Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier says Hawke's Bay Regional Prison has made significant progress towards improving prisoners' safety.
However, he says it has been slow to improve conditions for remand and at risk prisoners.
Mr Boshier has published his findings after an unannounced inspection of the prison in November last year. The report is a follow up to an inspection conducted in December 2016.
In 2016, there was a clear and urgent need to address levels of violence and intimidation, he says.
“This time I was pleased to find tension levels have dropped, particularly in the high security side of the prison,” says Mr Boshier.