An attempt to sneak drugs into a New Zealand prison has been thwarted.

Manawatu Prison director Mark Cookson said a car with three people in it drove into the prison carpark on Wednesday and a man was allegedly seen trying to throw packages over the prison's perimeter fence.

Among the items found in the packages were suspected cannabinoids and mobile phones, he said.

Search teams intercepted the packages and stopped them from getting into the prison, Cookson said.

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The contraband a man allegedly tried to throw into Manawatu Prison. Photo/Supplied
The contraband a man allegedly tried to throw into Manawatu Prison. Photo/Supplied

It's the second attempt to introduce contraband into Manawatu Prison in recent weeks. In September Corrections staff and a detector dog searching incoming prisoner mail at the prison found a package of chess pieces packed with a cannabis leaf and oil.

"There is no place for drugs in prison. They create a more dangerous working environment for our staff, and prevent prisoners from engaging in rehabilitation, education and employment opportunities," Cookson said.

"Preventing contraband entering prison is an ongoing challenge. Despite there being security cameras focused on the exterior fence line, and the various tools and resources we have available to prevent contraband coming onto the site, some people will still risk their freedom trying to do so."

Staff from Linton Army Camp and the Manawatu police helped with the incident on Wednesday.

Police spoke with two men at the scene and were making inquiries into the location of a third man.

Contraband in prisons includes tobacco, alcohol, communication devices, drugs, drug paraphernalia, tattoo equipment, and weapons. It also includes some everyday and seemingly innocent items that while not illegal, may be used inappropriately by prisoners.

A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons and cellphones from entering. They include 24 detector dog teams operating across the country, x-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners' calls and single points of entry to sites.

"We encourage anyone who is being pressured to bring drugs into a prison to report it to anonymous crime reporting line Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111," Cookson said.