A man is on the run after allegedly escaping custody during a hospital visit in Auckland this morning.

Police said Shane Wikaira escaped Corrections custody in Epsom.

The 25-year-old then allegedly stole a silver Toyota Starlet hatchback and is thought to be in the South Auckland area. The car's registration is BPH283, police said.

Police asked anyone who sees the vehicle or Wikaira not to approach him and to call 111.

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Corrections acting northern regional commissioner Alastair Riach said in a statement Wikaira fled while being returned to custody from a hospital escort.

"We will be fully investigating the circumstances of this incident," he said.

"Public safety is one of Corrections top priorities and escapes from custody are a rare event," Riach said.

During the past two financial years there have been no physical breakout escapes from a Corrections prison.

However, earlier this month Rikihana (Ricky) Tawhai allegedly fled Porirua District Court and police custody by faking an illness.

The 27-year-old said he was ill and an ambulance was called, but he police said he absconded while being assessed.

Tawhai was later arrested at a Porirua property and charged with escaping custody.