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Prisoner's rights


Complaints and information

Howard League

Some branches of the Howard League provide one-on-one help for people while they are in prison, programmes for prisoners (such as literacy programmes) and also provide help for people who have just been released from prison.

If you have a complaint about your treatment in prison, no matter where you are in Aotearoa New Zealand, you can contact the Howard League at their Christchurch or Wellington branch.

Christchurch branch PO Box 2912
Christchurch 8140
Phone: (03) 377 0313
Email: canterbury@howardleague.org.nz
Wellington branch PO Box 5807,
Wellington 6012
Email: wellington@howardleague.org.nz


The Wellington branch sends newsletters and annual prisoner surveys to people in prison. Get in touch to join their mailing list.

People Against Prisons Aotearoa: PAPA

PAPA offers advocacy and support to prisoners who experience harm or mistreatment in prison. PAPA advocates can visit, write and call prisoners. If you have a complaint about your treatment in prison, or connect with a PAPA advocate, you can write to PAPA.

PAPA also runs a pen pal network for people in prison to write to people on the outside, called the Prisoner Correspondence Network (PCN). If you would like to take part, write to PCN with your name, PRN, and a short introduction to be shared with your outside pen pals:

Prisoner Correspondence Network PCN
Mail: PO Box 5870
Victoria St West
Auckland 1142

Public Services

Prisoner Correspondence Network PCN
Mail: PO Box 5870
Victoria St West
Auckland 1142
Health and Disability Commission PO Box 11934
Manners St
Wellington 6142
Human Rights Commission PO Box 5045
Phone: 0508 505 809
Inspector of Corrections Private Box 1206
Phone: 0800 225 697
Office of the Ombudsman PO Box 10-152
The Terrace
Phone: 0800 802 602
Banking Ombudsman Scheme Freepost 218002
PO Box 25327
Wellington 6146
Phone: 0800 805 950
Privacy Commissioner PO Box 10-094
The Terrace
Phone: 0800 803 909
Race Relations Office PO Box 12-411
Phone: (04) 499 5885
Department of Corrections National Office Department of Corrections National Office
Private Box 1206
Wellington 6140
Phone: (04) 460 3000

Other toll-free numbers

You are able to call any phone number that starts with 0800 without having to pay a fee (this is called toll free). To call a number that doesn’t start with 0800, fees apply. Here are some toll free numbers:

Inland Revenue (All enquiries) Monday to Friday 8am-5pm
0800 387 782
Inland Revenue (Child support enquiries) Monday to Friday 8am-5pm
0800 221 221
Are you OK (Women’s Prison only) 9am-11pm daily
0800 456 450
Australian Child Support Agency 0800 440 953
AVIVA Family Violence Services (Christchurch Women’s) 0800 284 82669
Legal Aid Grants Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
0800 253 425
Budget advice 0508 283 438
(0508 Budgetline)
Legal Aid Service Debt Management 0800 600 090
Career Services 0800 222 733
Ministry of Health – GP Register 0800 458 448
Citizens Advice Bureau 0800 275 222
Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
(Work and Income)
Applying for a benefit
0800 559 009
Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
(Client Support – Debt Management)
0800 558 008
Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
(Data Matching)
0800 909 333
Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
(Historic Claims of Abuse)
Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:30pm
0800 631 127
Open Polytechnic Free-phone 0508 650 200
Department of Internal Affairs
(for birth certificates)
0800 225 252
Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children 0800 400 611
Elections New Zealand “Electoral Commission” 0800 36 76 56
Quitline 0800 778 778
Family Dispute Resolution 0800 774 420
RecoveRing Alcohol & drug support line Monday to Sunday
0800 678 789
Fines or Reparation enquiries 0800 434 637
(0800 4 FINES)
Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historic Abuse in State care and Faith Based Institutions 0800 222 727
SHINE (Women’s Prisons only) 9am-11pm daily
0508 744 633
Health and Disability Advocacy Service 0800 555 050
StudyLink 0800 889 900
Housing New Zealand Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
0800 801 601
The Commissioner for Children 0800 224 453
The Learning Connexion 0800 364 636
Veterans’ Affairs Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
0800 483 8372


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Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Lag Law answers heaps of common questions you might have if you’re going to prison, you’re in prison, or you’re getting out of prison. It talks about your rights in prison, and sets out the laws and rules that affect you when you’re put in prison . 1 free copy for people in prison and the whānau of someone in prison. If that’s you, email laglaw@wclc.org.nz for your free copy

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