A man charged over an axe attack which left one dead and another injured is fighting the charges.

Rydell Tuaupiki Martin, 25, made a brief appearance via audio-visual link in the High Court at Hamilton this morning where, through his lawyer Max Simpkins, he pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Phillip Macpherson with an axe at Pukemiro on March 1.

He also denied a second charge of assault with an axe on a second person on the same day.

A trial date of May 4, 2020, was set down by Justice Mathew Down.

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Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann said it was still unclear exactly how long the trial could take but put forward a timespan of two weeks in the interim.

Simpkins said his client was also keen to apply for bail.

Justice Down set down a bail hearing for April 30 as well as a case-review hearing in June.

Martin was remanded in further custody until that date.