A so-called "central person" in a failed finance company case wants to delay it so he can get money together for a lawyer.
Property developer Paul Bublitz, allegedly associated with collapsed finance companies Viaduct Capital and Mutual Finance, has been charged with theft by person in a special relationship, making false statements in a prospectus and making false statements to a trustee.
He is one of five defendants facing charges in the three-month trial due to begin next February.
But Bublitz, formerly represented by a Queen's Counsel, says he now cannot afford a lawyer and has been denied legal aid.
He applied this morning to delay the case by a matter of months in the hope he can get money together for legal representation.
Bublitz's lawyer for the application, Fletcher Pilditch, said his client would be better able to fund his defence from February, when money from a Queenstown property development could become available.
This would be a mixture of a loan from a trust associated with the development and payment for Bublitz' services on the project, the court heard.
"He simply seeks more time to put himself in the best position, so he can to be represented and to be able to present an effective defence to these serious and complex allegations," Pilditch said.
Justice Geoffrey Venning, however, indicated there was not enough detail from Bublitz to determine whether it was realistic his situation would be any different come February.
Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey, acting for the Financial Markets Authority, said there was a lack of specificity from Bublitz and the court was left with the "bald assertion he'll be okay financially by February".
Dickey also said there were numerous instances of Queenstown property projects not going to plan.
"The Crown does not have confidence in assertions all will be well in February given the lack of information and what can go wrong in property developments," he said.
Justice Venning said that if Bublitz could be in a position to fund a represented defence, a delay of six months would not be too much of a problem.
While not desirable, it would be a better outcome, he said.
He gave Bublitz the opportunity to provide more details by next Tuesday about the Queenstown development and how he would get money from it.
Other defendants in the case include Bruce McKay and Richard Blackwood - said to be associated with both Viaduct and Mutual - who have been charged with theft by a person in special relationship, making false statements in a prospectus and making false statements to a trustee.
Lance Morrison and Peter Chevin - said to be associated with Mutual only - are also facing charges of theft by a person and a special relationship and making false statements in a prospectus.
Another defendant originally charged in this case was Nick Wevers for his role at Viaduct and Mutual.
However, Wevers died shortly after charges were filed last year and so these were subsequently withdrawn.