Proposed prison cells made from shipping containers are in better condition than some existing accommodation for inmates, the Department of Corrections says.
Media were shown a prototype shipping container unit containing four cells and another containing a shower block at Rimutaka Prison near Wellington on Thursday.
Corrections general manager Barry Matthews says the cost of constructing the shipping container cells would be between $53,000 and $63,000 per bed.
Mr Matthews says that is about half the cost of building permanent cell blocks.
He dismissed suggestions the shipping container cells are inhumane, saying they have more space and better fittings than some existing cells.