A prisoner overpowered two prison guards before escaping from Wanganui Hospital last night.
Police and the Corrections Department have been searching for Kenneth John Burns, who had been in hospital for 10 days when he pushed his way past two guards and fled from his ward.
The 34-year-old was described as Maori, 173 centimetres tall and of medium to solid build.
He was last seen wearing a green top and grey pants but no shoes.
Burns has been in Whanganui Prison on dishonesty offences.
Police have been using a dog to try to find him and believed he may have links in the wider Whanganui area.
They said he should not be approached and anyone who knew of his whereabouts should contact them.