A man charged with two historic rapes in Whangarei was to make an application for bail in Taumaranui District Court today.

Walter Stephens, 47, was interviewed by Northland detectives who travelled to Taumaranui, in the King Country, on Tuesday. Scientific advances in DNA testing meant police could follow new leads.

Stephens was charged with sexual violation by rape, abduction and threatening to kill a 19-year-old on January 4, 1991 and with sexual violation by rape of another 19-year-old woman in 2005.

Stephens initially appeared in Taumaranui District Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody. His application for bail was to be heard today.