A New Zealand mother will face a Cairns court on Tuesday, accused of beating her daughter so savagely with a vacuum cleaner pole that she died.

The woman is charged with murder and will face a committal hearing in the Cairns Magistrates Court.

But prosecutors expect her to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

If that happens, it will be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide if the plea should be accepted or whether the case should go to trial.

The girl's body was found at a unit in the Cairns suburb of Westcourt in November 2011.

Police allege her mother, who is a New Zealand citizen, repeatedly beat her with a metal vacuum pole, among other forms of abuse, over a period of at least a year.

The 28-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has yet to enter a plea.

Her 23-year-old partner is accused of turning a blind eye to the alleged abuse.

He is facing one charge of manslaughter.

His trial has been set down for three to four days from August 26.