Two dangerous prisoners escaped from Tongariro Prison in the central North Island on Wednesday morning.
Stuart Martin Harrison, 23, was convicted of murder in 2004 after a stabbing outside a service station in Auckland and is serving a life sentence. Sumit Carrik Narayan, 30, was convicted of aggravated robbery and unlawful sexual connection and was jailed for 15 years.
Harrison, a Maori, is 175 centimetres in height, of medium build and has black, collar-length hair.
Narayan, a Fijian-Indian, is 184cm in height, of medium build and has a shaved head.
Police say both men are dangerous and should not be approached.
The Corrections Department does not know how the pair escaped, but says their low-security classification will be reviewed.