New Zealand Prison Phone Calls

Options NZ Prisoners have for making phone calls home

How Do New Zealand Prisoners Make Phone Calls?

There’s a range of options New Zealand prisoners have to make phone calls back home to loved ones.

How does it work?

Every New Zealand prison have at least one standard Spark payphone available for use and these are located in the common area of each unit. Payphones limit the options for prisoners due to the requirement for phone cards or an 0800 number.

Prisoners are allowed up to 10 approved numbers at one time for a prisoner to call. Each number has to be approved by Corrections staff prior to being able to be used by the prisoner. Corrections staff will often call the number to make sure the person receiving the call is happy to be contacted by a prisoner. Once approved, this will become available for the prisoner to be able to call.

All calls out of New Zealand prisons are recorded and can be listened to by Corrections staff.

So, what options do I have to be able to be contacted?

Phone cards

These can be bought directly through the prison weekly shopping system, or they can be posted to most prisoners. Phone cards from Spark are quite expensive for their calling rates. Based on their latest pricing schedule dated July 2014, calls from a payphone to and New Zealand mobile cost $1.20 / minute.

Direct calling

Some New Zealand prisons will allow phone calls to be made from other phones aside from the Spark payphones. These are still charged back at the following rates:

Local calls $1 for up to 15 minutes
National calls 25 cents per minute
Calls to cellphones 35 cents per minute
International calls 90 cents per minute
Approved 0800 numbers Free


Cellphones are classed as contraband and are not allowed in New Zealand prisons.

Tollfree numbers (0800/0508 Numbers)

One of the most cost effective options for making calls is to use a tollfree number. These numbers are free to call from within the prisons on the Spark payphones. The cost for the calls is maintained by the party receiving the call instead. There are a number of tollfree providers in New Zealand and a few of these support calls from prison payphones.

Please note that calling charges vary dramatically from each provider as a lot of providers apply surcharges for calls from New Zealand payphones.  Several providers also will charge monthly fees to maintain or hold your 0800 number.

0800NZ provides New Zealand 0800 numbers with some of the lowest calling rates from payphones through to New Zealand landlines or mobile numbers. 0800NZ also don’t charge any setup fees, monthly account fees or surcharges from payphones. If you’d like to secure your 0800 number, fill in the form below and we can sort out a number for you within 24 hours.

Our Charges

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Setup Fee

Free Setup On All Numbers

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A Simple Charge Per Minute

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