Justice Minister, Andrew Little recently visited the Netherlands to learn more about their rehabilitation system. While New Zealand's prisons are filling up fast, the Netherlands is experiencing the opposite.

Dutch prisons are virtually empty.

In 2006 the number of prisoners in the Netherlands fell from 20,000 in 2006 to 10,000 in 2016.

Little has identified that working with iwi could be a part of lowering incarceration rates, and is something the Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis is also keen on.

“He mea pai tēna ki ahau. Ko tāku hiahia hoki kia mahi ngātahi me tēnā iwi, tēnā iwi i te mea kei roto i a mātou ngā whakaoti ki ēnei raru, tō mātou i hiahia kia whakaheke iho te nama o ngā tāngata me ngā wāhine kei roto i ngā whare herehere.”

The government says prison numbers must come down as part of a long-term plan. In the short-term, a new mega-prison at Waikeria which is capable of housing 3000 inmates has been given the greenlight.