Victims' advocate slams Grace Millane case name suppression

A victims' advocate is calling our name suppression system an "absolute farce" after Grace Millane's murder-accused was granted secrecy.

The 26-year-old was given interim name suppression on Monday, meaning his name can't be revealed for 20 working days.

The decision has enraged many New Zealanders, including Ruth Money. She was in court for the accused's first appearance - and says name suppression "needs to go" as it's "archaic" and "offensive".

"We're not stupid, we know the difference between innocent until proven guilty. We know the difference between held on remand and charged and we'll know the difference if he's found guilty or not guilty pending a trial," she told The AM Show on Tuesday.

She says the murder-accused shouldn't have the right to name suppression and it's "not serving anyone".

"Justice delayed is not justice served and this is the problem. Twenty days is nonsense. There is nothing manifestly different in 20 days than there was yesterday. He does not need suppression," she says.

"The victims are harassed, they're put through more trauma as is New Zealand."

On the other hand, Otago University law professor Mark Henaghan argues there were important reasons why the accused got suppression in the first place.

"The strongest one is trying to make sure that it doesn't interfere or prejudice with a fair trial later on," he told The AM Show on Tuesday.

"The fundamental principle of our criminal law is people are innocent until proven guilty. We don't know what the defendant is pleading here, we don't know the circumstances, and so in those circumstances we don't want anything to interfere with a fair trial."

Since the accused was arrested, his name and identity has been widely circulated on social media. Ms Money slammed the "damned defence lawyer" who asked for the suppression and suspects he'll use the attention to try to get his client off.

"This defence lawyer is going to use all this exposure in front of our courts and in front of the jury to say that this man has had an unfair start at free and open and transparent justice," she says.

"It's not serving the victim, it's certainly isn't serving the public. We want to know. We have a right to know."

Also appearing on The AM Show was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who said name suppression law is one of many different pieces of legislation affected by social media.

"There is no doubt the environment has changed. Name suppression in a modern age is a different thing than it was 20 years ago," she said.

She also said there were issues with clean slate laws which allowed individuals with non-custodial sentences to have their crimes "essentially sealed" after a certain amount of time.

As those crimes and the history of individuals can be easily searched online, such legislation can be difficult to apply.

Ms Money says the laws are "all outdated", don't take into account modern technology and social media, and need a rewrite.

"We need to as a nation stand up for all of this and say enough is enough and change it," she says.