Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says he has been assured it is safe for an Auckland mental health patient who killed a man to be in public unescorted.
The family of Colin Moyle, who died after in 2007 being beaten and having his Sandringham house set on fire, has written to the Prime Minister John Key about the case.
The family is asking Mr Key to stop the unescorted outings of Matthew Ahlquist, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity, from the Mason Clinic on Auckland's North Shore.
But Dr Coleman says the outings are part of his long-term rehabilitation plan and he has been out once, for one hour.
He says he has confidence in those running the Mason Clinic that Mr Ahlquist is being managed correctly.