A former associate priest at Taradale's Anglican All Saints church has appeared in court on sex charges.
John Hamilton Tovey, 64, appeared before a registrar in Napier District Court today and was remanded on bail without plea until July 15.
He faces one charge of sexual violation and two charges of indecent assault, all three charges relating to the same alleged female victim.
The sexual violation is alleged to have occurred in January this year. One of the indecent assault charges relates to an alleged act on the same day, while the second indecent assault charge allegedly occurred last year.
No application for name suppression was made when Tovey appeared in court today.
Tovey was a vicar in Wainuiomata for more than 10 years before he moved to Hawke's Bay in 2010 to take up the associate priest role in the Taradale parish.
He left the role the following year.
The Bishop of Waiapu, Andrew Hedge, said once he became aware of the allegations he suspended Tovey's "Permission to Officiate" indefinitely.
"While the suspension is in place John is not licensed or authorised by the Bishop to undertake any priestly duties. This decision was made independently of any other inquiries or entities," Bishop Andrew said in a statement.
"This is a time for prayer for the community and for John and his family," he said.