Mental health patient's family petition for release

Ashley Peacock (supplied)
Ashley Peacock (supplied)

The family of a man being held in a Porirura mental health unit is petitioning the Heath Minister to intervene in his case.

Ashley Peacock, 38, has spent five years in what his family says is an isolation wing of the unit.

He hasn't committed any crimes, but his schizophrenia means he's deemed a potential risk to the public.

The petition has been launched on with his parents asking for Mr Peacock to be "out and living in a supported community setting as soon as possible".

The Chief Ombudsman has described his living conditions as "degrading and cruel", and his family want him moved to another facility.

"I consider this client's living situation to be cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for the purpose of the Convention Against Torture," said Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier in his report.

"While significant work is still going on behind the scenes to secure accommodation in the community for this client, the process has been excruciatingly slow. Now into his sixth year of living in a seclusion room, this situation needs to be resolved without any further delay."

However, despite the Ombudsman's report, those in charge of Mr Peacock's welfare say he is not being held in seclusion.

"Mr Peacock resides in the de-escalation area of the unit which is 144 metres sq and includes three rooms, an office, a courtyard, a lounge, and toilets and bathrooms," said a Capital & Coast DHB spokesman in a statement.