Two men with gang connections are on the run, after escaping from security guards at the Manukau District Court in Auckland.
Police say Perry Bristow, 26, and Vincent Geros, 23, escaped while being escorted from the cells to the court by security guards.
The men were due to appear on aggravated robbery charges.
Detective Inspector Mark Gutry says it appears the men were not wearing handcuffs while they were being escorted from the cells to the courtroom and managed to escape through an emergency fire door.
Mr Gutry says the two men, who were last seen running across nearby Hayman Park, are dangerous and should not be approached.
The Department of Corrections says the men were not wearing handcuffs at the time because it was not deemed necessary.
The department's prison manager, Grace Smit, says one of the prisoners created a diversion by asking a guard to return to the cell to collect some clothing.
She says the department is still investigating the circumstances of the escape.