Jailhouse lawyer Arthur William Taylor has been released on parole, after nearly 40 years in prison.
Taylor was serving a 17-year cumulative sentence in the high-security block at Paremoremo that was due to end in 2022, and was granted parole last month.
The 60-year-old has spent 39 of the past 46 years in prison, and has mounted several successful private prosecutions from behind bars.
He has an extensive history of offending back to 1972, when he appeared in the Youth Court on a forgery charge.
He has accumulated more than 150 convictions, many involving dishonesty, and others for fraud, perverting the course of justice, escaping, arson, and aggravated robbery.
He has been denied parole several times, but until this decision was still deemed too dangerous to release.
Using his self-taught legal skills, Taylor has mounted several successful private prosecutions from behind bars, and has campaigned for prisoners' right to vote.
Taylor was greeted by his sister and two friends at the carpark of Waikeria Prison this morning.
He raised his hands above his head and said it was a great day to be free.
Taylor will spend the day with his sister, who lives in Paeroa, before heading to Auckland for some legal business.
But he has been parolled to Dunedin and will be flying south after a few days.
He is expected to continue his legal advocacy and intends to enrol to study law further.