A maximum security inmate who allegedly stabbed another man at Auckland Prison is serving time for doing almost the exact same thing several years ago.

The alleged stabbing was one of two violent assaults at the prison at Paremoremo, north of Auckland, yesterday.

Two maximum security prisoners were taken to hospital after the incidents, said to be gang-related and both involving makeshift weapons.

The Herald has learned that in one of the attacks an inmate affiliated with the Black Power gang attacked another man who is a member of the Head Hunters.

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The attack happened on a landing in B Block.

A source said the alleged attacker "laid into" the Head Hunter with a shank.

"The shanker had done it before, been convicted , but been allowed back into the general prison population," the source said.

The alleged offender, who cannot be named by the Herald for legal reasons, is currently serving time for a similar attack behind bars.

Auckland Prison at Paremoremo, where two inmates were serious injured in separate incidents yesterday. Photo / Doug Sherring
Auckland Prison at Paremoremo, where two inmates were serious injured in separate incidents yesterday. Photo / Doug Sherring

Some years ago he was convicted of stabbing two other inmates with a shank.

One man suffered life-threatening injuries to his upper body and was rushed to hospital with a punctured lung.

At sentencing the Crown applied for preventive detention - an indefinite term in jail.

The High Court judge presiding over the case refused that application but issued the offender with a second strike under the Three Strikes legislation, meaning he had to serve his sentence in full without the chance of parole.

The incident happened during the man's lag for an armed robbery and attack on a group of people.

The alleged offender has an extensive criminal history made up of almost 70 convictions, including attacks on prison officers and a lawyer in court.

Corrections today refused to comment further on the matter today.

"As this incident at Auckland Prison is now part of a police investigation, Corrections is unable to comment," a spokesman said.

"What we can say is that any prisoner who resorts to violence will be held to account."

Yesterday Prison Director Andy Langley commended his staff for their response to both violent incidents.

"Our staff work with some of New Zealand's most difficult and challenging citizens," he said.

"Over 75 per cent of the prison population have convictions for violence in their offending histories and gang members are disproportionately identified as responsible for assaults in prison.''