The Corrections Department wants to raise the standard of Tikanga Maori programmes being provided to inmates in four Maori focus units.
It is currently seeking tenders from organisations interested in a three year contract to deliver programmes at Rimutuka, Rolleston, Arohata and Christchurch Men's prison.
Director Maori Neil Campbell says what has been delivered previously has been worthwhile, but the Department wants to change the emphasis.
He says up until now Tikanga Maori programmes which include Te Reo and Kapa Haka classes, have operated in isolation and have not necessarily been accorded the value and mana they deserve.
Mr Campbell says Tikanga Maori programmes need to have a therapeutic outcome as well as motivating inmates and be linked with other intervention programmes run in prison.