The partner of Auckland woman Cissy Chen will stand trial for her murder in October.
Yun "Jack" Qing Liu, 57, appeared in the High Court at Auckland today, assisted by a Mandarin interpreter.
He pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and Justice Timothy Brewer set a trial for October 13.
Chen, a 44-year-old accountant, disappeared on November 5, 2012, after leaving the Torbay home she shared with Liu.
Liu reported her missing about 9.30pm that night and told police Chen had not returned from a regular walk along Long Bay Beach.
Extensive searches found no sign of Chen until her bones were found in a creek on Auckland's North Shore last month, a year and a half after her disappearance.
She was identified through forensic dentistry.
Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins said over 50 witnesses would be called at the trial meaning it could exceed the two weeks currently allotted.
Liu was remanded in custody to a case review hearing in July.