The Corrections Department has confirmed that four companies are shortlisted to manage the joint Mt Eden-Auckland Central remand prison.
The Government intends to privatise the management of the prison by August next year.
Corrections Minister Judith Collins has cited cost savings and innovation as two merits of the move.
Four international companies have this week been asked to provide proposals for how they would run the jail.
The department won't name them, saying that would be inappropriate while the tender process is underway.
Deputy chief executive Sandi Beatie says it is anticipated that the companies may partner with or sub-contract work to domestic firms.