High-profile inmate Arthur Taylor kicked up a fuss while being transferred from his long-term home at Auckland Prison to a residential unit at Waikeria Prison yesterday.

The transfer came as Taylor approaches his next parole hearing in March 2018.

A Corrections spokesperson told the Herald Taylor was moved from the maximum security prison yesterday after he was advised in early November that he was being transferred.

Taylor was not made aware of the specific date of his transfer for operational security reasons, including his history of escaping from custody, the spokesperson said.


When it came to his transfer, the self-styled bush lawyer was non-compliant with the instructions of staff and physical force had to be used.

"Mr Taylor was non-compliant with the instructions of staff, and actively resisted being moved," the spokesperson said.

"In line with section 83 of the Corrections Act 2004 staff were required to physically move him to the escort vehicle due to his resistance.

"He was moved in a dedicated prisoner escort vehicle and accompanied by custodial staff and a nurse.

"The journey went without incident and Mr Taylor is now residing in a residential unit at Waikeria Prison."

The spokesperson said Corrections carried out about 500 inter-prison movements each month, and Taylor's transfer was standard protocol for an inmate due for parole.

Arthur Taylor had been held in the east division of Auckland Prison for more than 11 years.
Arthur Taylor had been held in the east division of Auckland Prison for more than 11 years.

"As offenders become eligible for parole, our job is to make sure they have access to the rehabilitation and reintegration opportunities that will reduce their likelihood of reoffending.

"We are confident that this move will provide Mr Taylor with the best opportunity to live crime free on his return to the community."


Taylor had been held in the east division of Auckland Prison for more than 11 years. The 60-year-old has spent almost 40 years of his life behind bars.

He has more than 150 convictions which date back to the early 1970s and include aggravated robbery, conspiring to deal methamphetamine, kidnapping, possession of explosives and firearms, fraud and escaping custody.

He applied for a review of the Parole Board's decision not to release him back in March, claiming Corrections withheld crucial information about him that could have resulted in a different outcome.

This was his 18th appearance before the board.

He is currently serving a sentence of 17 years and six months for serious violent and drug-related offending.

Taylor became infamous in 1998 after he escaped from the maximum security prison at Paremoremo north of Auckland with three others, including double murderer Graeme Burton.

The group made their way to the Coromandel, where they hunkered down in luxury holiday homes and the bush to evade authorities.

In recent years he has been in the headlines for his role as a "jailhouse lawyer", taking a number of legal actions against the Department of Corrections, including challenging the legality of the prison smoking ban and inmates' voting rights.

He was also behind the private prosecution of Witness C, a secret jailhouse witness whose evidence was a key component in the double-murder trial of David Tamihere.