A justice lobby group says it's unfair prisoners haven't been consulted over prison reform.
A bill proposing to allow the privatisation of prisons is now before the Law and Order Select Committee.
An Australian-based prisoners rights group, Justice Action, says there has been no attempt to directly consult prisoners.
The group's New Zealand spokesperson Jim Gladwin says prisoners should be allowed to comment on the fundamental issue of who controls them.
He says prisoners are already being punished by being removed from society, and do not deserve to be further punished by having no say over their lives within prison walls.
Mr Gladwin says in a democracy, only the state should have the right to control citizens, not private companies.