National Party corrections spokesperson Anne Tolley says all prisoners, including those at the maximum- security prison in Auckland, will be made to work.
At present, three of the country's prison are working ones, and under its corrections policy announced yesterday National is proposing to extend the programme to all 16 jails by 2017. Every eligible prisoner will have a structured 40-hour-a-week timetable to include work experience, skills training and education.
Mrs Tolley told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme three prisons had already been converted, and the reaction from inmates had been positive.
She said there may be restrictions in the work provided at Auckland Prison as a maximum security jail.
"That will shape what activities the prisoners can take part in because we don't want to put our prison officers at risk."
Anne Tolley says the policy can be implemented at no extra cost to the taxpayer.