The first four earthquake-damaged houses repaired by Rolleston Prison inmates have been given the final touches by Christchurch-based National Decorators Ltd before being turned over to Housing New Zealand (HNZ).
The houses were moved to the prison last year, and with the repairs completed are now sited at 124 Rowses Road, Aranui, awaiting their new tenants – after a visit from the Prime Minister.
National Decorators undertook the contract in conjunction with Terra Construction to repair the damage necessarily incurred by moving the houses to Aranui from the prison’s construction yard, completing the first step in a programme which should see 150 formerly red-zoned houses substantially repaired by the prisoners and returned to HNZ stock.
Prime Minister John Key visited the site last month to review progress in the programme.
The houses were moved to Aranui by Terra Construction, which also performed the ground preparation, foundations, driveways and landscaping.
The house repair programme, a joint venture between the Corrections Department and HNZ, was launched by Corrections Minister Anne Tolley in June last year, with the first 42 homes being moved to the prison from red zones in Christchurch and Kaiapoi the following month.
Aimed at providing prisoners with work experience and skills in carpentry, plastering, painting and decorating, roofing and joinery, the Rolleston programme followed a similar one operated at the Waikato’s Spring Hill Prison for several years.
HNZ’s involvement in the Rolleston programme is part of the state landlord’s wider programme of repairing 5000 quake-damaged homes and adding a further 700 new ones to Canterbury stocks by the end of next year.
National Decorators general manager Richard Waite said his company was pleased to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the programme because it offered prisoners a better chance of finding rewarding employment when they returned to society.