A man today pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder relating to the death of another man from serious injuries in Hastings almost seven weeks ago.

Appearing in the High Court at Napier by audio-visual link from prison, where he marked his 43rd birthday last week, the man was remanded in continued custody pending hearing of applications for bail and continued interim name suppression on April 2.

He is charged with murdering 30-year-old father of six Bruce Tracey Wirihana-Hawkins who died on February 8 at a property in Lumsden Rd, Akina, where the deceased had lived with his partner and children.

Police were called to the address early in the morning after a man was reported to have been critically injured, but police have not yet revealed how the injuries were caused.


The accused, who was arrested on the day of the death and appeared in Hastings District Court the next day charged initially with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, appeared today before Justice David Collins QC, sitting via audio-visual link from Wellington.

In a courtroom with about 20 in the public gallery, defence counsel Eric Forster said he had "clear instructions" to enter a not guilty plea on behalf of the man.