Police are seeking public help to find a Rimutaka Prison inmate who escaped from a work programme at the Corrections Department Staff Training Centre next to the prison this morning.
He is Damian Andrew Lawson, a 31-year-old European, 185cm tall of medium to solid build.
Lawson ran off from the complex at 6.50am and left the area with two occupants of a vehicle which had been waiting in a nearby carpark.
Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Cotter, Wellington CIB, says police staff were alerted to the vehicle's registration number by prison staff and a patrol saw the vehicle in Newtown later this morning.
Two people - a 39-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman - have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting Lawson's escape. They will appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow morning.
Lawson was not in the car at the time it was found and police are actively looking for him.
"It's possible he's still in Wellington but he does have links to the Hamilton area and could try and head back there.
"We're asking people to keep an eye out for him. If you see him or know where he might be, please contact police immediately."
Lawson was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court in May this year to two years imprisonment on a variety of offences.