Police are searching for an inmate who escaped from a prison van at a service station in Dannevirke yesterday.
David Lothien, 21, of Hastings, broke out of the van at a BP petrol station about 5.30pm.
He was being taken from Spring Hill Prison in Waikato to Hawkes Bay Regional Prison via Manawatu.
He had pleaded guilty to a serious assault charge and was due to appear in Napier District Court for sentencing.
"Police are actively searching for Mr Lothien and we believe that he may have affiliations in the area," Senior Sergeant Nathan Davis said.
Police warned people not to approach Lothien.
He was described as 186cm tall, was wearing green overalls at the time of his escape and had a cast on his left arm.