The high number of homicides in Whanganui over the past two years means a potential manslaughter trial could have to wait until 2021.

The revelation came when the man charged with drink driving causing manslaughter of a 68-year-old woman in Whanganui last month appeared in the High Court at Whanganui yesterday.

Name suppression lapsed for 41-year-old Peter Anthony Laurence Atkinson who is facing one charge in relation to the incident. He has yet to plead.

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Anzac Parade and Georgetti Rd on November 9 after a collision between a vehicle and 50cc scooter.


Jeanette Mary Gibbs was riding the scooter and died at the scene.

Although a plea is yet to be entered, possible trial dates were discussed in court.

Justice Simon France who was appearing via Wellington, said the first available trial date wouldn't be until May 3, 2021, because of "the number of homicide trials in Whanganui" and the "situation in Whanganui that's difficult to overcome at the moment."

After some discussion between the judge, Crown, and defence, it was revealed a trial date may be possible at an earlier date in September 2020 if others fell over.

"It's a real possibility, I put it no higher than that, a date in September may become available and we'll have a trial then," Justice France said.

Around 10 family members and friends of the defendant were in court for the appearance. Atkinson is remanded in custody and will next appear in the High Court at Whanganui on February 28.