Three men charged with the murders of an uncle and nephew near Rotorua have made their first court appearance.
Mikaere James Hura, a Rotorua undertaker, 21, Martin Hone, 34, from Tokanui, and Zen Pulemoana, 25, from Rotorua, appeared in Rotorua District Court on Wednesday.
They have been charged with the murders of Raymond Fleet, 51, and his 25-year- old nephew James, who were reported missing in August and their bodies discovered in Mamaku Forest seven days later.
A fourth man, Richard Tuwhakakorongo Te Raroa Te Kani, 28, from Mamaku, faces charges that include the manslaughter of the uncle and nephew and threatening to kill two people.
He also faces two charges of being an accessory after the fact of murdering the pair by moving and attempting to conceal a corpse.
None entered pleas to the charges when they appeared before Judge Greg Hollister- Jones via video link - and were remanded in custody for High Court appearances on October 25.
In total they faced 21 charges including methamphetamine-related matters.
There was a large contingent of Fleet family members and friends in the public gallery including a number of children sitting on the floor.
There was a heavy police and security presence for the duration of the hearing.
A fifth man appeared in Whakatane District Court on associated charges.