A 22-year-old man denies that he stole three generators that were being used to provide back-up power for Christchurch's emergency communications systems in the days after the February earthquake.

Jed Wilson-Calver, unemployed, from the northern suburb of Redwood, pleaded not guilty at a District Court session inside Christchurch Men's Prison today and now faces a wait of nearly two months in custody before the case comes before a status hearing.

That hearing will consider details of the case and then set a date for Wilson-Calver's defended hearing.

Defence counsel Richard Peters made no renewed bail application before Judge Raoul Neave for Wilson-Calver, who had sought release on bail at a session in the watch house below the Christchurch Central Police Station when he was arrested on February 25.

On that day, it was refused by Judge Michael Crosbie who had been told that Wilson-Calver had a wife and two-month-old child and would be able to leave Christchurch and live with his sister on the West Coast while on remand.

Mr Peters told the court today that Wilson-Calver said he was not involved in the theft of the three emergency generators worth a total of $6000 and would plead not guilty.

Judge Neave remanded him in custody to June 7.

An alleged co-offender, Owen Anthony Jackson, a 23-year-old fisherman from Linwood, has also been in custody since the pair were arrested and is next due to appear at a prison sitting of the District Court on Friday. He has not yet entered a plea and has been remanded to give legal instructions to his recently assigned defence counsel.

- NZPA