Prison nursery off to Whanganui

17:00, Aug 12 2012

About 60,000 native plants are to be shifted south as New Plymouth Prison prepares to close.

The prison nursery, which has been running for 14 years growing native trees and shrubs, will reduce its operations over the coming months before transferring to Whanganui prison.

New Plymouth Prison is due to close in March. The nursery has been part of the Corrections Department training and work opportunities for prisoners.

Corrections manager Brent Maughan said the purpose of the nursery was to provide work experience with a goal to prevent prisoners reoffending once released.

The prison nursery had gained a reputation for being a competitive supplier, he said.

Taranaki Regional Council land services manager Don Shearman said the council sourced hundreds of thousands of plants each year and the prison nursery was one of its 15 suppliers.

Some of the existing Taranaki contracts would still be serviced using the nursery at Whanganui once New Plymouth Prison closed, Mr Maughan said.

Amy Mitchell is an AUT journalism student.

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Taranaki Daily News