13 Jan 2012

MFAT may curtail diplomat prison visit duties

1:58 pm on 13 January 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering outsourcing some prison visits to New Zealanders overseas to private companies, in order to reduce costs.

At present, prison visits are carried out by a diplomat and only in countries where conditions are substantially different to New Zealand.

The proposal relates to a small number of posts that have high number of prison visits though the ministry will not say which ones could be affected.

It says the visits could also be done by honorary consuls.

The ministry confirmed earlier this week that about 200 jobs are expected to by cut after March - about a fifth of current staff levels.