One of New Zealand's most high-profile inmates has had his Facebook page blocked after "derogatory" comments posted about a prison guard were reported to the social media giant by Corrections.

Corrections say the comments posted about the guard on Arthur Taylor's Facebook page threatened the safety of a staff member and such "harassment" was not tolerated.

But Taylor says that is "nonsense" and is fighting Facebook to get his page back up and running.

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

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He has more than 150 convictions for offences including bank robbery, burglary, fraud and drugs and has spent almost 40 years behind bars.

READ MORE: Behind bars with Arthur Taylor - one of NZ's longest serving prisoners

In recent years Taylor has become well known for his role as a "jailhouse lawyer", taking a number of legal actions against Corrections, including challenging the legality of the prison smoking ban and inmates' voting rights.

Until this week, Taylor had a Facebook page in his name.

More than 1800 people were on his friend list, and many commented on his almost-daily posts about prison life and his legal endeavours.

The page was managed by an agent of Taylor's who posts updates and messages on behalf of the inmate.

Arthur Taylor, known as the 'jailhouse lawyer' has been blocked from using Facebook. New Zealand Herald photograph
Arthur Taylor, known as the 'jailhouse lawyer' has been blocked from using Facebook. New Zealand Herald photograph

The Herald cannot interview Taylor without express permission from the Department of Corrections, but he is able to pass messages on through an intermediary.

Thorough that intermediary, Taylor said his Facebook page had been "blocked without warning".

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Facebook sent Taylor a message saying that his account did not comply with their terms and conditions.

"People who are incarcerated aren't eligible to use Facebook unless they can provide documentation confirming that they have authorised access the internet," the message said.

"Your Facebook account may not be maintained by someone else."

A Corrections' spokesperson confirmed it had contacted Facebook about a post made on Taylor's page shortly before it was shut down.

"On 13 November a post on Arthur Taylor's Facebook page was brought to our attention which included derogatory remarks about a Corrections officer, and named him," the spokesperson explained.

"The post, and the responses to it, posed a threat to the staff member's safety, and the safety and security of the prison.

"As a result, on 16 November we made a request to Facebook to remove it."

Arthur Taylor in the High Court at Auckland defending himself during a trial for serious drug charges. New Zealand Herald photograph
Arthur Taylor in the High Court at Auckland defending himself during a trial for serious drug charges. New Zealand Herald photograph

The spokesperson said Taylor had "a significant criminal history" dating back to the early 1970s.

"And includes aggravated robbery, conspiring to deal methamphetamine, kidnapping, possession of explosives and firearms, fraud and escaping custody.

"The safety of our staff is our top priority. Harassment of them is unacceptable.

"Corrections officers come to work every day to keep New Zealanders safe. They do an exceptional and brave job in often very challenging circumstances."

The spokesperson said the issue was not with Taylor having a Facebook page, or his general posts.

"Prisoners do not have access to social media in prison," the spokesperson said.

"Prisoners may have friends or family maintain social media accounts on their behalf."

Taylor said the complaint from Corrections was "absolute nonsense".

He has sent a legal letter to Facebook via its New Zealand legal team challenging the decision to block his page.

He denied breaching any rules and pointed out the page had been operating for years without issue.

He claims blocking him from using the site is not legal under New Zealand law.

"It is straight out attack on freedom of expression [by Corrections] and Facebook should not be acquiescing," he said.

"If you look at the post in question it was a legitimate expression of concern about the actions of a Corrections officer - it was an honest expression of belief based on fact.

Arthur Taylor is known for taking the Department of Corrections to court over issues relating to inmates' rights. New Zealand Herald photograph
Arthur Taylor is known for taking the Department of Corrections to court over issues relating to inmates' rights. New Zealand Herald photograph

"I have no doubt this is another attempt by Corrections to shut my voice down.

"They've tried on many occasions, they'll exaggerate into the max… This is just an absolute nonsense on Corrections' part and I'm very, very disappointed with them."

A new page - Arthur Taylor Freedom of Expression Supporters - has been set up for the inmate's followers, family and fans.

"Arthur won't be silenced," said a post on the page.

"He is trying to get it reinstated, but in the meantime supporters can visit this page for news about Arthur and his prisoners' human rights campaign."

Last week the Supreme Court upheld an earlier High Court decision ruling that denying New Zealand's prisoners the right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

Taylor 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.

Unless granted parole - which has been denied 19 times and most recently in March this year - Taylor will remain in prison until October 2022.

The Herald has sought comment from Facebook.