A trial date has been set for the man accused of murdering Rotorua man Trevor Rikihana in Ōwhata earlier in the year.

Raymond Iveagh Jury, 56, appeared in the High Court at Rotorua this morning before Justice Sarah Katz.

The judge set a trial date for the week starting August 10, 2020 but that could change.

Crown lawyer Amanda Gordon said she would make inquiries as to whether other trials could be relocated to free up an earlier date.

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Jury's lawyer Moana Dorset said she was not in a position to enter a plea on his behalf as she had only just been assigned.

In order to set a trial date the judge entered a not guilty plea on Jury's behalf.

"This will not impact on any discounts that may be available. It's really procedural."

Appearing via audio-visual link, Jury asked how to go about getting his preferred lawyer which was not Dorset.

The judge said that would need to be discussed with his counsel.

Jury was remanded into custody until his next case review hearing on May 24.

Trevor Rikihana, 69, died in the early hours of the morning on January 30.

He was taken to Rotorua Hospital about 3.25am and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police examined an address on Reeve Rd, Ōwhata, as part of their investigation.

A post-mortem examination took place in Auckland on January 31 to determine the cause of Rikihana's death.

Jury was arrested in Napier on February 7 in relation to Rikihana's death.