15 Sep 2016

Parents' petition to get autistic man out of isolation

2:00 pm on 15 September 2016

The parents of an autistic man being kept in an isolated mental health unit have presented a petition to Parliament calling for Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to intervene in his case.

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Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King / Supplied

Ashley Peacock, 38, has lived in a 3m by 4m room with just a mattress and urine bottle for nearly 10 years and is allowed out for about 90 minutes each day.

A report from the Chief Ombudsman has said his living situation is cruel, inhuman, and degrading, and he should be urgently moved.

The petition, which gathered more than 5000 signatures, was accepted by Green Party MP Kevin Hague at Parliament this morning.

He said a select committee would now have to investigate Mr Peacock's situation.

"And that will give the minister a real chance to back up his words about caring about Ashley's situation with real action, which is what we have all been calling for for some time now."

Ashley's father, Dave Peacock, said he hoped the petition had a broader impact.

"I hope this goes beyond Ashley and into the wider community of people who are disabled because we're trying to speak on everybody's behalf here, there are a lot of people who are in the same situation."

A petition over Ashley Peacock's care is presented to Parliament on 15 September 2016. Left to right: Kimberley Hall from Autism NZ, Kevin Hague, Ashley's parents Dave and Marlene, Grant Robertson

Left to right: Kimberley Hall from Autism New Zealand, Kevin Hague, Ashley's parents Dave and Marlene, Grant Robertson Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

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