and the New Zealand Parole Board to assist in reaching sentencing and release decisions. Staff also deliver interventions to offenders and prisoners to address their offending behaviour and prepare them for rejoining society.

Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services

Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services delivers interventions to offenders and prisoners to address their offending behaviour. These involve employment, education, constructive activities, specialised treatment services and offence-focused programmes.

Strategy Policy and Planning

Strategy, Policy and Planning provides specialist and strategic advice to inform decision making by the Minister of Corrections, Corrections' Chief Executive, and across the Department. The group provides strategic planning, policy development and advice, research and evaluation.

Finance, Systems and Infrastructure

Finance, Systems and Infrastructure provides a range of strategies and services that support the delivery of Corrections’ core business

Organisational Development Group

Organisational Development provides both strategic advice and day-to-day support and services to the Chief Executive and Corrections managers on structural and culture change, human resource management and development, employee health and safety, employee relations and employment law.

The Office of the Chief Executive

The Office of the Chief Executive manages key functions on behalf of the Chief Executive and incorporates Business Continuity and Emergency Planning, Corporate Affairs, Internal Audit, Inspectorate, Ministerial Secretariat, Portfolio Management Office, Professional Standards Unit and the Legal Services Team.

See also


  1. ^ Newbold, G. (2007) The problem of prisons : corrections reform in New Zealand since 1840. Wellington, Dunmore Publishers
  2. ^

External links

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