Gloria Davis, widow of the Easy Rider skipper and director of the company that operated the vessel, has pleaded not guilty over its sinking, which claimed the lives of eight people.

Maritime New Zealand laid five charges against Davis and five charges against her company AZ1 Enterprises in October.

The case was due back in court in Invercargill today but a Maritime New Zealand spokesman said Davis pleaded not guilty at a hearing last week.

Easy Rider sank off the coast of Stewart Island in Foveaux Strait on March 15, killing eight people including skipper Rewai Karetai. one person survived.