A man charged with killing a toddler has pleaded not guilty and will go to trial.

Mangere man Joel Loffley, 29, appeared briefly in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

James Joseph (JJ) Ruhe Lawrence, 2, died on November 14 at his Orakei home where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend.

Police said at the time that he died from injuries resulting from blunt-force trauma to his abdomen.

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He was struck so hard in the stomach that one of his major internal organs split in half.

Justice Timothy Brewer today remanded Loffley in custody.

Loffley's lawyer Roger Chambers said the trial in October would take three weeks.

Loffley has been in jail since his arrest last year.