A 33-year-old man has appeared in the Christchurch District Court on four explosives charges after an incident in Phillipstown.

Jay Harding-Rereti faces two charges of possessing handheld explosive devices, one of possessing an explosive substance, and one of possessing a large amount of ammunition.

He's also facing two charges of possessing knives - including a credit card knife - in public.

Harding-Rereti appeared fidgety and distressed as he appeared via video link today - frequently swinging on his chair and glancing around.

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He has been remanded in custody without plea until Monday - when it's expected a bail application will be made.