The deputy chief executive of Waiariki Institute of Technology has been charged with stealing a $200 bicycle.
Keith Ikin appeared in front of a community magistrate at the Rotorua District Court yesterday charged with taking the bike between February 1 and February 29 last year in Tauranga.
Representing himself, Ikin stood in the dock and confirmed the not guilty plea he made during his first court appearance last month.
The community magistrate suggested the matter be stood down for Ikin to speak to a duty solicitor, after police prosecutor Sergeant Bill Scott confirmed diversion would be on offer if he pleaded guilty.
When the matter was recalled later in the morning, duty solicitor Alastair Burns confirmed he had spoken to Ikin who wished to maintain his plea of not guilty.
Mr Burns said the bike, belonging to another person, had been taken inadvertently and Ikin had since returned it to its owner.
Ikin was remanded at large to reappear in the Rotorua District Court on February 26 for a status hearing.
Ikin joined Waiariki in 2008 and was its acting chief executive from February 2012 until Professor Margaret Noble took up the role in October. After the resignation of his fellow deputy chief executive John Snook last month, Ikin was handed additional responsibilities when the decision was taken not to replace Mr Snook.
Ikin has previously held a number of high-ranking roles, including manager of Maori tertiary education at the Ministry of Education and director of Te Wananga o Aotearoa's school of business management.