19 Oct 2010

Prison officers to go from green to blue uniforms

9:44 pm on 19 October 2010

Prison staff are set to get new uniforms, but there is no guarantee they will be made in New Zealand.

The Corrections Department is doing away with its green outfit, introduced in 1976, in favour of new blue designs which are more fit-for-purpose.

The existing uniform is not flame-retardant, and is described as being too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

Woman officers, in particular, say they feel exposed by gaping arm holes on the short-sleeved shirt and its see-through material.

Roughly 4000 workers need the new kit, which will cost about $1600 each for men and $1900 for women.

But Corrections Minister Judith Collins says she cannot guarantee a New Zealand company will win the contract.

The full uniform contains 30 individual pieces from shirts and shoes to ties, jackets and belts.

The preferred design of two options put to staff will be chosen by the end of the year.