The Corrections Minister has confirmed the future plans for Waikeria prison.

Kelvin Davis says a new 500-bed high-security prison will be constructed at the South Waikato site.

He added the new prison will include a 100-bed mental health facility to address the high rate of mental health issues prevalent in the prison population.

The minister says the plan sets the new direction for corrections in NZ while ditching the American-style mega prison planned by the previous National government.

The new prison is planned to be completed by 2022.