A two-bedroom house built at Rimutaka Prison will be a home for a whānau in need thanks to a partnership between WelTec, Kāinga Ora and the prison.

The house was built by nine men during a 36-week construction trade skill training programme delivered by WelTec at the prison.

Through a housing supply agreement between WelTec and Kāinga Ora, the property will be used as state housing in either Porirua, the Hutt Valley or Palmerston North.

A graduation ceremony took place at the prison in late December to celebrate the men’s achievements in completing the house and gaining the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Level 3) carpentry.

Minister Kelvin Davis and Corrections Chief Executive Christine Stevenson were amongst the guests at the event.

Ants Puki, Principal Instructor at Rimutaka Prison

Ants Puki, Principal Instructor at Rimutaka Prison

“It’s a real buzz for the guys to know they’re putting a roof over the head of a whānau on the outside,” said Ants Puki, Principal Instructor at Rimutaka.

“This house has given the men the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to their local community as well as enabling them to learn and earn an industry recognised qualification.

The prison’s 12-year partnership had given nearly 500 men “the tools to build a better, more positive future for themselves by earning skills and qualifications which can help them gain good long-term jobs when they are released”.

“This in turn gives them a better chance of safely reintegrating back into society.”

During the Christmas break, men at Rimutaka undertaking the Level 3 painting and decorating programme spent time finishing the house to make it ready for its new owners to move in early this year.

This is the third house to be built at Rimutaka Prison, and the second of which to provide a home for a family in need. 

WelTec and Kāinga Ora are working together to build 53 homes for families in need over the next five years as part of a new housing supply agreement. Houses built at Rimutaka Prison will be used as part of this target.

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Page updated: 10 January 2020