A man accidentally shot by police in 2013 has assaulted a mental health nurse.

Iriheke Te Kani Manu Pere, 37, appeared in the Napier District Court today and pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault.

Pere has a string of past convictions including robbery, assaulting a police officer and drink driving.

He was accidentally shot in the back by the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) in 2013; a single gunshot piercing his upper back while he was being arrested outside his Hastings home on August 16.

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He also had an earlier encounter with AOS in September 2009 when he locked himself in a bus and threatened to use explosives at a Napier travel centre, sparking a callout.

He was eventually charged with possessing a knife and wasting police time and was sentenced to nine months' supervision.

His latest offending occurred at the Palmerston North Hospital on January 22 this year when he admitted himself to be assessed by the mental health team.

The summary of facts stated he was agitated and his manner deteriorated in the hospital waiting room, causing concern for public and staff.

He became aggressive when a nurse told him not to drink the hand sanitiser and then punched his victim in the head with a closed fist.

Pere continued to punch the nurse's body, ignoring pleas by public and staff to stop and leave the hospital.

He then picked up nearby medical equipment and threw it on the ground as he left the waiting area, attempting to punch the nurse again as he was escorted out by security.

When spoken to by police he stated "I am hearing voices, the angels in my head are saying not to be here".

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He said he blanked out and became a different person.

This morning his defence lawyer Scott Jefferson said the summary of facts' brevity omitted relevant background material to the incident.

The court heard Pere was subject to the Mental Health Act and had presented himself to the hospital for an injection when matters took a turn for the worst.

Judge Tony Adeane said Pere liked to receive "indulgent treatment" for his offending because of his mental health condition but had to play his part in the matter.

He remanded him on bail to reappear for sentencing on May 22.