Controversial new Kiwi prison has yoga, waterfall and more

Plants, a waterfall and a so-called sensory garden are among the features of a new maximum-security prison in New Zealand.


The $200 million Auckland jail has effectively been designed to change how New Zealand treats its biggest offenders.

Some of the cells are equipped with free-to-air television channels, while there is also a bank on the premesis. Yoga instruction, too, is available.

“Yoga helps prisoners self-reflect, manage their emotions and occupy their time productively which helps them better engage in their other rehabilitation, employment and education programmes offered by corrections,” Jessica Chaplin of Corrections Communications told the World Economic Forum.

“About 90 percent of prisoners in New Zealand have a lifetime diagnosis of a mental health or addiction issue hence the focus on management and treatment of acute mental health issues.

“The new facility is significantly safer for our staff; and there are much better opportunities for the delivery of education, employment and rehabilitation programmes.”