As Uwe Preuss walks through Wellington Prison he can point
out where he got married, where he conceived his daughter and
the cells he called home for a third of his life.
But by the end of the month the prison, sitting high on top
of Maupuia Peninsula over Wellington Harbour, will close its
doors for the last time in its 85 years of operation, and
with its closing Mr Preuss will lose the place he called home
for 12 years.
"I wish they weren't closing it. I love the place," Mr Preuss
Mr Preuss, who has over 200 convictions to his name, said he
had spent 12 years of his 36 years of life calling Wellington
Prison home, and held fond memories of the place where he
made most of his friends, got married and conceived his
As he walked through the prison grounds for the last time, Mr
Preuss said he still felt comfortable there.
"I don't really want to go [at the end of the day] but I know
I have to.
"There's no more, it's sad."
Wellington Prison yesterday opened its doors to the public
for a day, before it officially closes at the end of the
The prison was no longer considered up to the standard of
modern corrections facilities and earlier this year it was
announced it would close and the site, which sits on prime
real estate land, sold.
The last of the prisoners were moved off site earlier this
By midday almost 2000 people had walked through the prison to
check it out - and for most it was the first time they had
ever stepped foot in one.
For Delphine Turney the place brought back memories of
visiting an aunty who lived on site with her uncle, a prison
Her uncle, Dave Manson, was wounded in Gallipoli and when the
prison called for military men to join, her uncle took up the
opportunity, moving his family to the site.
"It was a job he was able to do without damage to him."
Many people voiced concern about what could happen to the
site, with most saying they would hate to see it turned into
a residential area.