A man has denied causing the death of Rotorua man Neville Butler.

Carlos Uerata, 26, from Otorohanga, appeared before Justice Sarah Katz in the High Court at Rotorua today via audio visual link.

Through his lawyer, Scott Mills, who was appearing on instructions from Bill Lawson, Uerata entered a plea of not guilty to the manslaughter of Butler on September 26 last year by assaulting him and thereby committing manslaughter.

Neville Butler. Photo/file
Neville Butler. Photo/file

He elected trial by jury and did not apply for bail.


Justice Katz set down a two-week trial starting on April 1 next year.

He was remanded in custody to reappear on August 3 at 9am in the High Court.

Meanwhile officer in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Mark Van Kempen, told the Rotorua Daily Post police were looking for a second person in relation to Butler's death.

He said police were actively seeking a woman who police intended to also charge with Butler's manslaughter.

He said the woman was on the run and police were at this stage not sure where she was.

Butler, 37, was found dead in a flat in Steeles Lane in the Rotorua suburb of Western Heights on September 26 last year.