The government is defending the treatment of an autistic man who the Chief Ombudsman says is being held under conditions akin to torture.
Ashley Peacock, who suffers from psychotic episodes, lives in a 3m by 4m room with just a mattress and urine bottle in a mental health unit in Porirua.
He is allowed out of the room for about 90 minutes each day.
A report from Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said his living situation was cruel, inhuman, and degrading, and he should be urgently moved.
However, Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said the ministry had reassured him Mr Peacock was being cared for in the best way possible.
He also said the 38-year-old was being held in seclusion for an average of just an hour a day.
Mr Lotu-liga said the safety of Mr Peacock and the people around him was paramount.
But Labour MP Grant Robertson is calling for urgent action to find better accommodation for Ashley Peacock.
Mr Robertson, who is working with Mr Peacock's family, said no one should be held in the conditions Mr Peacock was being held in.
"We need a plan and a timeline from the Ministry of Health and the Capital Coast District Health Board, to do the thing that they have been told to do for two or three years now, which is to find a more appropriate, caring and safe environment for Mr Peacock - they need to do it now."
Mr Robertson said he understood the DHB was looking for a solution but there needed to be more urgency.
Parents lose confidence in public health system
Mr Peacock's parents say they have lost confidence in the public health system, after the Chief Ombudsman ruled his treatment was "inhuman".
Mother Marlena Peacock said the Capital and Coast District Health Board had worsened her son's health, despite having legal responsibility for him.
"He started off with autism and an intellectual disability, and had brief pshycotic episodes, which is quite common for people with autism when they get very anxious. But he is now a very damaged individual."
Mrs Peacock said the health board had acted cruelly toward her son.
She said the plan to get her son out of seclusion could take another two years.
"All the psychologists recommended he had behavioural intervention and psych support. He's had absolutely nothing except a 'pleasure and achievement' chart that is the extent of his psychological help. It's just a whole disgusting process and it's been very stressful for Ashley and for us."
Mrs Peacock said she had lost confidence in the ability of the Capital and Coast District Health Board to look after her son.
The 35-year-old's parents have demanded his release, and he has received support from the Green Party, the Human Rights Commission, and severe-autism specialists.
In February, inspectors for the Ombudsman visited the Tāwhirimātea Unit run by Capital and Coast DHB.
Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier's subsequent report, which has now been made public under the Official Information Act, said Mr Peacock's living situation in seclusion was "cruel, inhuman, or degrading".
"The client previously identified as living in a seclusion room on a semi-permanent basis, was still living in a seclusion room," the report said.
It said he should be urgently moved to a more appropriate facility.
"This recommendation has been made on two previous occasions."
The report also found other faults with the unit, such as incomplete seclusion records, staff being not easily identifiable, and one patient being kept in a converted office.
In response, the DHB said the report incorrectly implied patients were living permanently in seclusion.
"The rooms in the de-escalation unit can be used for seclusion. Seclusion is an intervention used as a last resort when necessary to maintain safety. Despite what the report implies, no one lives in seclusion," said Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability services general manager Nigel Fairley.
"Some clients at the Tāwhirimātea unit present unique challenges. Some have trouble coping with a general ward environment, or display aggressive and violent behaviour - attempting to assault staff or other clients on a regular basis."
The government has previously dismissed calls to move Mr Peacock.