A maximum security prisoner has lost his legal attempt to have contact visits with his two-year-old daughter reinstated.

Arthur William Taylor had been allowed physical contact visits with his daughter at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo prior to October.

But following incidents at the prison which are now the subject of separate charges, the contact was reduced to visits with a perspex screen between them, as was the standard procedure for the inmates in the maximum security east division of the prison.

A first appeal by Taylor for interim relief against the decision was rejected in the High Court at Auckland by Justice Paul Heath, who said he did not have the legal jurisdiction to change the decision.

Taylor appealed the ruling, saying Justice Heath did have the authority.

Three Court of Appeal judges eventually rejected Taylor's appeal, though for different reasons to Justice Heath.

They said granting Taylor the orders he sought would give him a right to monthly visits he did not have when contact visits were prohibited.

It would also inhibit the Ministry of Social Development from making care decisions in the best interest of the girl, require the prison manager to revoke a decision he made in the interests of good management of the prison, and place Taylor in an exceptional and privileged position in relation to other prisoners.

The appeal judges said these and other factors measured against the scheme and purpose of the Corrections Act "show that Mr Taylor's case is weak both on the merits and discretionary grounds".