The alleged murderer of Wanganui man Whetu Hansen has pleaded not guilty.

The accused, 56, who has interim name suppression, appeared in the High Court at Wellington on Tuesday via audio-visual link from Palmerston North.

Mr Hansen, 48, was last seen on November 24 last year. Police found his car at a Linton property. They are still looking for his body and his dog Henry.

A friend of Mr Hansen's was in court yesterday. Fighting tears, Wanganui woman Michelle Hina - who wore Mr Hansen's Ford vehicle keychain around her neck - said she and the family just wanted the body.


"I just want my friend back. I don't care who did it; I don't care what happened - I just want him resting. That's what we want, the family ... I've been crying for six months, I miss him so."

She said he was a loving father and grandfather: "He was supposed to turn 49 in March. I always said to him, 'You'll always be older than me'. Well, this year I got one year closer to his age."

Justice Robert Dobson remanded the accused man in custody and ordered him to re-appear on August 4 for a case review hearing, where name suppression would be reviewed.