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Auckland South Corrections Facility (Kohuora)

Whānau Handbook

Kohuora, Auckland South Corrections Facility opened in May 2015 and holds up to 960 sentenced male prisoners. Kohuora is operated by Serco under a 25 year agreement with the Department of Corrections.

Donating books

If you have books that you no longer want in your bookshelves, please think of us. We always appreciate book donations for our library.

Please email us at [email protected] about any books you would like to donate.

Information for friends and whānau

Prisoner information

How can I find out if a prisoner is in Kohuora?

We are unable to confirm if any individual is held in Kohuora. In accordance with the Privacy Act 2020, the written consent of a prisoner is required before their personal information and location can be released to any requestor. You will either be told by the prisoner where he is held or you can call the Department of Corrections on 04 460 3000. The Department will then submit a request to the prisoner if they are in custody.


Staying in touch

How do I stay in touch with someone at Kohuora?

It’s important for prisoners to stay in touch with family and friends. There are many ways prisoners can do this, through arranging visits, calling friends and family, writing letters and receiving emails.  

Each prisoner has a unique PRN number. Please take note of this number, as it will speed up correspondence and deposits into his trust account. Only the prisoner can tell you his PRN number.

It is the prisoner’s responsibility to arrange to have your phone number approved. We will check that you are happy to receive calls from the prison, and your number will then be added to the prisoner’s list of approved numbers to call.

Prisoners must pay for the calls they make. The cost of calls is:

Local calls  $1 for up to 15 minutes
National calls  30 cents per minute
Calls to cell phones  40 cents per minute
International calls  $1 per minute
Approved 0800 numbers  Free

You can also email prisoners in Kohuora. The address is [email protected] and include the PRN in the subject line. Prisoners do not have access to email, but we will print your emails and give them to the prisoner. Emails should not be more than two pages long. We will not print attachments.

There is no limit to the number of letters you can write to prisoners. Please clearly address the envelope with the prisoner’s full name and our postal address, which you will find at the top of this page.  We search all the mail we receive for contraband, inappropriate photos or gang content. You may send photos to prisoners, but any inappropriate photos will be returned.


Visit information

General visit information

We know how important visits are to you and to prisoners. At Kohuora, we uphold the value of Manaakitanga. This means that we will treat you respectfully and courteously at all times. Our staff are here to help you, so please feel free to ask for assistance.

Visits take place Wednesday to Sunday. Each prisoner has one visit a week. Visit booking requests are made by the prisoner, not the visitor.

Everyone must apply to become an approved visitor. Application forms can be picked up from the Visitor Centre or sent to you by a prisoner. The application process takes up to 10 business days to complete. You must make a new application for each prisoner you wish to visit.

Once you are confirmed as an approved visitor, the prisoner you want to visit will book your visits and tell you the time and day of your visit.

There is free car parking at Kohuora.

For further queries about visits, please email: [email protected]

To book a legal visit please email: [email protected]

What to expect on your visit

The first time you visit Kohuora, you must register at the Visitor Centre. This is to enable staff to enrol you on our computer system, called CMS. Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your first scheduled visit to allow sufficient time for enrolment. To enrol you into CMS, we will check that you have been approved to visit the prisoner, scan your finger print and take your photo.

Our staff must sight your current photo ID and ensure your details are correct. The following options are accepted:

Drivers licence Bankcard (with photo) Passport
Student ID card

SuperGold card (with photo)

18+ card

Or a statutory declaration with a passport sized photograph which has been signed by the person signing the statutory declaration, plus an original birth certificate.

Once you have been enrolled into CMS, you will be able to visit the prison without providing proof of identity on each visit.

Bringing possessions into prison

You may not bring personal possessions into the prison. Please leave these locked in your car or in a locker at the Visitor Centre. Note, locker space is very limited.

Our prison is completely smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in Kohuora and cigarettes or other tobacco products cannot be brought into the prison.

If you need to bring medication with you, please include this information in your Visitor Application Form. Approval to bring in the medication must be obtained prior to your visit.

