Human rights advocates say throwing asylum seekers in Mount Eden prison is wholly inappropriate.
An independent review has been commissioned by the Government to see if the practice of detaining asylum seekers in prison can be tidied up.
It follows an Amnesty International report which has revealed 86 people have been put in prison in the last five years.
Immigration and human rights lawyer Deborah Manning told Mike Yardley we need to explore other options.
"We've got a refugee hostel in Auckland and allowing that to be considered as a place of detention that people could go to, that would be a really great outcome."