Three police officers accused of manslaughter after a man died in custody have argued for their names to remain secret until they go to trial.
The three officers earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges, which relate to the death of 55-year-old Allen Ball at the Hawera police station in the early hours of June 1 last year.
The charges allege the officers were grossly negligent in their duty of care to Ball and that this negligence was a causal factor in his death.
The officers appeared in the High Court at New Plymouth this morning for arguments on name suppression, with Justice Simon France reserving his decision, which he will release in writing at a later date.
All evidence and submissions made about the suppression have also been suppressed.
The public gallery was packed full with what appeared to be loved ones of the officers.
The trial is set down for May 17 next year.
All three officers have been stood down from their duties, with an "employment process" to follow in due course.
Police Minister Stuart Nash last month said any incident involving a loss of life in police custody was taken very seriously and the charges reflected "the gravity of the circumstances".
"This will be a difficult time for the victim's family and the wider police organisation. I extend my sympathies to the man's family.
"It is also important to acknowledge the professional work by a police investigation team to get to this point."
The Police Association has urged people not to speculate about the case - and said there was no suggestion that the death was the result of any physical or violent confrontation between the officers and the deceased.
According to Ball's family, he was taken into custody after an incident late on May 31 last year.
During a routine cell check he was found unresponsive and a volunteer fire crew was called to assist the ambulance at the police station about 2.30am.
Police staff performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate him for more than 30 minutes before he was pronounced dead.