You may bring baby bottles with formula or milk only, not juice. As we provide nappies and wipes, you will not be permitted to bring these into the visits area. We also have a small range of books and toys for children to use in the visits area so no toys may be brought in. There is a baby changing room, which includes an area for breast feeding your baby, if required. There is no prisoner access to this area. The visits area has an external yard for children to play in, weather permitting.

Keeping everyone safe

It is important that Kohuora is a safe and secure environment for everyone who comes here. Outside the prison are signs reminding you not to bring in prohibited items, like drugs, alcohol and weapons. The car you arrive in may be searched and you will enter Kohuora through airport-like security. You may also be searched with a scanner. Drug detector dogs may be present during your visit.  

Our CCTV system is operating at all times.

Visitors are asked to wear reasonable and appropriate clothing. Gang clothing and gang regalia are not permitted in the prison.

During the visit

The visits area is a family environment and children will be present. If there is inappropriate behaviour or language, your visit may be stopped. If there is any attempt to pass items to a prisoner or receive items from them, you may lose the right to visit and you may be arrested.

All prisoners are expected to remain in their allocated seats throughout the visit. Staff will be present in the room throughout visiting times.

Most visits are contact visits: you will be seated with the person you are visiting. Some visits will be non-contact or booth visits: you will sit in a cubicle and there will be a window between the two of you. You will not be able to touch each other, but you can clearly hear and talk to each other.

After the visit

You and your children will be escorted out of the prison. Please remember to collect any belongings you left in the Visitor Centre lockers and return the key to staff.

Compassionate escort and special family extended visits

Compassionate escort

In some circumstances, prisoners may be granted a compassionate escort, for example, where there is serious illness or to attend a funeral of a close family member. It is important to allow as much time as possible to arrange a compassionate escort.

The visit may be granted if escorting officers accompany the prisoner. The family or the prisoner must agree to meet the cost of the escorting officers. The actual cost is assessed in each individual case.

A compassionate release application form must be filled out by the prisoner.

Special family extended visit

A special family/whānau visit is a visit arranged under exceptional circumstances, where the visit could not reasonably be expected to meet standard visiting conditions. These visits must be approved by the Deputy Director or Assistant Director Custodial. Examples where a special visit may be granted include:

  • To help prisoners make necessary arrangements for unresolved private matters, where it has not been possible to do so prior to their reception into custody, for example, issues with Child Youth and Family (CYF)
  • When a family member is seriously ill or if a prisoner has not been granted permission to attend a tangi or funeral of a close family member
  • For a prisoner who is seriously ill.


Depositing money into a prisoner's trust account

How do I deposit money into a prisoner's trust account?

Each man has access to a trust account to purchase small items from the canteen and pay for phone calls to approved phone numbers. The maximum amount allowed in their account is $200. The maximum a prisoner can spend each week is $70.

Prisoners can earn money by working in a variety of jobs in prison. Whānau, family and friends can also deposit money into the prisoner’s trust account. When you make a deposit, please include the following information in the fields available to be seen by the payee – ASCF

  • Prisoner PRN number. The prisoner will tell you what his PRN is. This is the most important information to include on the form. Without this number, there may be a delay in transferring the funds to the prisoner’s account.
  • Prisoner’s surname
  • Prisoner’s first name
  • Prisoner’s middle name or alias.

How you can make deposits:

  • Internet banking. Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
  • Deposit money at the Visitor Centre, Eftpos only. We do not accept cash.
  • Visit any ANZ branch. Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
  • For payments made overseas by direct credit, please use SWIFT code ANZBNZ22. Please note overseas deposits may incur additional bank fees. You will also need to provide the following information:
    • Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
    • Account Name Serco New Zealand Ltd ATF-ASCF Prisoner Trust.

Payments are processed daily, so if you have included the PRN number, the prisoner can expect to have the funds in his account within two business days.

When a prisoner moves from ASCF to another prison, any funds available in his account will be transferred to the facility’s Trust account.

When a prisoner is released, any funds remaining in his account will be refunded to him.

For further queries about prisoner accounts, please email: [email protected].

Prisoner property

Prisoner clothing is provided by Kohuora. All property brought into the prison, including reading material, must have an authorised property approval form. This is completed by the prisoner, authorised by Property staff and will then be posted to the friend or family member who will arrange to bring the items to Kohuora. Please bring the property authorisation form with you.

