14 Mar 2006

Samoa invites NZ Corrections boss

3:25 pm on 14 March 2006

Samoa's police commissioner has invited officials from the New Zealand Department of Corrections to Apia in a bid to improve the country's prison service.

Officials will arrive in Samoa today for discussions with the commissioner, Papali'itele Loronese Neru, over a strategic plan for the service.

The chief executive of the New Zealand Corrections Department, Barry Matthews, says the talks will include a possible site for a new prison, staff training and uniforms.

"They've got a very old prison and they're looking to see if we can provide some advice as to what they should do to improve that. But it'll extend much wider than that, it'll be a matter of just saying can we work up a strategic plan."

Mr Matthews says he will be looking to sign an agreement with Papali'itele for a joint programme to set standards of delivery and promote ongoing dialogue between the countries.

He says that while the department is looking to recruit more Samoan prison officers, that's not the purpose of the visit.