A man charged with killing a man who died in Tauranga Hospital in January has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

Colin Richard Jeffries-Smith, 26, from Gate Pa, appeared in the High Court at Rotorua this morning when he entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer, Matthew Bates.

Jeffries-Smith is charged with the murder of Lance Wayne Waite, 58, on January 3.

Police say Waite was left at Tauranga Hospital's emergency department about 12.20pm on January 3 with critical injuries and died a short time later.

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Justice Rebecca Edwards remanded Jeffries-Smith in custody to reappear in the High Court at Rotorua for a callover on April 11. Another callover has been set down for June 6 and a trial is scheduled for February 11 next year in the High Court at Rotorua.

Today in court, five members of the public sat behind Jeffries-Smith in the public gallery. One woman was crying.

Justice Edwards had to repeatedly tell the members of the public to stop talking and yelling out to the accused.