This is another election promise which National is delivering on. Here's why it's a good move:
National argues that private companies commonly used to run prisons overseas provide better management and programmes and do the job more cheaply than government agencies.
It cost $42,000 per inmate to run the Auckland remand centre when it was headed by Australian Correctional Management, compared to an average of $52,000 in a Corrections Department facility. The Auckland jail contract included a $50,000 fine for each escape.
Labour argues that prisons are a core public service and should not be run for profit. A spokesman said the party would oppose any move to open prison management to competition.
"Labour believes that it is the role of the public sector to deprive people of their liberty and not the role of the private sector. Prisons are a core public service along with defence and police."
But Mrs Collins said Corrections was expected to have a new law allowing competition drafted within months and she would visit private jails in Australia to see how the system worked there.
"At this stage, my views are that we would build the prisons, that they would be owned by the state and that the management contract is what we would be wanting to tender."
If private companies can manage prisons more efficiently than Corrections (shouldn't be too hard!!), and at a cost saving of $10,000 per prisoner per year, then the government would be remiss not to go down that road. Once again Labour's "we must do it all, and bugger the cost" mentality comes to the fore.