A more serious charge has been laid against a man arrested after an alleged samurai sword attack on an elderly relative in Christchurch last month.

The 40-year-old Aucklander was granted interim name suppression when the case was called before Judge Bernard Kendall in Christchurch District Court today.

He was originally charged with threatening to kill the 61-year-old female relative on January 21 but today the charge was upgraded to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The accused is being held in mental health care and his appearance in court today was excused until February 21 for the completion of a psychiatric report.