A proposal by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples for an alternative rehabilitation centre for Maori prisoners, has taken a step forward.
Dr Sharples has travelled to Australia to see examples of similar initiatives.
Earlier this year, Dr Sharples said he wanted a rehabilitation centre built for Maori prisoners who are in the final period of their prison term.
Last month, he visited Melbourne-area facilities including one which focuses on young Aboriginal men serving community sentences.
He plans to visit a third facility, with 100 beds, in Adelaide next month.
Dr Sharples says the centres are very similar to a rehabilitation facility he wants to see set up in New Zealand.