A Tauranga man charged with murdering his father is being investigated by mental health assessors to see whether he is fit to stand trial.

William Church, 22, faced a murder charge when he appeared in the Tauranga High Court today by an audio-visual link from a mental health facility.

He is accused of fatally stabbing his father Michael Steven Church with a butcher knife at their Pāpāmoa East home on September 22.

Church's lawyer Rachael Adams told Justice Sarah Katz her client's fitness to stand trial in October was now in question as his mental health had deteriorated.


Church may become well enough do so with further treatment in the next three months, his doctor believed.

A two-week jury trial was scheduled to begin in the Rotorua High Court on October 7.

Crown prosecutor Richard Jenson said the Crown had engaged its own medical expert and was awaiting a written medical report.

Justice Katz further remanded Church into the care of the mental health facility and adjourned his court case to April 10 for a further pre-trial case review hearing.