An Auckland mother of a tetraplegic who had his care pulled at the eleventh hour has been inundated with support.

Ben Clifford has been a tetraplegic since breaking his neck after a dive into a friend's swimming pool went wrong in 2015.

Since then he has required 24-hour care; a contract given to Life Plus.

But that service came to an end on Thursday when Life Plus pulled its carer, a couple of hours after police visited and confiscated Clifford's large supply of marijuana.


Clifford says he uses it to combat spasms and muscle pain.

Together with ACC, Life Plus offered alternative care, hospital or a residential home, but those options were turned down by Clifford.

Instead, his mother Kellie Aitchison has been scrambling to organise their own carer for Clifford.

"Can they do that? Just leave us?" she asked.

Aitchison said she had received many messages of support, including one from a registered nurse who was going to visit tonight and help with his bowel care.

"He hasn't been to the toilet for four days," she said.

She had also been talking to a Wellington-based ACC lawyer about her rights at being left in the lurch, while Auckland company Radix Nutrition had offered to supply a few meals to ease the burden in the kitchen.

Aitchison has spent the past four days trying to find a caregiver for her son.


"I can't believe they've done this, they've just gone," Aitchison earlier told the Herald.

She said hospitals were not equipped to care for her son, and she'd had a bad experience with the residential home that was offered.

ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville this afternoon confirmed it continues to fund Clifford's full-time care but was unable to refer Clifford on to other agencies because police were investigating possible health and safety concerns.

"To ensure that Ben wasn't left without the appropriate level of care, ACC offered other options, which he declined," Melville said.

In the meantime Ben is sourcing private care, which ACC was funding, she said.

"ACC is happy to contact other agencies about assuming Ben's care, but has a responsibility to provide any potential agencies with relevant information. We have asked Ben for his permission and are awaiting his response.


"ACC is committed to providing Ben, and all our serious injury clients, with the highest standard of service, and supports that meet their injury related needs."

However, the comments haven't brought much comfort to Aitchison, as the family is still in the dark as to why the carers would feel unsafe in the first place.

"He's not a threat to anybody. If anything, carers are a threat to him ... we've got to trust these carers," she told the Herald.

Police have confirmed an investigation is ongoing, while Life Plus is refusing to comment.

The New Zealand Disability Support Network chief executive Garth Bennie said while he couldn't comment on Clifford's case, the sector itself was dealing with a range of challenging dynamics.

"Issues of quality, risk, and funding and increasing providers are faced with quite different situations particularly for people who have more high and complex needs where the issues are more accentuated because the risks are more obvious.


"I can't comment on the circumstance but we know that funding agencies find it difficult to find a provider to take on the risk or complexity of situations given the pricing that's offered.

"It's often hard to recruit and keep staff. It's not exactly generous pay, but it's very hard and very complex work."

Staff turnover in the industry averaged 39 per cent, he said.

Hans Wouters, chief executive of New Zealand Spinal Trust, said ditching a client at the eleventh hour was "extremely unusual" and rarely happened in New Zealand.