One of three men accused of shooting at a police officer on Puketona Rd has appeared in a Northland court for the first time — but it will be at least a week before the public can find out who he is.
The 38-year-old from Papakura appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Thursday charged with a raft of serious offences including kidnapping and using a firearm against a police officer.
Judge Duncan Harvey refused to grant the man name suppression but that was appealed by his lawyer, which means he can't be named for now.
All seven charges relate to incidents that unfolded in Waipapa, on Puketona Rd near Paihia, and Puketōtara Rd west of Kerikeri on October 26-27 last year. At the time police said an officer was driving on Puketona Rd about 4.10am on October 27 when a car stopped in the middle of the road in front of her.
Two men got out of the car, both brandishing firearms, with one firing a shotgun directly at the officer. The windscreen was peppered with shot but did not shatter.
The officer retreated and called for backup. She was shaken but not injured.
Earlier the same night police said a man had been kidnapped on State Highway 10 at Waipapa and suffered a ''terrifying ordeal'' before he managed to escape. His car was later found on fire on Puketōtara Rd.
Three men were arrested just before Christmas but Thursday was the first time any of them had appeared in a Northland court.
The 38-year-old was also charged with aggravated robbery using a firearm, participating in an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of arson, one for a Nissan Skyline belonging to the alleged kidnapping victim and one for a Toyota Corolla owned by a car rental company.
He also faces unrelated drug and firearms charges.
The man appeared via audio-visual link from prison with defence lawyer Jo Wickliffe requesting that he be further remanded without plea for two weeks.
She also sought name suppression for her client, who she said had connections in Northland and wanted to inform those people before his name was published.
He was also concerned about his fair trial rights if his name were to be made public.
Judge Harvey, however, refused.
The defendant was facing a ''substantial number of very serious charges'' and the threshold for name suppression was high.
The reasons given for suppression came nowhere near that threshold, he said.
However, Wickliffe immediately appealed the decision, which means the man cannot be named until 5pm on January 14 at the earliest.
He is due back in court on February 2. No application for bail was made.
Two other men, aged 44 and 26, face exactly the same charges and had been due to appear in the Kaikohe District Court on Thursday.
Their appearances were, however, adjourned until a later date.
The 44-year-old has already appeared in court in Hamilton and the 26-year-old in Tokoroa.
Police earlier said all three were members of the Rebels gang.