Picture: Files 

Working dogs across the country are enjoying new kennels thanks to the efforts of prisoners from Hawkes Bay Regional Prison.

When NZ Police needed replacements for their outdated dog kennels, they approached the Corrections drug dog detector team to see what they used for their dogs.  

The Corrections kennels were built by prisoners learning building and carpentry at the prison, so the Police asked for them to build new kennels for their dogs as well.

The Corrections design gives the dog comfort and space and they can be easily cleaned by the dog handlers. As they are of a kit set design the kennel can be put up and broken down quickly then reassembled elsewhere, says Gary Hosegood, Principal Instructor, Offender Employment.

Building the kennels helps the prisoners gain building and carpentry skills as they are built to trade standards, says Mr Hosegood.

“The training is part of the ongoing effort at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison to give prisoners real work to back up on the unit standards and Level 2 National Certificates they gain in the building, joinery and cabinetmaking and engineering  trades.

“The prisoners are also able to use the skills gained to work in a variety of areas. We have a few employers  involved in our Release to Work programme that are timber focussed. This means our Release to Work case managers can place the prisoner in work that suits their skills and allows them to gain more valuable work experience.”

Meantime, they will have plenty to do building the kennels as the police are looking to buy more of the new design, and they are also used by the Aviation Security Explosive Detector Dog Unit.

“We have made changes to the kennels that suit the Police needs and have continually worked with our clients so that they receive a product that is second to none that also works well for them,”  Mr. Hosegood says.