An Auckland man is due to appear in court today accused of attempting to infect three police officers with coronavirus.

The Herald understands he may be the first person in New Zealand to be charged during the global pandemic with "infecting with disease".

The 31-year-old faces three allegations under sections 72, which deals with intent, and 201 of the Crimes Act, charging documents viewed by the Herald show.

He appeared in the North Shore District Court this morning via audio visual link from jail.


The man was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody until May 4, when he is expected to enter pleas to the charges.

If found guilty he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment.

The man, who is accused of attempting to infect the three constables during an incident on March 30, is also the same person police previously told the Herald had tested negative for Covid-19.

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In an April 2 statement, Superintendent Naila Hassan said the man does not have coronavirus.

A police spokesman told the Herald today there had been no change to Hassan's earlier statement about whether the alleged offender has since tested positive for the virus.

Hassan also said the three officers involved in the incident at a Silverdale property had been placed in isolation but have since returned to work.

It is understood the officers have not had to return to isolation after the new charges were laid.


Police have said they were called to the property after a report of a family harm incident.

The accused, police said, was arrested on an unrelated matter but when being escorted into the patrol car began allegedly lashing out with his feet, kicking the officers and vehicle.

He then claimed he was infected with Covid-19 and allegedly spat several times at the three officers, police said.

The two police vehicles at the scene were also taken out of service as a result and were decontaminated, while the man was tested for the disease, Hassan said.

The man was also charged with assault with intent to injure and resisting police, which were withdrawn by the police today, the court heard.

Throughout the level four lockdown there have been several reports of people spitting at others, including other police officers, supermarket workers and Auckland transport employees.