Two men charged with murdering a 21-year-old at an Auckland park have pleaded not guilty.

Samiuela Anania Tupou was shot and killed in the early hours of May 25 at Seaside Park in Ōtāhuhu.

Police earlier said it appeared Tupou did not know the shooters and later arrested two men, aged 25 and 27.

They both appeared briefly in the High Court at Auckland today for the first time charged with murder.


Leroy Poi Dumars Tinei, 25, and his co-accused, who has interim name suppression, pleaded not guilty.

Justice Simon Moore remanded both men in custody until their next appearance in October.

Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Hassall earlier said a team of investigators had been working tirelessly to investigate the circumstances around Tupou's death, and give his family some answers.

"We feel for his family who have been going through an extremely difficult time since his passing, and while we acknowledge this result will not bring him back, we hope it may be able to bring some form of comfort to his family and friends," Hassall said.

Tupou and his family were living in Māngere and had been living in the United States before returning to New Zealand not long before his death.

In a police statement, Tupou was described as "a fun-loving, hard-working young man who regularly attended church and enjoyed social occasions with his friends and family".