The sister of Phillip Smith's murder victim has dismissed a message from the escaped prisoner saying her family has nothing to fear.

And she said his plan to make a public statement this week stemmed from a desire to be famous and have his "day of glory".

"He always wanted to be famous. I guess he is right now," said Lynda, the sister of the man murdered by Smith in 1995.

Paedophile and murderer Smith is now believed to be in Brazil after fleeing on Thursday while on temporary release from prison.


Smith, who obtained a passport under his birth name Phillip John Traynor, today made contact with Auckland human rights lawyer Tony Ellis.

Mr Ellis said he would issue a press release giving his side of the story on Thursday.

Lynda told NZME. tonight she believed he was only doing so because he wanted his "day of glory".

When asked about Smith's message, passed on through Mr Ellis, that the victim's family had nothing to fear, she said: "It doesn't end here".

"Unfortunately he's one of the very few people in society that cannot be rehabilitated."

Lynda also suspected Smith may have left the country with far more than the $10,200 he declared at Customs.

"He made a whole lot more than that in his import company from prison," she said.

The co-director of that company, Hastings man David Edlin, has refused to comment, and Lynda urged him to speak up. "He should've fronted up years ago and explained his role."


Lynda said bureaucrats were "ducking for cover" to avoid responsibility for the multi-agency failure, and said whoever had signed off Smith's 72-hour temporary release should resign.

Smith was jailed for life in 1996 with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years for murder and child sex offence charges.

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He contacted his former lawyer, Mr Ellis, yesterday seeking legal advice.

"I've been his lawyer for various matters since 2002, so we've got an ongoing relationship," Mr Ellis said.

He said Smith was compiling a press release outlining his side of the story, which would be issued on Thursday morning.

Smith gave no indication he desired to return to New Zealand, he said.

"He's seemed to have organised this very well, why would he be thinking of returning? It seems a little unlikely doesn't it?"

Mr Ellis later told 3News that Smith wished his victims well and "they should get on with their lives without any fear from him".

Police Commissioner Mike Bush this afternoon revealed an international warrant for Smith's arrest, which would prevent him from crossing borders, was issued only at lunchtime today.

Mr Bush said police had to "go through a process", collate accurate information and put evidence before a judge, who then issued the warrant.

Brazilian Federal Police were assisting New Zealand authorities and a Washington-based New Zealand police liaison officer was travelling to Brazil to liaise with local law enforcement authorities, Mr Bush said at a media conference today.

He would not rule out the possibility Smith had fled to neighbouring countries, liaised with other criminals in South America, or taken possession of more passports.

Mr Bush said ten senior police officers in Auckland were working on the case and nobody in New Zealand had been arrested yet, despite overwhelming suspicion Smith had help in acquiring a passport and fleeing a country.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne confirmed this afternoon that his department had used powers under the Passport Act to recall Smith's passport and said his passport renewal form was filled out manually, meaning it is almost certain that an accomplice helped him with the application.

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Mr Dunne defended his department this morning, saying that because Smith applied for a passport in his birth name it did not throw up any red flags, but conceded information-sharing between Internal Affairs and law enforcement would have to be reviewed.

Details of his passport application were now part of a cross-agency investigation, he said.

Corrections has also halted all temporary releases for prisoners in the wake of Smith's escape.

"Only in exceptional circumstances will these be allowed during this period and only then on approval by one of our four Regional Commissioners, our most senior operational officers," chief executive Ray Smith said this afternoon.

Watch: Smith's escape: Police and Corrections under fire

Killer Phillip Smith fled the country on a passport under the name of Phillip Traynor. Now, Corrections and Internal Affairs have been working with police on finding out how a convicted murderer and child abuser could leave the country undetected.