Corrections is recruiting 21 new staff for Ngawha Prison to cope with an increase in prisoner numbers from April.

A rising prison population nationally has led to 80 extra double bunker beds being added to Ngawha Prison, boosting its capacity to 628.

The new beds will be available from April.

Nationally, Corrections is looking to fill 600 new prison jobs by September - of which 100 will be recruited from overseas with experience in custodial, security, defence or police backgrounds to ensure a blend of experienced staff alongside new recruits.


Due to the large number of recruits being sought, Corrections was also advertising in Australia and the UK.

In June last year, the New Zealand's prison population was 9495 but that number is expected to reach 10,000 at some stage this year.

Corrections' prison director Dave Pattinson said the department was confident of recruiting 21 new corrections officers for Ngawha Prison by April.

He said the department would take part in the Pasifika Fusion Festival in Whangarei on February 25 to promote the work it did and to focus on recruitment.

As well as Corrections officers, staff for case management, probation, health and offender employment were also being sought.

"We are looking to recruit people who have good communication skills and are calm under pressure.

"Their priority is to motivate and engage with prisoners.

"Our staff tell us their career at Corrections gives them the chance to work with a team of people who want to change lives," Mr Pattinson said.

Corrections last year said more staff were needed because fewer people were receiving bail and there were more on remand.

The government department said the recruitment drive was more to do with preparing for the future to make sure there was no understaffing.

A Corrections officers' starting salary is between $51,000 and $61,000.

Information on the role of a Corrections officer can be found at