An unannounced inspection at Tongariro Prison has found a safe and well-managed prison, with a clear sense of purpose and striving for continuous improvement, the Office of the Ombudsman says.
The five-day inspection was undertaken in May by the Chief Ombudsman’s OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) inspections team.
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier found little violence or anti-social behaviour at the prison, with good relationships between prisoners and staff, and low levels of self-harm and drug use among the prisoners.
“Cultural provision across the site is well embedded”, Mr Boshier says.
“In particular, I consider the Prison a centre of excellence in terms of establishing and embedding the Department of Corrections’ Te Tokorima a Māui values of rangatira/leadership, manaaki/respect, wairua/spirituality, kaitiaki/guardianship, and whānau/relationships,” he says.
Seventeen recommendations were made, mostly concerning improvements to induction processes, record keeping, and case management. The Department of Corrections has accepted 14 of these recommendations, and the Chief Ombudsman will monitor their implementation.