An inmate released from Auckland Central Remand Prison to attend a family funeral has done a runner.

Police believe Tuakana Matthews, 25, might be on the run with his teenage girlfriend who is also wanted.

Matthews was released from the Mt Eden prison to attend a funeral and was ordered to return to the facility by 5.30pm on Tuesday, February 21.

He failed to return and a warrant was issued for his arrest.


"The 25-year-old is actively avoiding police and we believe he may be with his partner Shania Pirihi," a police spokeswoman said.

"Shania is 17 years old and also has a warrant for her arrest for failing to appear in the Waitakere District Court."

Tuakana is described as male, Maori, 170cm tall and of medium build.

He has Maori-design tattoos on his arms.

Pirihi is described as female, Maori, 130cm tall and of stocky build.

"Tuakana should not be approached by the public and all sightings of him should be reported to police immediately by calling 111," said the spokeswoman.

Corrections said: "This offender was being held on remand in Mount Eden Corrections Facility and was granted compassionate bail release by the court. It is now a matter for the police.

"Offenders are released on compassionate bail release at the discretion of the courts, who also set the release conditions which are assessed on a case by case basis."

Anyone with information on Tuakana and Shania's whereabouts should contact Detective Scott McMulkin on 021 191 0655.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.