NZ’s criminal costs: should prisons be abolished?

Every year, New Zealand spends $1.2 billion on prisons, a bigger amount than that set aside for Early Childhood Education. 

This year, it will total $2.5 billion, with the building of a new Corrections facility at Waikeria Prison underway.

The facility, expected to house 1500 prisoners, is being built in anticipation of our burgeoning prison population - which surpassed 9900 last year.

University of Auckland sociologist professor Tracey McIntosh, whose area of interest is women in prison, believes New Zealand is funding a broken system.

In an interview with Newsroom, McIntosh outlines how redirecting spending from prisons to things like education, housing and economic development is the best way forward. 

Help us create a sustainable future for independent local journalism

As New Zealand moves from crisis to recovery mode the need to support local industry has been brought into sharp relief.

As our journalists work to ask the hard questions about our recovery, we also look to you, our readers for support. Reader donations are critical to what we do. If you can help us, please click the button to ensure we can continue to provide quality independent journalism you can trust.


Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: Thank you.

With thanks to our partners