The Corrections Department has announced it will open its new $300 million maximum security prison at Paremoremo in Auckland next month.

Ray Smith, Corrections' chief executive, said the Auckland Prison would open on July 13. The new prison is beside the original prison, off Paremoremo Rd.

The prison appears to be about three months behind the intended schedule announced last year.

The Herald reported last week how "unforeseen delays" had hit the replacement for the outdated prison which is being replaced by state-of-the-art advanced facilities next door to the existing prison.

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Last Monday, construction work was still evident on the site. Photo/Jason Oxenham
Last Monday, construction work was still evident on the site. Photo/Jason Oxenham

Last year, Corrections said the buildings - which include New Zealand's only maximum security unit - were due to be finished in December and prisoners would move by March.

Read more - Watch: First look inside $300m Auckland Prison rebuild

Three months later, construction workers are still on the site and there is no sign of prisoners being able to move into the blocks, laid out in giant X-shapes, along the same lines as the new men's prison at Wiri.

Read more: $300m maximum security prison suffers 'unforseen delays'

Corrections said this month that no prisoners had been moved and there had been issues with the job.

"The construction of the new Auckland Prison is complete. Projects as big and as complex as this can, at times, develop unforeseen delays in the construction process," a spokesperson said this month.

"These were addressed by the contractors at no cost to Corrections," the department said this month.

is the lead contractor at the project, which is Corrections' biggest development. Last May when the

Herald

visited, more than 700 workers were on the site and a spokesperson said at the time that by March this year, 690 prisoners would be housed in the facility.

Read more: Rehabilitation key to reducing prison muster, Justice Minister Andrew Little says

The Government has pledged to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent in 15 years, but with forecasts that it could reach 13,400 by 2027, Little said continuing with the
status quo would require a new prison to be built every two to three years.

Last week, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced the rebuild of part of Waikeria prison which would give it an extra 194 beds.

He also announced work had started on 976 short-term beds at other prisons across the country.