Young prisoner doing time in Christchurch about to achieve a New Zealand first

One young Kiwi prisoner is well on his way to earning the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, an achievement made all the more impressive since he will have earned it from behind bars.

The inmate is well on his way to earning the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Source: 1 NEWS

The teenager, who has been on hard drugs since he was 12, was jailed for burglary almost three years ago.

Now, on the verge of being the first New Zealand prisoner to achieve a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, he is turning his life around.

"I've never come first, it's the first time I've come first in anything," he told 1 NEWS.

The accolade involves hundreds of hours of physical activity and community service and after being involved in it, the teenager has some advice for other youths looking to get into a life of crime.

"Don't do it man this is not where you want to end up, it's a waste of your life. I'm glad I'm learning young and I'll never come back again."

So far 14 inmates have involved in the Duke of Edinburgh program at Christchurch Men's Youth Unit, something Corrections is keen to continue with.