About $6.6 million has been set aside for the next four years in Budget 2021 to keep the Christchurch mosque shooter locked up.
About $1.66 million each financial year will be spent on the “Prisoners of Extreme Risk Unit”, which was set up four months after Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 people and injured dozens more at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in March 2019.
The figure is pending Cabinet’s consideration about how he may be held in custody in the future, and the associated costs of that.
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said the cost was “necessary”, although it made him “uncomfortable”.
“He’s probably our worst … offender and we need to make sure not only is he kept safe, but also other prisoners are kept safe, as well as the Corrections officers who are doing a great job of making sure he is safe.”
Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in August last year.
It’s estimated it is costing just over $4930 a day to keep him in custody at Auckland’s Paremoremo, because of the higher level of security required. Other inmates cost about $338 a day to keep in prison.
Already, $3.59 million had been allocated from 2019 up until now for the Australian’s imprisonment.
An additional $790,000 was set aside for screening incoming and outgoing mail for high-risk inmates.
In August, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hadn’t ruled out sending him back to Australia to serve his time.
But, she said she wanted to make sure justice was done in New Zealand first.