JURORS have been chosen in the trial of a man accused of murdering 22-year-old backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand.

Arguments in the five-week trial are due to begin on Wednesday in the Auckland court.

The name of the 27-year-old defendant is being kept secret for now by court order.

Ms Millane's body was discovered in a forest a week after she was last seen in Auckland city centre last December. The Wickford woman was travelling in New Zealand as part of a planned year-long trip abroad.

Her death struck a deep chord in the country, which prides itself on welcoming tourists and where many young people take gap years themselves to travel abroad.

There was also an outpouring of grief from the Wickford and wider Essex community.

Hundreds of people throughout the country attended candlelit vigils after her death.

The country's prime minister Jacinda Ardern summed up the mood at the time in an emotional news conference. "There is this overwhelming sense of hurt and shame that this has happened in our country," Ms Ardern said.

Ms Millane had been in New Zealand for less than two weeks when she went missing.

She had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland and had left some of her belongings there. She was last seen alive on the evening of December 1 and did not contact her family the next day, her 22nd birthday, causing them concern.

Her father, David Millane, said last year that before she went missing, his daughter had loved her time in New Zealand judging by the number of pictures and messages she had sent.

He said in a statement: "We all hope that what has happened to Grace will not deter even one person from venturing out into the world and discovering their own overseas experience."

New Zealand's judicial system sometimes suppresses the names of people facing charges on the basis that they will not be able to get fair trials if they are named.