New Zealand invites bids for prison project

The government of New Zealand has decided to build a new prison under a public-private partnership in South Auckland. The government has called for expressions of interest from private bidders to design, construct, finance, maintain and operate the project.

The New Zealand government has given a green signal to a public-private partnership arrangement to design, construct, finance, maintain and operate a new prison at South Auckland in New Zealand.
The country’s infrastructure minister, Bill English, and corrections minister, Judith Collins, said that expressions of interest (EOI) are now open, including to international companies. 

“This government has made it clear that we are open to greater use of private sector expertise where it makes sense,” English said.

The project involves building a 1,000-bed men’s prison at Wiri in South Auckland.  In addition to this, the successful bidder will be required to deliver innovative rehabilitation and reintegration services, according to an official statement issued by the government.

“Only consortia with experienced and reputable builders and prison operators will be considered. It is very likely that international companies will partner with local businesses and organisations to provide local knowledge, advice and services,” Collins said.

Details of project cost were not disclosed.

The preferred bidder for the 25-year contract will be chosen by October next year. The construction for the proposed prison is expected to begin in late 2012. The government is currently engaging with local providers to introduce the project to them.

The New Zealand government is looking for more private sector involvement in the country’s infrastructure sector. Recently, the government announced that any future infrastructure projects by government agencies that are worth more than $25 million will be required to consider alternative procurement options including public-private partnerships.