A convicted killer is on the run from police in Canterbury.

Police are looking for Dean Raymond Purdy, 54, who has breached his parole conditions.

Purdy was sentenced in 1991 to life imprisonment for murdering his 23-year-old sex worker wife in Auckland by strangling her with her own underwear after an argument.

A Corrections spokesperson confirmed it had made an application to the New Zealand Parole Board to have him recalled to prison for breaching parole conditions.

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"Public safety is our top priority and we take all non-compliance extremely seriously.

"Any offender who breaches the conditions of their sentence or order, will be held to account."

Following the application, it was up to the Parole Board to decide if an interim recall was granted.

If granted, Purdy would return to prison once apprehended by police.

Purdy has a history of breaching prison-release conditions.

In 2008, he walked out of an assessment related to a rehabilitation programme.

In 2011, Purdy was recalled to prison for hanging out with a criminal and drug addict, and again in 2014, for approaching prostitutes.

He had also left his home at night and used a cellphone, against his conditions.

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Weeks later Purdy used a hospital appointment to try escape custody.

Corrections officers removed Purdy's handcuffs while they placed him back into the van and he made a run for it.

He was captured on Cashel St about 250m away.

Police have asked anyone who has information about Purdy to call their local police station or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.