The Corrections Department has confirmed convicted killer Antonie Dixon pulled a makeshift weapon on his lawyer during a prison visit.
Dixon, 40, is awaiting sentence for shooting and killing a man and severing the hands of two women with a samurai sword during crime spree while on "P" in 2003.
He is now in segregation as a consequence.
Assistant regional manager Grace Smit says the incident happened when Dixon's lawyer Barry Hart visited his client at Auckland Central Remand Prison on 17 January.
Dixon was seen to be becoming agitated and trying to remove what prison officers believed to be a makeshift weapon from his shoe.
Ms Smit says prison officers intervened before the situation could escalate and there were no injuries.
The Corrections Association says the incident highlights a lack of protection for prison officers and visitors.
Association president Beven Hanlon says prison officers do not have the tools that unions have beenseeking, to protect themselves and others.