A prisoner from Kohuora Auckland South Corrections Facility in Wiri faces disciplinary action after attempting to set his cell on fire overnight.

Prison director Mike Inglis said the fire was quickly put out by the sprinkler system at the prison but Fire and Emergency New Zealand was called immediately.

"Prisoners in the affected wing were relocated within the prison overnight but were returned to the wing this morning following a comprehensive inspection," he said.

"Today's prison activities, including visits, Parole Board hearings and prisoner transfers to court and medical appointments have not been affected."


Inglis said ambulance services were not required and the matter has also been referred to the police.

The facilities inside Auckland South Corrections. Photo / Dean Purcell
The facilities inside Auckland South Corrections. Photo / Dean Purcell

Earlier today, a new report into the prison found inmates were spending extended periods of time locked in their cells and their rehabilitation needs were not being met.

The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, today released a report into the treatment and conditions of prisoners at Auckland South Corrections Facility - also known as Kohuora.

This was Boshier's first inspection of the Serco-run prison. The inspection took place over nine days in August 2018.

Boshier said he was "most concerned by the prison's practice of locking prisoners in their cells for extended amounts of time - across all parts of the prison - as a way of managing staff shortages or rostering issues".

"My concern is that prisoners do not have sufficient time out of their cells to promote mental wellbeing," he said.

While Boshier found that the facility was well designed and maintained, operating on a Responsible Prisoner Model - he said it had been "undermined by the prison's staffing situation".

In the 12 months before the inspection, staff turnover was at 21 per cent.


Read more here: Kohuora men's prison let down by its staffing issues