Police are asking the public for information on a prisoner who escaped from Tongariro Rangipo prison, near Turangi, on Thursday afternoon.
The police believe Lex Miller, 48, is driving a 1994 silver Toyota Camry sedan, registration TC7281.
Detective Senior Sergeant Todd Pearce says he has family connections in Whakatane, but could be anywhere by now.
Miller is described as having a medium build and sandy brown hair. and was last seen wearing a tan-coloured shirt, blue jeans and white sports shoes.