A Northlander accused of killing a Whangarei pizza delivery driver has elected a judge-alone trial.

Howard Patrick Latimer, 54, has denied a charge of causing the death of 22-year-old Hunter MacKenzie while driving with an excess blood alcohol level on September 20 and one of failing to stop to ascertain injury and to render assistance.

Mr MacKenzie, from Ruakaka, died in Whangarei Hospital less than an hour after a crash at the intersection of Dent and Norfolk streets on September 20.

Latimer appeared in the Whangarei District Court via audio visual link yesterday and was remanded back in custody.


He will reappear for a case review hearing on January 31, 2018. The one-day judge-alone trial is scheduled for March 20.

It is alleged Latimer's breath alcohol level was 645 micrograms per litre of breath. The legal limit for motorists aged 20 and over is 250mcg.

Police said Latimer was found sitting in his blue Toyota Rav 4 in the driveway of a property a short distance away.

He was then taken to Whangarei Police Station where he was given an evidential blood test.