The police in Waikato have been checking houses and contacting associates of a man who escaped from Waikeria Prison on Tuesday night.
People are warned not to approach Paul Kyle Peekay Rehua, who was serving a sentence for assault. The police say he has an extensive criminal history, with links to the Waikato and Te Awamutu areas.
The Corrections Department is investigating how he escaped from a medium security unit at the prison between midnight and six o'clock on Wednesday morning.
Rehua is described as Maori, of medium build, with short dark hair and the word "Nomad" tattooed on his neck.
The police are asking members of the public to contact them with any possible sightings.