"In the present state of emergency, the police have far, far more important things to do than to check up on whether you are complying with a 24-hour curfew."

In refusing bail to 18-year-old Justin Humphreys on a relatively minor bail breach charge, Judge Tony Couch sent a stern message to Christchurch. Behave in this crisis or face the consequences.

The hardline stance was referred to several times yesterday as Judge Couch sat in the Rangiora District Court, where all Christchurch charges have been transferred during the disaster aftermath.

One of those was James Kevin Hogan.

The house where the 40-year-old lived in Opawa was destroyed during the quake and on March 1 he allegedly assaulted his partner, before resisting arrest when police stepped in.

Duty solicitor Andrew McCormack asked for bail, with stringent conditions, saying Hogan lost his temper while distraught after the earthquake and was unable to buy medicine to help control his depression.

Judge Couch was not moved to release him into the community.

"It involves a serious assault, of male upon female, it was then subsequent assaults on police who sought to intervene. The fact that the current emergency does exist aggravates the matter because police have many important duties to perform in the community during this time," said Judge Couch.

"It is totally unacceptable that somebody in Mr Hogan's position should be assaulting them doing their duty."

As all future court dates have been adjourned until May 3, Hogan protested about the two-month stretch behind bars.

"So I'm looking at three months away?"

The final case of the morning was Aaron Blair Peoples, for an offence under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act.

He was found heavily intoxicated and bleeding in Cranmer Square at 8.30pm Tuesday - inside the police CBD cordon - needing medical help from St John ambulance staff.

His house was also destroyed in the quake and he had spent the afternoon drinking at his mother's house on Champion St.

Mr McCormack said Peoples left on his bicycle, but was so drunk he could not remember how he ended inside the cordon.

He asked Judge Couch to remand the matter to another date without entering a plea.

Judge Couch responded: "Why is he asking for a remand without plea when what you've told me is an admission of the offence?"

He told Peoples to reconsider his position, as it was unlikely he would be granted bail, and could therefore be in custody until May. But if Peoples pleaded guilty immediately, Judge Couch indicated a "short period of imprisonment" as a sentence.

After a short adjournment, Peoples took the offer. Two weeks in prison was his punishment.

"We all know that this community is in crisis," said Judge Couch.

"You took the time and resources of emergency services that ought to be devoted to more worthy causes.

"This legislation is there to ensure that people and property are protected and to ensure that essential work is not impeded by people being unnecessarily in the way.

"It must be enforced strictly and firmly, that is what the public expects."