Prisoners being transported in a Department of Corrections bus travelling to Rimutaka Prison smashed windows after the bus broke down on the Desert Road.
Police were called to the incident yesterday. The scheduled bus service, which was on its way from Springhill Prison in the Waikato to Rimutaka Prison in Upper Hutt, was carrying 20 prisoners - including two with a maximum security rating.
It dropped prisoners off at various prisons as it made its way south.
The bus broke down about 5pm.
Corrections acting national commissioner Jeanette Burns said the prisoners were contained in the bus at all times.
Corrections' "advanced control and restraint" teams and police staff were on hand and there was no risk to public safety.
The bus was repaired and police helped Corrections escort the prisoners to Tongariro Prison. It arrived about 9pm. From there the prisoners were transported to other prisons.
A source said police were required to calm the prisoners down. A scuffle of some kind broke out and the bus was damaged, with some windows smashed.
Burns said Corrections had robust plans in place for incidents of this kind.
A full investigation would be carried out.
- Fairfax Media