Delay for Aust surfer murder court date

A man charged with murdering Australian surfer Sean McKinnon won't appear in court until next month.
A man charged with murdering Australian surfer Sean McKinnon won't appear in court until next month.

The New Zealand man charged with murdering Australian surfer Sean McKinnon now won't appear in a Hamilton court until next month.

The High Court hearing for the man, who allegedly fired several shots into a campervan containing Mr McKinnon, has been pushed back by almost four weeks to September 19, when he's expected to enter a plea.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was remanded following a manhunt near the New Zealand seaside town of Raglan.

Mr McKinnon was sleeping alongside his fiancee Bianca Buckley early in the morning of August 16 when he was killed.

Ms Buckley fled to a nearby farmhouse during the night to seek help, as the accused drove the campervan with Mr McKinnon's body inside before abandoning the vehicle.

The 23-year-old accused was apprehended the next day.

New Zealand's surfing community has rallied behind Ms Buckley, a Canadian, raising more than $15,000 for her following Mr McKinnon's death.

Mr McKinnon grew up around Warrnambool in southwest Victoria and has been described as a "lovable, knockabout Aussie guy".

In an emotional written tribute, Ms Buckley described Mr McKinnon as "the light and love of my life. My greatest teacher. My protector."

Mr McKinnon's body has since been returned to his family, while police are yet to find the gun used in the attack.

Australian Associated Press