A man charged with the murder of a 69-year-old man found in the stairwell of an Auckland block of flats, has pleaded not guilty.

Gabriel Hikari Yad-Elohim, 29, appeared before Justice Sarah Katz this morning in the High Court at Auckland.

A psychiatric assessment was ordered to determine Yad-Elohim's fitness to stand trial.

Yad-Elohim, whose name suppression lapsed today, was remanded in custody to appear again on November 8 when the medical reports will be reviewed.

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Michael David Mulholland, 69, was found in the stairwell at the Western Springs flats where he lived, on September 26.

Police were called to the flats on Great North Rd at 11pm.

Michael David Mulholland's body was found in a stairwell in a block of flats in Western Springs. Photo / Dean Purcell
Michael David Mulholland's body was found in a stairwell in a block of flats in Western Springs. Photo / Dean Purcell

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said Mulholland had suffered a violent attack.

Yad-Elohim was arrested in central Auckland the following day.

Neighbour Samantha Saia earlier told the Herald that Mulholland, whom she knew as "Mike", was a nice, friendly man.

"It's just so sad," she said.

Saia added that Mulholland lived alone, but had regular visitors.