Corrections Minister Judith Collins says a scathing report commissioned by the union for prison guards into the state of Auckland's prisons has raised significant concerns.
The document written by an Australian corrections officer and international expert on prison health and safety, points to lax security, shortages of guards, prisoner unruliness and poor hygiene.
Ms Collins says National inherited some very run-down prisons from the previous Government.
However, she refutes the suggestion there are serious security issues at all three facilities, saying there would be more escapes if that were the case.
Ms Collins won't intervene in the matter at this stage, saying she wants to give the Corrections Department and the Corrections Association the opportunity to deal with it first.