The man tasked with running New Zealand's toughest prison is to be replaced, it was announced today.
Tom Sherlock has been the director of Auckland Prison at Paremoremo since 2012.
The Herald understands that this morning staff at the prison were gathered together and told that Sherlock was leaving the role.
He will be replaced by Andy Langley, but not until February.
Corrections' National Commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot told the Herald that the prison was undergoing a "significant development" and the new Auckland Maximum Security wing was currently under construction and due to open in early 2018.
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"This morning I announced that Andy Langley has been appointed to the role of Prison Director at Auckland Prison starting February 2017," Lightfoot said.
"An important part of Andy's role next year will be preparing for the opening of the new facility, readying staff for the new operational model and working alongside the project team ensuring the new facility meets all the necessary requirements."
He would not speak further on the specifics of Sherlock's departure.
"We acknowledge the huge contribution and personal commitment that Tom Sherlock, the existing Prison Director, has made to the prison while he has been in the role since 2012.
"He has played a key role in establishing a clear vision for the future of the site and has established a great platform for Andy to build on. He will remain as Prison Director until February 2017."
The redevelopment of the 45 year-old maximum security prison was announced in 2013 and is expected to cost more than $200 million.
Then Corrections Minister Anne Tolley announced the planned upgrade, saying the facility needed to be modernised to improve the ability to manage difficult prisoners, provide better mental health care, and to take pressure off the mental health forensic unit, the Mason Clinic.