New Zealand Law Society - Prison building intentions triple in 2019

Prison building intentions triple in 2019

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About three times the value of building work for prisons was consented in the December 2019 year ($229 million) than in 2018 ($75 million), says Statistics New Zealand.

“The jump in value of building consents for prisons reflects investments signalled by the Department of Corrections for work across New Zealand,” construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie says.

“It includes new modular prison accommodation at a handful of existing prisons.

“Investment in prisons peaked in 2005, when consents were issued for work on both existing and new prisons. There were also spikes in investment in 2009 and 2013.”

Construction price rises can impact on the comparability of investment over time. Non-residential construction prices (as measured by the capital goods price index) were 45% higher in the September 2019 year than those experienced 14 years ago in 2005. In the latest year, prices rose 5.1%.

Most of the investment in prisons in 2019 was in Waikato, Canterbury, and Wellington regions, following significant investment in Auckland prisons in the previous 10 years.

The total value of non-residential building work consented increased 5.2% in 2019, reaching $7.5 billion.