A man charged with the murder of his wife, whose burning body was found by the side of a Waikato road in December, has been transferred from prison to a mental health facility.

Diwesh Kumar Sharma, 29, appeared in Hamilton District Court yesterday charged with murdering Ranjeeta, the 28-year-old mother of his child, in Manurewa, south Auckland.

He is also charged with assault with a blunt instrument after the incident, and for breaching bail.

Sharma was transferred to the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre, which provides inpatient care for people suffering mental illness, on April 2 after an incident in prison, his lawyer Roger Laybourn told NZPA.

He was supposed to be committed for trial in the High Court yesterday but this was delayed after the court was presented with a confidential psychiatric report.

He will appear in court again on April 28 and will be committed for trial on May 5.

Sharma took his four-year-old son Akash to Fiji the day after his wife's body was found. She was alive when an accelerant was poured over her and set alight.

He was arrested in January when he returned to New Zealand from Fiji after he was detained by Fiji police.

- NZPA