Daniel Downing says he's had little help from the Department of Corrections - either while inside prison, or since he's been out.
The 44-year-old has been in and out of jail more times than he can count.
He's staying in the basement of his sister's house in Porirua, near Wellington, while on home detention after serving a six-month stint for selling methamphetamine.
Mr Downing says he feels hopeless and wants Corrections to give him the basics - accommodation, a benefit and counselling.
With help, he says he could return to work mowing lawns. Left alone, he says he'll likely end up back in jail.
Corrections says Mr Downing has been given plenty of help including rehabilitation and counselling. It says prisoner rehabilitation is a priority - last year it spent $176m on it.
This year's Budget outlined almost $100m in extra funding for rehabilitation.
But advocacy groups spoken to by Newshub say this is feeble compared to the $763m set aside to expand Waikeria Prison and boost capacity elsewhere.
Last year the country's prison population reached 10,000. New Zealand has the ninth highest incarceration rate in the OECD - worse than Canada, the UK and Australia.