The Crown says high-profile inmate Graeme Burton used a sharpened stainless steel rod to try to kill a fellow prisoner at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.
Burton, 38, is on trial at the High Court in Auckland accused of the attempted murder of Dwayne Marsh in December.
The incident took place while Graeme Burton and other inmates were allowed time outside their cells.
The Crown told the court Burton entered Marsh's cell and chased him around their cell block before stabbing him at least seven times with a 31cm sharpened stainless steel rod.
Marsh was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
At the High Court on Monday, Burton, who has a prosthetic leg, was flanked by six security guards as part of tight security measures that had been put in place.
The trial is due to last three days.