A hospital bedside hearing is being held today for the man accused of shooting a South Auckland police officer - the seventh attack of its type in 18 months.

The 28 year-old man is in hospital getting treatment for police dog bites and will face a charge of attempted murder.

Another man is on the run.

District Commander for Counties Manukau, Mike Bush, said the man will be spending "the next few days" in hospital.

Constable Jeremy Snow and his partner Constable Robert Cato were fired at as they went on to a property in the Manukau suburb of Papatoetoe during a routine patrol about 4.10am, yesterday.

Mr Snow, 28, was shot three times - once in each leg and once in the elbow. One round hit his femoral artery, causing heavy blood loss.

"Jeremy has made great progress. Police investigators interviewed him last night and they managed to obtain his version of events," Mr Bush said.

Mr Snow is still in the intensive care unit of Middlemore Hospital after undergoing surgery yesterday. His mother Colleen was at his bedside last night, a friend told the Herald from the family home in Papakura.

Three firearms were yesterday discovered by the police - a shotgun, a rifle and a high-calibre pistol.

Meanwhile, police are still searching for another man "We are still looking for one more person who is of interest to us, we know who he is and the investigation team are working hard to locate him," said Mr Bush.

The shooting has prompted Police Minister Judith Collins to call for a debate over whether there should be harsher sentences for those convicted of attacks on police.

Such assaults amounted to an attack on the rule of law, she said.

"It may well be that we look at increasing the consequences for attacking an officer who is exercising the powers that we ask them to.

"I'd certainly like to know people's thoughts on it."

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said yesterday's shooting showed there needed to be renewed debate on the arming of police.

"We're lucky there hasn't been a death. We don't want to knee-jerk on the back of these events. But unfortunately, we need these events to get the debate going."

But Ms Collins was yesterday not keen on the general arming of police.

Armed officers had turned up within minutes to rescue Mr Snow, who had been fired on without warning from the dark.

"It wouldn't have made a scrap of difference" if he was armed, she said.

Police are appealing for information on the shooting. Mr Bush said anyone with information should call Counties Manukau police on (09) 295 0200 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.