The identity of the 32-year-old man charged with the murder of 2-year-old Arnica Savage at Te Mahoe, in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, can now be revealed.

He is Arnica Savage's father, Tewi Savage.

Savage's interim name suppression lapsed today at 5pm. His family had requested his name and his relationship to Arnica be suppressed until after the girl's tangi.

Savage appeared in the High Court at Rotorua on July 4, pleading not guilty to murdering the toddler.


Police were called to the Matahina Dam area about 6pm on July 1 following the report of a 2-year-old missing in the Rangitaiki River with an adult.

After an extensive search and rescue operation, the body of the child was found in the river at about 11pm.

Te Mahoe Village houses about 30 families and sits at the base of the Matahina Dam.

Savage will reappear in court via audio visual link for a case review hearing on September 5.

His trial will start on March 18 next year.

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