Dylan Nuku has been charged with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to a Wellington taxi driver.
The 26-year-old has been remanded in custody until January 26, 2018.
During that time, he will be assessed for his fitness to stand trial.
He is suspected of shooting taxi driver Alem Tesema in Wellington on Saturday night.
At a court appearance on Wednesday morning, Mr Nuku wore a blue Corrections jumpsuit and waved at supporters in the public gallery.
The attack happened during Mr Tesema's first job of the night, after he picked up a man and a woman on Courtenay Place.
Mr Tesema spent two days in hospital and had surgery on his right shoulder.
He is now recovering at home.
Mr Tesema arrived in New Zealand as a refugee from Ethiopia 20 years ago and has driven taxis for 15 years, but said he is too afraid to return to the job.