A Rotorua man has pleaded not guilty by way of insanity to a charge of kidnapping a toddler.

The man was excused from attending Rotorua District Court this morning, making his plea through his lawyer Louis Te Kani.

The man has been charged with unlawfully carrying off an 18-month old without consent with intent to cause him to be confined.​ The alleged offending happened in Rotorua in December.

The man's name and the details of the case are suppressed.

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He was remanded in custody until his next appearance on May 3.