A former top cop who worked at National Headquarters has been charged with assault and strangulation after an incident in Auckland on New Year's Day.

Lui Alofa, who rose to the rank of inspector during a more than 25-year career in blue, appeared in the Auckland District Court last Friday.

The 55-year-old, also known as Lou, was granted bail and is due back in court next month over the two charges, which include one count under the 2018 strangulation or suffocation law.

He did not seek suppression, court staff confirmed to the Herald.

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Police could not comment about the case while it was before the courts but a spokesperson told the Herald a man was charged after an alleged family harm incident in Avondale on January 1.

The Herald has contacted Alofa for comment about the allegations.

Before leaving the police in 2016, Alofa held several high-profile positions across the country.

During the last six years of his police career, he was the duty operations commander for Auckland where he oversaw and controlled serious crime scenes and critical incidents.

He was also previously a strategic advisor for the Maori Pacific Ethnic Services (MPES) Group at Police National Headquarters in Wellington, and earlier in his career had been a Senior Sergeant at the Glen Innes station in Auckland.

After leaving the police, Alofa turned to a legal career and from 2017 studied law at Auckland University, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He now describes himself as "legal counsel" - focusing on commercial, employment and insurance law and the Harmful and Digital Communications Act.

Court documents viewed by the Herald also list Alofa's occupation as a "barrister", while Companies Office records show he is the sole director and shareholder of the small Auckland-based firm No Fuss Legal and Management Limited.

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