Police allege a wheelie bin stuffed with clothing and doused in turpentine was used to start the fire that destroyed a building used by LGBTQIA+ youth in Tauranga last month.
Alexander James Burgess, 33, of Pyes Pa and Zechariah Vincet Phillips, 29, from Parkvale appeared in the Tauranga District Court today facing a joint charge of arson.
Burgess' lawyer Craig Horsley entered a not guilty plea to the charge on his client's behalf, electing a trial by jury.
Judge Louis Bidois remanded Burgess in custody to next appear in court on September 8 for a case review hearing.
Phillips, who was remanded on bail, is yet to enter a plea and is due back in court on July 29.
The maximum penalty for arson is 14 years' imprisonment.
The police summary of facts in Burgess' case claim he arrived at the closed Historic Village complex about 11.20pm on June 15, dragging a large black wheelie bin.
It is further alleged he placed the wheelie bin up against the building, stuffed it with clothing, doused it in mineral turpentine found elsewhere in the village, and set it alight.
Police allege Burgess then walked off but returned to check the progress of the fire before leaving again prior to the fire brigade arriving.
The fire completely destroyed the building. Police allege most of Burgess' actions were captured on CCTV.
The building was shared by Gender Dynamix, an organisation that serves the needs of the gender-diverse community, and Rainbow Youth, who used it as their drop-in centre.
In a statement this morning police said inquiries into the fire were ongoing.