Cannabis found growing at prison

Thousands of dollars worth of cannabis was discovered growing at a Waikato prison.

An agricultural contractor discovered the crop on the Waikeria Prison farm when he went to harvest a maize crop.

Waikeria Prison manager Kevin Smith said around 15 cannabis plants were discovered on the farm, three to four kilometres from the prison, in February.

Cannabis plants typically have a street value of around $500 each.

"While the land is prison property, the area where the plants were found is near a neighbouring farm and a main road," Mr Smith said.

He would not say who the contractor was, for security reasons, and there was no evidence anyone connected to Waikeria Prison was involved in the operation.

"The prison farm is over 1000 hectares in size and is outside of the prison wire, making it as accessible to the public as any other farm," Mr Smith said. "Any prisoners working outside the wire are closely supervised.

"The plants were destroyed and Corrections notified a Police Liaison Officer from Te Awamutu."

Police did not return the Waikato Times' call on the haul.

Waikato Times