A 37-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the murder of Hastings man Johnny Charles Wright.

The man appeared in Hastings District Court today charged with murder and assaulting a woman.

Handcuffed to a detective, the man represented himself in the absence of his lawyer, and successfully argued for name suppression, "so I can tell my family''.

Mr Wright, a 50 year-old sickness beneficiary, had not been seen or heard from since June 21, and was reported missing by family on July 10.

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His body was found in a rural area near Eskdale, north of Napier on August 28.

Justices of the Peace remanded the accused in custody without plea. He will reappear on November 15.