An Auckland man accused of sending threatening emails to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will go on trial next year.

Police accuse Michael Christopher Cruickshank of "sending three emails having already sent 89 emails" between October 17 last year and January 19 this year, a charging document viewed by the Herald reads.

The emails, the police allege, were intended to harass the Prime Minister and cause Ardern to "fear for her safety (or) the safety of her family".

The accused is charged under the Harassment Act 1997 and faces a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment if found guilty.

Advertisement

Today, Judge Evangelos Thomas set a trial date for the case of May 24 in the Auckland District Court.

However, the court heard that date may be vacated if it is deemed the trial needs to be held in the High Court at Auckland.

At Cruickshank's first appearance in the North Shore District Court, he had pleaded not guilty.

Michael Cruickshank outside the North Shore District Court at his first appearance. Photo / NZ Herald
Michael Cruickshank outside the North Shore District Court at his first appearance. Photo / NZ Herald

In a separate case, Hohepa Waenga admitted threatening to kill former National Party leader Simon Bridges and his children.

The threat was made in a private message sent over Facebook to Bridges, the MP for Tauranga.

Waenga is due to be sentenced next month.

- Additional reporting Sam Hurley