The homeless man found dead in an Auckland park and carried to hospital by his friend had allegedly been earlier drinking with the man charged with his death.

At the Auckland High Court this morning Darrell Edward James Dunn, 48, plead not guilty to the manslaughter of Teina Wharawhara, 42.

The Crown alleges Dunn and Wharawhara were drinking heavily in Outhwaite Park, Grafton, on November 10, 2015, when they began arguing.

In opening statements prosecutor Jo Murdoch told the jury Dunn became irritated with the deceased over a cellphone and told him to "stop moaning".

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"He punched Mr Wharawhara multiple times around the head and he fell to the ground."

Dunn allegedly continued to kick Wharawhara until he was unconscious then left him lying on the ground and left the park with some other homeless associates.

Wharawhara's friend Martin Topia found him lying on the ground covered in blood, not moving or breathing and went to Auckland Hospital nearby to raise the alarm but emergency services couldn't find him, Murdoch said.

Topia ended up carrying his friend's body to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 11pm.

A post mortem found Wharawhara died of blunt forced trauma to the head.

Murdoch said the Crown alleges this was as a result of the assault.

But defence lawyer Sam Wimsett said Dunn was acting in self defence because Wharawhara attacked the defendant first and when he left the park, Wharawhara was still alive.

"The defence says the case amounts to a tragic consequence of reasonable self defence," he told the court.

A large group of Wharawhara's family who had travelled from Rotorua and Coromandel were in court.

The trial continues and is set down for two weeks.