A man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in relation to the death of Rotorua man Trevor Rikihana in Ōwhata last month.

Raymond Iveagh Jury, 56, appeared in the Rotorua District Court today via audio visual link before Judge Tony Snell, where his lawyer Bill Lawson entered a not guilty plea.

Jury's charge was upgraded from wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to murder.

Trevor Rikihana, 69, died in the early hours of the morning on January 30.

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At the time, Detective Inspector Mark Loper said Rikihana was taken to Rotorua Hospital about 3.25am and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police examined an address on Reeve Rd, Ōwhata, as part of their investigation.

A post mortem examination took place in Auckland on January 31 to determine the cause of Rikihana's death.

Jury was arrested in Napier on February 7 in relation to Rikihana's death and appeared in the Rotorua District Court on February 8.

At the time, police said inquiries into the death of Rikihana were continuing.

Raymond Jury was remanded in custody to appear in the High Court at Rotorua on March 15.

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