A Horowhenua man is intending to plead not guilty after being charged with manslaughter over the death of a young Levin man.

Lincoln Kidd, 20, was killed in a tree felling accident while at work last December.

Paul Burr, 46, was yesterday charged with manslaughter, and serious health and safety charges.

He appeared in Levin District Court this morning where his lawyers indicated he would enter a not guilty plea to the charges.

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The public gallery was full with family members and supporters of Mr Kidd.

Burr is the first person in New Zealand charged with manslaughter over a forestry death.

He did not receive name suppression despite his lawyer Kelvin Campbell applying for it.

He was remanded to reappear in the High Court at Palmerston North later this month.

Mr Kidd and his colleagues were felling trees on a forestry block on State Highway 1, near Levin, when he was struck by a falling tree.

His colleagues gave him first aid but he died at the scene.

Including Mr Kidd, there were 10 forestry fatalities last year.