The lawyer for Cissy Chen's partner said the case against his client was "100-per-cent circumstantial" and argued the pair had a loving relationship.
Yun Qing 'Jack' Liu, 58, has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the last six weeks accused of the murder of his partner, who went missing on November 5, 2012.
Ms Chen's body was eventually found 16 months after her disappearance in a stream in a reserve in Totaravale, 11km away from their home.
This morning, Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said that location was only a few hundred metres from where the couple used to live and that all evidence pointed to Liu being the killer.
But defence counsel Michael Kan said all the evidence relied on by the Crown was indirect.
"This case is not about Cissy no longer being with us but about how, where, when and why," Mr Kan said.
He told the jury to remove sympathy for the plight of the victim's family from their mindset and concentrate on the facts.
The Crown suggested their relationship had deteriorated to the point where Ms Chen wanted to cut her partner out of her will and direct her assets to her own family.
The victim's brother Phillip said he had been told of a "fierce argument" the day before her disappearance.
But Mr Kan said there was no proof of that, especially as his client's son spent time with the pair that day and saw nothing wrong.
Jia-Li Liu told the jury he was happy his father had found someone who understood him and laughed at his jokes.
"Where is the argument, where is the bad relationship and where is the deterioration?" Mr Kan said
"That's the best evidence you can get."
The lawyer was also critical of the Crown's reliance on the location the body was found being a factor pointing to Liu's guilt.
Mr Kan told the court the urban bush area was both close to Ms Chen's accountancy workplace and also near where she lived before she had met the defendant.
Seven days after the victim's disappearance - which would have been her 45th birthday - Liu gave a monologue to her spirit, which was picked up by police who had bugged the address.
"Why did you leave me, Cissy? We used to be very close. We used to be inseparable," he said.
The Crown pointed to the speech as evidence that Liu knew his partner was dead, but Mr Kan said it was a natural reaction of a man in mourning who was not used to being alone.
"What else could you do?" he asked.