Interim name suppression remains in place for the man charged with causing the death of a Hastings boy, with a formal decision to be made at a later date.

He appeared at High Court in Napier yesterday before Justice Simon France who appeared by audio visual link.

The man pleaded not guilty in February to charges of assault and manslaughter after the death of Matiu Wereta who was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital from a Flaxmere address on the morning of October 13 last year.

The two-year-old died there the following day.


Family and friends of the defendant filled the public gallery, holding hands and hugging throughout as well as after court.

The defendant had been granted name suppression at an earlier court appearance, his lawyer Russell Fairbrother QC told Justice France yesterday that suppression should continue.

Mr Fairbrother said a letter written by a doctor stated there would be a "break-down" in the man's father's health if the defendant's name was made public.

But Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the defendant's father was not a patient of the doctor who wrote the letter, and the doctor had written it as a friend of the defendant's mother.

Justice France ordered name suppression to remain in place pending a formal decision which would be addressed at a later date.

He was remanded on his existing bail conditions with a date set down in July for a call over.