Ashley Peacock's family say he is set to be released back into the community after a decade controversially locked up in a mental health facility - but there's plenty of work yet to be done to make it happen.
The autistic, severely mentally ill, intellectually disabled man has been in a secure psychiatric unit in Porirua for about a decade. His care costs about $1 million a year.
His treatment has been widely criticised by the Ombudsman calling the use of seclusion in his case degrading.
Ashley's parents, Dave and Marlena Peacock, told a parliamentary health select committee the news on Wednesday in an emotional hearing, as they presented a petition to them calling for the Health Minister to intervene in his case.
Ashley has not been told of his impending freedom yet, the committee was told - as it would take about six months and they wanted to fully prepare him.
CCDHB has lied about plans for Peacock's release before, so I don't think this can be believed until he's actually released. Still, its potentially a positive sign.
Unfortunately, there's no word yet on whether those responsible for his torture will be prosecuted yet.