One of the inmates involved in a standoff at New Zealand's toughest prison is an infamous escaper nicknamed Houdini.
Two men are holed up on a tower in the grounds of Auckland Prison at Paremoremo just north of Auckland.
Aaron Forden is infamous for his ability to give prison the slip but this time he did not make it over the wire, just to the disused observation tower.
His side-kick is understood to be former Black Power member Damian Wereta, jailed for aggravated robbery, but also convicted for threatening prison staff.
"They have some internal exercise yards and they're quite athletic and they were able to scale up the wall and get into this unused tower," Acting General Manager of Prison Services Jeanette Burns told reporters outside the prison this afternoon.
The tower is within D Block, the maximum security wing of the prison.
But the stunt this morning has still sent the prison into lockdown.
"They are within the secure area in the maximum security prison which is why we know we have this incident absolutely contained. There is no threat to anyone else inside the prison or outside in the community because they are inside the maximum security," Burns said.
Forden spent the day soaking in the sunshine and attention, and gathering metal strips from the tower.
Wereta appeared wrapped in a blanket. It is thought the pair could also have food.
A ONE News reporter at the prison gates, who has watched the men for much of the afternoon, says they have been fashioning what looked like tools or even weapons.
Security has been ramped up at the prison gates and Corrections has an Advanced Restraint Team on standby watching the two men closely for what they are going to do next.
Burns said a prison negotiator has been called in to see if he can get any information from the two men, but they have not made any demands at this stage.
"To be perfectly honest it's just a bit of a nuisance that they're doing this."
Forden, who is convicted of assault, is a master escape artist. In 2008 he used a rope made from sheets to shimmy down the side of Mount Eden Prison.
Last year he cost the new private prison company Serco a $150,000 fine when he broke out again.
He has also previously escaped from Whangarei District Court.
Burns said prison authorities will probably just wait for the pair to come down from the tower.
"We probably will wait them out. That's the safest option. At some point they will probably get cold and tired and hungry and they will get themselves down," she said.
Corrections describes the situation as a nuisance rather than an embarrassment, but says there will be an investigation, and security will be upgraded if required.
Meanwhile, Forden's father Steven has told ONE News he has not spoken to his son for several years and he does not know why he continues to do this.
Forden said he has tried to get his son help over the years but this has been to no avail.
He said he does not believe prison is the right place for his son, in fact he thinks it is making him worse.