Thomas Edward Ray, 31 pleaded not guilty to murdering 23 year old Gareth Kaipara. when he appeared in the Rotorua High Court yesterday.

Mr Kaipara was allegedly stabbed in the neck at a Holyoake Cres, Kawerau address on January 10. Police interviewed witnesses, including a child who was at the scene at the time of the incident.

Ray was remanded in custody to reappear for a bail application on June 12. He will stand trial for the murder set for February 24, 2013.