A man accused of setting fire to his wife on a rural Waikato roadside and then fleeing to Fiji with his son has pleaded guilty to murdering her.

Diwesh Kumar Sharma appeared in the High Court at Hamilton this morning where he faced a charge of murdering his wife Ranjeeta.

The 28-year-old Mrs Sharma was still alive when her husband poured an accelerant over her and set her on fire on a rural road west of Huntly in January last year.

Sharma left for Fiji the day after her body was found, taking the couple's 4-year-old son but was found soon after by Fiji police and escorted back to New Zealand by detectives from Hamilton.

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Sharma will reappear for sentencing on the 3rd of April.