A recently released prisoner living in a tent in Jubilee Park in Dunedin says he has nowhere else to go.

Jason O'Malley, 38, was jailed in October for a series of nuisance calls to 111 following a three-day drinking binge.

He said he was released last Thursday and used his $350 "Steps to Freedom" grant from Work and Income to buy a tent, sleeping bag, camping supplies and some food, before bedding down in Woodhaugh Gardens.

O'Malley alleged police officers then picked him up from there and transported him and his gear to his current spot in the Town Belt near Maori Rd.


He said he had no friends or family in the city.

Originally from Christchurch, he said he was not welcome at his mother's house there.

"I've got nowhere else to go."

His food had run out and he was feeling unwell after drinking from a nearby stream, he said. He felt unable to attend appointments with his probation officer at Dunedin Central Community Corrections, in Stuart St.

"How am I supposed to get to probation?"

A police spokesman said he was unable to confirm whether police had dropped him off in Maori Rd, but they were aware he was sleeping rough.

He said O'Malley had "burned a few bridges" in the city, and suggested he go to the Work and Income office to discuss further assistance.

Dunedin City Council group manager, parks and recreation, Robert West said O'Malley was technically breaching freedom camping regulations, but would not receive a fine.


The council usually tried to help people sleeping rough to find suitable accommodation, he said.

"When we are made aware of situations like these, staff will try to talk to the person concerned to see what social services support might be available."