Beleaguered MP John Banks will face a judge-alone trial next year.

Banks is facing allegations that he filed a false electoral return during his failed run for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010.

He appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning for a criminal callover, where the nature of his trial was set.

His trial was fixed for May 2014, and was set down for 10 days.


Justice Timothy Brewer granted Banks' counsel's request for a judge-alone trial, saying he thought it was "sensible''.

It was his first court appearance since a judge ruled he should stand trial over the allegations, in which he is accused of recording two donations from Kim Dotcom as anonymous.

Banks announced last week he would stand down as Act Party leader in March because of the trial.

Banks sat in the public gallery as his case was called, prompting the judge to ask why he was not in the dock.

As his lawyer began to address the court Justice Brewer interrupted him to say: "There's no one in the dock.''

Banks was called by his lawyer to stand in the dock, flanked by a security guard.

Dressed in a navy pin-striped suit and tie, Banks did not say anything but stood calmly facing the judge, occasionally looking over at the media.