You can either mail the items to Kohuora (21 Kiwi Tamaki Road, Wiri, Auckland 2104) or bring them to the Kohuora Visitor Centre at the following times:

Monday:    9.30am to 12.00 pm
                12.30pm to 3.30 pm

Tuesday:   9.30am to 12.00 pm
                12.30pm to 3.30 pm

Gang patches and gang regalia are prohibited.

Prisoner programmes

ASCF holds 960 sentenced prisoners. We are committed to providing purposeful engagement opportunities for all men within our facility. We focus on eight key pathways that are designed to meet the needs of each individual. We believe that by supporting the men in these eight areas, we can help them to reduce their likelihood of reoffending.


All prisoners are allocated to the accommodation pathway to ensure that they leave prison with somewhere to stay.

We have developed relationships with community agencies such as the Grace Foundation, Anglican Action, and Salvation Army, which provide accommodation to men on release from prison.

Alcohol and drugs

Many men in custody have a history of drug or alcohol use that has contributed to their offending behaviour. We have programmes available on site designed to support men learn more about their substance use and develop skills for reducing or ending their problematic alcohol or drug using behaviours. We enable external agencies such as Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADS) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to provide support services to our men while in custody, and we support men to enter the Drug Treatment Units in other prisons, if this is on their sentence plan.

Attitudes, thinking and behaviour

Many men in prison have attitudes and beliefs that put them at risk of reoffending. Some men have poor problem solving skills that can result in poor decision making.

We offer programmes that are designed to challenge men’s attitudes and provide them with the skills to alter their thinking and make better decisions to deter them from reoffending.

Children, families and whānau

We acknowledge the far-reaching impact that offending and imprisonment has on men and their families. Our Children and Families team is dedicated to supporting the families of husbands, fathers and sons who are serving their sentence with us. Through our programmes, men can reconnect with their families, repair damaged relationships or work towards maintaining their relationships whilst incarcerated.

We offer a number of programmes such as Building Awesome Whānau, and hold whānau days, where families are encouraged to spend quality time together.

We also support advocacy for families with CYF involvement – including children in care or in custody.

Health and wellbeing

All prisoners have access to medical physiotherapy and dental assessment, support and treatment. Our focus is to promote health and wellbeing. The range of assessments includes physical health, mental health, head injury screening and addressing any other health issues that might arise for the men.

Employment (education and training)

We encourage men to take advantage of the employment and education opportunities at Kohuora. We have unit based employment as well as positions in the Kitchen, Canteen, Laundry, Building and Construction, Grounds, Horticulture and Physical Education.

Prisoners can gain qualifications (some to NZQA Unit Standard Level 4) in:

  • Hospitality
  • Distribution
  • Horticulture
  • Timber Frame and Truss Manufacturing
  • Welding and Fabrication
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Carpentry
  • Fitness

Some men will also have the opportunity for Release to Work.

Kohuora offers a range of educational courses including Foundation Skills, Numeracy and Literacy, ESOL, Legal Education, and Driver Licensing.  We also provide a variety of Creative Arts classes and Open Polytechnic courses which assist the men in obtaining National Certificates in Employment Skills. 

A library is also available onsite containing a diverse selection of books for our men.

Finance, benefits and debt

Many men in custody have experienced financial hardship. To enable men to provide for themselves and their families, we offer courses such as Budgeting Skills, Financial Literacy and Gambling Help. The Reintegration Team has developed links with a range of community support services such as the Problem Gambling Foundation NZ.

Social support

It is recognised that men are more likely to achieve their goals and remain substance and offence free if they have the support of positive people around them. The Kohuora Reintegration Team is committed to developing relationships with external community agencies that can provide support to men upon their release. These include church groups, marae groups, community health and wellbeing programmes.


Kohuora is located at 21 Kiwi Tamaki Road, off Roscommon Road, in Wiri.

Postal address: Auckland South Corrections Facility, Private Bag 94065, Auckland 2241
Telephone: +64 9 250 5900
Email: [email protected]