10 Jul 2008

Inmates to refurbish state houses

10:03 pm on 10 July 2008

Prisoners are to refurbish state houses under a new Government programme.

Corrections Minister Phil Goff says Housing New Zealand will pay the Department of Corrections about $1 million a year to refurbish dilapidated houses.

The houses will be relocated to a yard inside the Spring Hill Corrections Facility near Meremere.

There they will be stripped then rebuilt and redecorated, and fitted with new kitchens made by prisoners.

Mr Goff says the programme will teach more than 90 prisoners new skills.

He says they will leave prison with qualifications which will make it easier to find jobs and help keep them out of trouble.