A couple who owned four dogs that mauled a seven-year-old girl in the Bay of Plenty town of Murupara have appeared in court.
Gareth Boyt, 35, and his 31-year-old wife Charlotte, pleaded not guilty to owning dogs that caused serious injury.
Sakurako Uehara has been undergoing repeated plastic and reconstructive surgery since the attack in March, and remains in a a stable condition in Auckland's Middlemore Hospital.
The Boyts' lawyer, Bill Lawson, told the Rotorua District Court on Wednesday morning his clients were not on the premises or in charge of the dogs on the day of the attack.
They will appear again on 20 August.
The couple had sought diversion but that has been declined by police.
No reason has been given for the refusal.