13 Jul 2010

New prison tipped to boost economy by $1.2 billion

6:11 am on 13 July 2010

The Government says the country's first prison built under a public-private partnership model will boost Auckland's economy by $1.2 billion over its 30-year life span.

The contract to design, build and run the Wiri prison, in South Auckland, will be awarded to a consortium of companies later this year, with construction expected to start before the end of the year.

The cost to build the prison will be $298 million, but annual running costs are being negotiated as part of tender process.

The construction process will create 1900 fulltime jobs.

The prison itself will employ 643 personnel, with an annual wage bill of $42 million.

A spokesman for Corrections Minister Judith Collins says overseas studies have shown that public private partnerships save about 20% in costs.

However, the Weymouth Residents & Ratepayers Association says the prison will have no benefit for those forced to live near it.

The Association says it will fight the proposal "tooth and nail".