Eleven men charged with rioting in Otangarei appeared in the Whangārei District Court for a brief hearing and were flanked by extra security and court officers.

Ten of the men sat in the area normally occupied by jury members and one man in custody was in the dock. The charge arises out of an incident in Otangārei on March 9 this year.

Before Judge John McDonald on Friday were James Blyth, Norton Brown, James Herbert, Maia Lemon, Samuel Mark, Dominique Ormsby, Shaquille Orsmby, Kalani Petera, Poasa Rankin, Savanah Simeon and Ted Kemp.

In addition to the charge of rioting, Dominique Ormsby faces a charge of injuring with intent in relation to a police officer who was called to the scene.

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Lawyers representing the men were also present with two having to stand.

At one point during the hearing Judge McDonald had to address the men and tell them to stop "clowning around" or else the trial could be put off well into next year.

"All you have to do is sit there quietly. Is that impossible?"

They remained quiet for the rest of the proceeding. The case was to be called again on December 16 for callover. Judge McDonald said the men did not have to appear at the hearing and they were remanded on bail.

A house on the corner of William Jones Dr and Matai St, in the Whangārei suburb of Ōtangarei, became the centre of police attention after an alleged family violence incident about 9.45am on March 9.

A police vehicle was significantly damaged and officers pepper sprayed a number of those involved.