An Auckland man has appeared at the Waitakere District Court this afternoon following an incident at Waitakere Hospital yesterday where a police car was shot at.

The 28-year-old Glenfield man appeared to face 11 charges, including attempted murder, attempted grievous bodily harm, unlawfully detaining without consent, robbing a vehicle at gunpoint and seven other firearms-related charges.

He appeared in court this afternoon wearing a blue, police-issue boiler suit.

His assigned lawyer said he had received "inexplicable instructions" which had prevented him from being able to clearly act on the man's behalf.

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Judge Kevin Glubb remanded the defendant in custody pending a psychological assessment at the Mason Clinic.

He is next due to appear at the Auckland High Court in two weeks' time.

Meanwhile, the Police Association is calling for Kiwi cops to be armed after the incident.

Association President Greg O'Connor said the incident "shows that firearms locked in police vehicles will, sooner or later, prove too far away to save a life".

"Armed incidents often arise out of the blue, and when they do, guns locked in Police cars are no good to anyone. Only a firearm on the hip allows an officer to take immediate action in response to a threat to life," Mr O'Connor said.

"In this case an armed offender, who proved willing to use his firearm, was positioned between unarmed officers and their police vehicle. It was only through extraordinary bravery, in confronting the offender to distract him, that a firearm could be retrieved, allowing an arrest to be safely made.

"This incident could have unfolded very differently, with the offender shooting an officer, or a member of the public, or taking hostages. In this case we were lucky. Next time we may not be, and in the aftermath of a tragedy, we will be left rueing the fact our police are not equipped with a gun on the hip ready to take immediate action, unlike most other police forces in the world.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush this morning released a statement commending the courage of officers involved.

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"A number of shots were fired at their car prior to their intervention. Thanks to their actions however, no one was injured and an offender was quickly apprehended without further risk to the public.

"I spoke personally to the two officers shortly after the incident was resolved to thank them for their bravery and express my relief that they were unharmed.

"As is often typical for our staff who face these situations without thought of themselves, they were calm and humble in their response."

Their courage was in the highest traditions of New Zealand Police, Mr Bush said.

The officers involved were back at work today and an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Thankfully, such incidents were rare in New Zealand, Mr Bush said.